Why Do I Need A Credit Report
Both your credit report and your credit score are valuable financial tools that can help you in various ways as you make your way through life. In fact, a solid record of responsible credit usage will allow you to secure loans of all kinds. Lenders and creditors want to know, first and foremost, that their clients have the ability to pay them back. They can verify this by looking at your credit report and seeing that you dont have a history of debt or bankruptcy problems. Similarly, having a good credit report and score can help you not only secure those loans but get the best possible interest rates. So, its important to keep up to date and check your credit report and credit score regularly, so that you can have a healthy and happy financial future.
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How To Use Your 3 Credit Reports
Once you get a copy of your reports, you’ll be able to see what lenders and other permitted parties see about your credit activity and history. The reports list the following types of information:
- Your name and address
- Your current open accounts, including balances and payment history
- Your closed accounts, unless they are over 7 years old
- Records of inquiries by all parties that received a credit report from that particular credit reporting agency
- Public records from the last 10 years
You can also follow the instructions provided on AnnualCreditReport.com to report any inaccuracies. You will not receive a credit score with your free annual credit reports. However, there are many places where you can request a credit score, including other websites, some banks where you may have an account, and directly from the three credit reporting agencies. A TransUnion Credit Monitoring membership includes unlimited access to your score with updates available daily.
How Do I Get Something Removed From My Credit Report
The most common thing that people want removed from their credit report are errors made by either the lender or creditor that reported your account to the credit bureau or by the credit bureau itself when updating your profile. An unchecked error can have a negative impact on your overall credit and your finances, so its another reason you should review your credit report at least once a year, just to make sure it doesnt happen to you.
Firstly, youll need to get a copy of your credit report, which you are entitled to once every 12-months. Go through it section by section, and make a list of any errors with either your personal or your credit-related information that you come across. You can then dispute the error by writing a detailed letter, outlining each mistake and how it should be corrected, to your credit bureau. Simply follow their mailing instructions, and they should launch an investigation into your case. They will also contact the lender or creditor in question if their organization was the cause of the error. The dispute should come to a conclusion within the next 30 days. If the bureau is unable to verify the error, the information will be removed from your credit report or updated as per your request.
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Fix Mistakes In Your Credit Report
When you get your credit report, check that:
- all the loans and debts listed are yours
- details such as your name and date of birth are correct
If something is wrong or out of date, contact the credit reporting agency and ask them to fix it. This is a free service.
Some companies may try to charge you to get all negative information removed from your credit report. The only thing they can ask the credit reporting agency to remove is wrong information. And you can do that yourself see .
If there are loans or debts in your report that you know nothing about, it could mean someone has stolen your identity. See identity theft for what to do.
Understanding Your Credit Report And Correcting Mistakes
Once you receive a copy of your credit report, it will contain explanations to help you understand the details of your credit report. It should also let you know how to correct mistakes or dispute information that you think is incorrect. The Government of Canada has also published a guide called Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score to help Canadians understand how the credit reporting system works in Canada. It contains all sorts of helpful info including how long information stays on your credit report.
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Can I Get A Free Credit Score Too
Unfortunately, the law does not mandate that credit reporting agencies give you a free credit score with your free credit reports. However, Lexington Law Firm offers a free FICO credit score as well as a free credit repair consultation. You can get that by visiting their site or calling .
There are also several credit card companies that offer a free credit report.
You can often order your credit score alongside your free credit report for an additional fee as well from the credit reporting agencies. However, these scores are considered FAKOs as they are not real FICO credit scores .
While the VantageScore is used by some businesses and institutions, the vast majority still rely on FICO scores to make credit decisions. So before you pay for any credit score, make sure that its one that will be useful to you.
If you want to monitor your credit reports and credit scores monthly, you might want to consider a credit monitoring service.
Submit Your Request By Mail:
First, you’ll need to download and complete the Canadian Credit Report Request Form.
Second, you must provide a photocopy of two pieces of valid, non-expired Canadian Government-issued identification. At least one of the two IDs must include your current home address. Examples of acceptable documentation include:
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of Indian Status
In order to protect your personal information, we will validate your identity before mailing your credit report to your confirmed home address. If your address is not up-to-date on either identification, you must also provide additional documentation that shows your current home address . Your copy should show the date of the document, the sender, your name, address and your account number.
