Investigate Your Credit Report
A credit report is something that contains your personal credit information and is important because of its financial implications. Your credit report is available to all lenders and will come into play when you want to borrow money, like for a line of credit or a mortgage, or when you apply for a new credit card.
The first step in fixing your credit score is investigating your credit report. Your credit score is an indicator of your financial health and is based on your history of money borrowing. It will affect whether lenders will lend you money, along with how much money you are lent and what interest rate you will be charged.
Since your credit report is crucial to your ability to borrow money when you need it, it is important for you to be aware of what it actually says. At Dana MacRae Trustee in Bankruptcy, we recommend obtaining a copy of your personal credit information. Everyone is entitled to a copy of their credit report and Canadians can use one of two companies to get it: Equifax and Trans Union.
How to Get Your Credit Report
There are two ways you can obtain your credit report:
Simply visit the websites of either Equifax or Trans Union and follow the easy steps to purchase your report.
- By Mail
To receive a free physical copy of your credit report, you will need to mail or fax a request to Equifax or Trans Union. You will need to include photocopies of two pieces of government-issued identification (like a driver’s licence, health card, birth certificate or passport) that shows your current home address. If your address has recently changed and hasn’t been updated on your government-issued identification yet, you will need to include a piece of mail, like a bill or credit card statement. This document will need to visibly show the date of the statement, who the sender is, as well as your name, address and account number. Please note that you may black out any transaction detail on your bill or statement as long as the other required information is clearly visible.
We recommend that you avoid using your social insurance number when requesting your credit score. This will help protect your privacy and reduce the potential for identity theft. You should also keep in mind that the information you provide is available to the credit reporting agency’s customers.
Please note that requesting your credit report is different than requesting your credit score – Equifax Credit Score is different than the FICO Score. Requesting your credit score involves a charge to obtain it.
Disputing Your Credit Report
If you investigate your credit report and believe the information is inaccurate, you can dispute it. Instructions to do so are included in the report and the credit bureau is required to review your dispute, as long as you give them all the requested materials they need to do so. If the credit bureau decides not to make any changes to your credit report, it will mark your file as “in dispute” and you will have the opportunity to include a statement in your file that explains the nature of your dispute to potential creditors.
It can be hard to have your credit information changed and if you are unable to do so, we recommend contacting your provincial consumer department. If you live in Ontario, you will need to contact Ontario Government Services toll-free at 1-800-889-9768 or by email at [email protected]
How to Request Your Credit Report
PO Box 190,
National Consumer Relations
Stn Jean-Talon Montreal,
PO Box 338,
Dana MacRae Trustee in Bankruptcy has the solutions you need to help you manage your debt and fix your credit score. If you have any questions about obtaining your credit report and how to interpret it, please contact us today for free help.