Credit Reports Ontario

In Ontario, the Ministry of Consumer Services is responsible for protecting and ensuring that Canadians in Ontario are treated fairly and are informed about the Credit Report. In fact, keeping Canadians (Ontarians) informed about the credit reporting industry is just one of the many responsibilities of the Ministry.

How does the Credit Reporting work in Ontario?

Canadians living in Ontario are protected by the Consumer Reporting Act. This is essentially a law that protects people who have access to credit reports in Canada. The Act was put in place to help fight identity theft and protect Canadians who have had their identities stolen.

Credit reporting agencies by law are required to put keep credit information updated and accurate. Also, credit reports in Canada can be obtained for no charge to the consumer. Find out more at Free Credit Reports Canada section.

Remember your credit report is like your financial ID. Check your credit reports in Canada regularly – at least once a year – to see if the information is correct and accurate.

How are Canadians in Ontario protected in the credit reporting industry?

The act outlines the kinds of information a credit reporting agency can do, what they can report and how the information can be used. Some of rules in Ontario regarding the credit reporting industry are as follows,

  • Any credit lender, such as banks, are required to take extra steps to ensure that your identity is protected and help to reduce fraud by verify information.
  • As a consumer, you have a right to know what credit information is being collected and where it is being reported
  • Information on credit reports have to be accurate and credit reporting agency must correct inaccurate information upon request.
  • They must make reasonable efforts to verify any misinformation about your credit file.

How long does credit information stay on your credit history?

It depends on many factors however, with most records; there is a time limitation as to when credit information is removed from your report. In Ontario,

  • Credit reports cannot report on bankruptcy discharge information more than 7 years old unless there have been more than 1 bankruptcy.
  • Credit reports cannot report on payment of taxes or fines after 7 years
  • Credit reports cannot report on criminal convictions or criminal charges against you after 7 years
  • Credit reporting agencies must notify companies of corrected information
  • Credit reporting agencies must follow-up on all request by you to update inaccurate information

How to resolve credit reporting issues in Ontario?

  • Request for a Free Credit Report and review it for inaccuracies
  • Contact the credit reporting agency (or credit bureau) to resolve the issue
  • If you can’t resolve an issue with the credit reporting agency. Contact the Registrar of Consumer Reporting Agencies in Ontario at 1-800-889-9768.

The Registrar will need a written complaint and permission before your personal credit report can be accessed. They will review your complaint and compare it to records with the credit agency.

Remember, the law in Ontario stipulates that information on credit reports have to be accurate and prohibits agencies from using the information unless it is the most up-to-date information available. However, keep in mind that you are still responsible for keeping a good credit history and your actions determine how your credit score affects you.