Check your Credit Rating!
Jarrett McKay - Feb 03, 2016
One of the most important assets we have as individuals is our credit rating. It determines whether diverse group of people who can affect our lives will choose to do business with us or not. These might include the landlord of a new dwelling we wish to lease, a financial institution where we hope to get a mortgage or the issuer of a credit card. A good credit record may be key to obtaining favourable terms, or even transaction approvals.
There are several companies that keep tabs on the creditworthiness of individual Canadians. Two of the main companies are Trans Union of Canada, Inc. (TransUnion) and Equifax Canada. Both operate under strict rules of consumer reporting legislation in each province. These firms compile data from many reporting companies such as credit card issuers, banks, merchants, and so on. The data is used to compile a credit score which will reflect a wide range of factors, including the individual’s record of payments, amount of debt and so on, in order to determine the creditworthiness of an individual.
A credit report is then made available to subscribing clients such as apartment landlords in most large cities, who will routinely do a credit check before renting to a new tenant. This report will usually contain available employment history, the number of credit facilities of all types that have been opened and closed, records of any delinquencies, legal actions for collections on file, if any, and so on. Normally, the report will look at a six-year payment history (in most provinces) and detailed account information from each creditor.
Check Your Own Credit Report
In this era of identity theft and fraudulent "phishing" expeditions conducted via the internet, everyone should check their credit rating periodically — some experts say once a year.
It is a simple thing to do. Both TransUnion and Equifax will mail you a copy of your report for free upon request. Get the appropriate forms at transunion.ca or equifax.ca. Alternatively, you may download an instant version for a fee.
Check your report for erroneous entries that may adversely affect your credit rating and report them to the credit rating firm. This is also a good way to spot fraudulent transactions that may be indicative of a wider attack on your identity.
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