Credit Reports Alberta
Credit Reports in Alberta are generated by 2 main credit reporting bureaus: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. Under the regulations set out by the government, these organizations have access to all your financial transactions such as your credit history, credit card information, credit scores, name, address, birth date, phone number, Social Insurance Number and more.
They collect this information and put in into a credit report which is accessible to organizations which deal with credit cards and loans or anyone that may need to check your credit history before making a decision to give you money. Private businesses such as lenders, creditors, landlords, car dealerships can pull your credit report, with your consent, to assess credit worthiness.
What is in my credit report?
Credit reports contain highly sensitive financial information that can affect your capability of getting approval for loans. As a consumer, you have the right to know what is being collected about you and what information can be shared. The government does it part by protecting you from fraud and placing rules around how this information is used.
Credit Bureaus in Canada cannot capture information on things such as,
- Your sexual orientation
- Your health and health records
- Your religious beliefs
- Your ethnic origin or political affiliation
- Family details
In Alberta, the law also states that credit reporting agencies must make an effort to ensure that your information is current, correct and is based on the most reliable evidence available. Canadians in Alberta are protected through The Fair Trading Act and the Credit and Personal Reports Regulation.
The Acts also outline that some information on your credit report can only be kept on your record for a certain period of time – usually 6 years.
- Missed and late payment information is removed after 6 years
- Any judgements against you is removed after 6 years
- Bankruptcy details are removed after 6 years
- Any convictions, fines and prison terms are removed after 6 years
How do I change incorrect information?
According to Alberta’s Fair Trading Act, you can request for inaccurate information to be changed or reviewed. By law, the credit bureau must check the information for accuracy or completeness and within 45 days it must confirm, correct, add or delete the disputed information. If any changes were made as a result, the credit agency must also inform anyone who has pulled your report in the last 6 months.
Check your Credit reports at least once a year
If you have been denied a loan because of bad credit reports in your credit history, take action and check your credit reports for accurate. Mistake can cause blemishes in your credit score. The government recommends that Canadians check their credit reports at least once a year.
There are a few ways to resolve credit report error and action must be taken before you continue applying for loans.
- Check your Free Credit Report so that you can review credit history
- Contact the credit bureau to identify the misinformation
- Submit a request to the credit bureau to update or correct the information
If you are unable to resolve your credit issue with the bureau, you can file a complaint with the government of Alberta by contacting the Consumer Contact Centre at 780-427-4088 (Edmonton area) or call toll free 1-877-427-4088
Investigation Services – North
3rd Floor, Commerce Place
10155 – 102 Street
Edmonton AB T5J 4L4
Investigation Services – South
301, 7015 MacLeod Trail S
Calgary AB T2H 2K6