Over 24 Million Canadians have credit reports that include information about every loan they’ve taken out in the last six to seven years, and yet, most of them are not aware of what is in a credit report. The reports are free for the asking, so why not figure out how you can get a free credit report in Canada?
Credit Reports, it’s important and it’s FREE!
Maintaining a strong credit rating and accurate credit report is a vital part of financial health for Canadians. A good credit score ensures that you will not run into problems getting approved for car loans, credit cards and mortgages. At the same time, getting a credit report will help you to keep a close eye on your financial data to ensure that fraudsters and identity thieves aren’t exploiting you by opening fake lines of credit or applying for unauthorized loans.
Credit reports are the main tool used by virtually all lenders. Today it is so important for lenders to make sound financial decisions on loans that reports are obtained as part of the application process. Before any loan gets processed, a credit history and score is reviewed.
According to Equifax Canada, reports are accessed 130,000 times daily and reports are updated 110 million times a month.
How do I get a Free Credit Report in Canada?
Few Canadians check their credit history and score unless they’re making a major purchase that requires a new loan, and usually it is the banks or mortgage brokers that are reviewing the credit report. Did you know that you can get your report at any time? Getting a free credit report in Canada is easy. Here are 3 simple ways to get your credit report and score and the best part is that it will cost you absolutely nothing!
1. Get a Free Credit Report by Mail
Canadians are legally allowed to obtain their credit report for no charge by requesting it. It’s true! Whether you live in Ontario or in BC, all Canadian’s can obtain a credit report for free. In Canada, there are 2 major credit bureaus and they are required by law to send you a copy of your credit report. Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada are the 2 companies that keep a record of all your financial data. Canadians are encouraged to check their credit report annually, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it only once a year. You can request your report by mail as many times as you wish.
All you need to do is complete the credit report request form and mail it to the respective credit bureau. Credit Reports Canada suggests you check reports from both credit agencies to compare and look for inaccuracies. The report received by mail will only be the credit history portion of your credit report. This report will show all your credit cards, loans and payment history but will NOT include our credit score.
- How to get a free credit report from Equifax Canada
- How to get a free credit report from TransUnion Canada
2. Get a Free Credit Report with the lender
When you sit down with your mortgage broker, financial advisor or bank representative, one of the first things they do after verifying your information is to pull your credit history and score before offering you a loan. So the next time you apply for a loan, ask the person to print out an extra copy. Depending on the lender, they may pull from one or all credit bureaus in Canada. As they review your credit history, why not ask for a copy for you to review as well? It’s your financial data and they’re making important decisions based on it.
3. Get a Free Credit Report Online
Every month or two, the major credit reporting agencies in Canada will offer free online access to credit reports and scores. This online report which would normally cost $15-$20 is one of the most comprehensive reports you can obtain. The report will include information on your credit history, credit score and analysis of your financial health. It will also provide a snapshot of credit rating in relation to all Canadians and will offer up tips on items that are affecting your credit score. By signing up for the free online version, you will benefit from key insights on your credit file and it will make you to become more informed on credit decisions.
The best part of getting an online credit report is that you have immediate access to it and you can review it for 30 days. The only catch is that you need to cancel the free trial before the 30 days is up to avoid any charges. However, you may find quickly that the information on your report is worth paying for.
To obtain your free credit report online, you will need to sign up with the credit bureau using your personal and credit card information. For Canadians who are not comfortable offering up credit card information online, we suggest buying a disposable Visa or MasterCard gift card for this transaction.