What is a Credit Report? How Accurate Is It?

What is a Credit Report? How Accurate Is It?

Along with the credit histories of millions of other Canadians, your credit history is recorded in files maintained by at least one of Canada’s two major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax and TransUnion. These files are called credit reports…

Along with the credit histories of millions of other Canadians, your credit history is recorded in files maintained by at least one of Canada’s two major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax and TransUnion. These files are called credit reports.

A credit report is a “snapshot” of your credit history. It is one of the main tools lenders use to decide whether or not to give you credit.

Is your credit report always accurate? Not always

It is a good idea to request a copy of your credit report from the credit-reporting agencies at least once a year to verify that your personal information is up to date, that your financial information is correct, and to ensure that you have not been the victim of identity fraud. Because your credit information can be kept by more than one credit-reporting agency, and because those agencies do not share information, it’s important to check all credit reports carefully. You can request a copy of your credit report at no cost once a year.

Errors on your report can include someone else’s information on your file, debts listed that aren’t yours, debts listed that have been paid in full and incorrect payment history.

Most consumers do not realize they have the right to have a statement added to their report explaining a particular situation, such as a dispute with a financial institution or a fraud warning. This is called a Consumer Statement.

All consumers need to be reviewing their own credit report regularly to ensure the accuracy of the report, to confirm who has been requesting your report and to confirm your credit score; anything below a score of 500 indicates a very serious problem. If your credit report is preventing you from getting a mortgage or a loan, you need to consult with a financial professional or insolvency expert to receive advice on how to fix or start repairing your credit report.

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