You have the right to see your own credit report. And there are ways you can order it for free.
What is a credit report?
It is a record of your past and present use of credit cards and loans. Mobile phone and Internet accounts may be included, even though they are not credit accounts.
It includes details about your bill payments and your personal information.
The two major credit reporting agencies that keep your information on file are Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.
Why does my credit report matter?
It can mean the difference between getting approved or refused when you apply for credit cards, mortgages and other loans. If you have a poor credit history, you may have to pay more to borrow money.
It can also affect your ability to rent housing or get hired for a job.
You can check your credit report to see if someone else has tried to steal your identity and open credit cards and other loans in your name.
How often should I check my credit report?
Check your credit report at least once a year. Review it carefully for errors and signs of identity theft.
Order your credit report from both credit reporting agencies. Consider requesting your report from one agency and then waiting six months before you order from the other agency. By spacing out your requests in this way, you may be able to detect any problems sooner.
What is a credit score?
It is not the same as a credit report. A credit score is a three-digit number produced by a mathematical formula using the information in your credit report.
Ordering your own credit report has no effect on your credit score.
How can I order my credit report for free?
Your free credit report is called a “credit file disclosure” by Equifax Canada and a “consumer disclosure” by TransUnion Canada. It does not include your credit score.
To get your credit report free of charge:
- you may order it by mail, fax or telephone.
- you must receive it by mail or in person.
If you choose to access it online, you will have to pay a fee.
To order by mail or fax:
To order by telephone:
- call the credit reporting agency and follow the automated prompts
- confirm your identity by answering a series of personal and financial questions and providing your social insurance number (SIN) and/or a credit card number.
How can I order my credit report or score for a fee?
If you want to receive your credit report right away, you can pay a fee to get it online.
There is a fee to order your credit score from the credit reporting agencies.
Be wary of other organizations that offer free credit scores. To get the “free” score, you may have to sign up for a paid service. Fraudsters may offer free credit scores in an attempt to get you to share your personal and financial information.
TransUnion Canada—All provinces and territories except Quebec
Consumer Relations Centre
P.O. Box 338, LCD 1
Hamilton, ON L8L 7W2
P.O. Box 1433, Station St-Martin
Laval, QC H7V 3P7
Equifax Canada—All provinces and territories
Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 190, Station Jean-Talon
Montreal, QC H1S 2Z2
Other FCAC information of interest