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How To Read a Credit Report

Posted by in Credit Report
10
Apr 2015

In Ontario there are two main credit reporting agencies: Equifax and TransUnion. These agencies keep track of your past and present: personal information, credit information, debt, and credit related enquiries. You and the government are really the only people who can view your credit history unless you have provided permission (ie though a credit card application or loan agreement).

Credit Report

HOW THE CREDIT BUREAU SCORES YOU

Bureaus often give the credit you have obtained a rating between 1 (being when someone makes all of their payments on time) and 9 (when you never pay your bills). This number will also have a letter in front of it (ie I2). This stands for the kind of credit you have obtained.

(I)= Instalment Credit (such as a car loan or mortgage)
(O) = Open Credit (such as a line of credit)
(R) = Revolving credit (such as a credit card)

They also often have a chart that shows the number of times you made a late payment in the last two years and how late the payment was.

Additionally, Credit Bureaus can assess you and provide an overall score between 300 and 900. In this case, the higher the score is the better you look.

OBTAINING A CREDIT REPORT

All individuals are entitled to one free credit report a year from each agency by mail. It is a good idea to get a copy of your credit history once in a while to ensure everything is updated and accurate. When you are ordering your credit report by mail they will request two pieces of ID for identification purposes.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT A MISTAKE IN MY CREDIT HISTORY

If there are mistakes on your credit history you can ask the credit bureau to investigate and they are required to do so. However, no one can force the credit bureau to remove accurate information (not even companies who make promises to this effect). If you are having an issue getting a credit reporting issue resolved you can escalate the issue within the credit bureau. Alternatively, you can contact a government agency such as the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to learn how to escalate the issue further or the Ontario the Ministry of Consumer Services to make a written complaint.

Source: FCAC – http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/resources/publications/creditLoans/Pages/Understa-Comprend.aspx

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