- Documents must be less than 90 days old
- We recommend you blackout any transactional details.
- If you provide a credit card statement or copy of your credit card as proof, please ensure to blackout your CVV.
While providing your Social Insurance Number is optional, it helps us avoid delays and confusion in case another individual’s identifying information is similar to your own. If you provide your S.I.N., we will cross-reference it with our records to ensure that we disclose the correct information to you. We will not use it for any other purpose or share it with any third party.
As a last step, you will need to submit your completed form and proof of identity
Kindly allow 5 – 10 days for delivery.
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Accessing Your Credit Report
To get your free credit report from each credit reporting agency, visit AnnualCreditReport.com. To access your reports, you will need to provide certain information, including your name, Social Security number and address. You will then be asked to select which of the credit reporting agencies you want to get your report from:
Does Checking My Credit Report Hurt My Credit
No, checking your credit report does not hurt your credit. And checking your credit score doesn’t hurt your credit either. These actions are considered “soft pulls” which don’t affect your credit score. Actions, such as applying for a credit card, which require a “hard pull,” temporarily ding your credit score.
Learn more: Check your odds of getting approved for a credit card without hurting your credit score.
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Can I Get More Than One Free Credit Report Per Year
If youve already ordered your legally-mandated free credit reports for the year and you dont live in a state where you are entitled to an additional free report, there are still several situations which qualify you for an additional free credit report:
Negative actions as a result of your credit report such as:
- Being denied for credit or a loan
- Being denied for insurance
- Being passed over for employment
- Being denied a government license or benefit, or having an adverse action for either of these
- Being denied or having an unfavorable action happening on another account
Hardships that make it difficult to maintain positive credit such as:
- You are currently unemployed and are planning to seek employment within the next 60 days
- You are receiving or have recently received public welfare assistance
- You believe that your credit file may be inaccurate due to fraud or identity theft
Generate Your Report Online
Once you access your credit reports, download them to your computer or print them before you exit out of the window for later review.
If you have trouble requesting an online copy of your credit reports, you can also request to receive a free copy by mail or phone. To receive a free copy by mail, fill out the mail request form and send it to this address:
Annual Credit Report Request ServiceP.O. Box 105281
The form asks you the same questions as the online form.
If you prefer calling instead, dial 877-322-8228.
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Monitor Your Credit Regularly
Monitoring your scores and reports can tip you off to problems such as an overlooked payment or identity theft. It also lets you track progress on building your credit. NerdWallet offers both a free credit report summary and a free credit score, updated weekly.
Heres how the information youll get from AnnualCreditReport.com differs from what free personal finance sites may provide:
Data from all three major credit bureaus
An extensive history of your credit use
Personal finance websites, including NerdWallet, provide:
What Is The Difference Between A Credit Report And A Credit Score
There are a few areas where credit reports and credit scores differ from one another.
Your credit score is a three-digit number that lenders, creditors, and other organizations will use as a deciding factor when theyre considering approving you for loans or other types of credit products. Would-be employers and landlords will also look at your credit score to confirm that youre a trustworthy, creditworthy, financially stable individual. Your credit score is another part of your financial livelihood that a lot of people, professionals, and friends alike, will recommend that you check on a regular basis. After all, a solid credit score comes with many benefits.
A good credit score ranges anywhere from 680-900 and will open up the possibility of new credit products and other offers in the future.However, a score of 300-579 is considered low, meaning youll have a harder time getting the approval from lenders and other organizations for borrowing purposes. Again, like a credit report, your score is dependant on how youve been using your credit. There are 5 main factors that determine how your credit score is calculated:
- Your payment history
- Your variety of credit accounts
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How To Get A Free Credit Report In Canada
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When youre thinking of applying for a loan, whether its for your education, a new car, or a mortgage, one thing that you should always do first is check your credit report and credit score. In fact, checking your credit report at least once a year is recommended by any financial professional youre likely come across. Reviewing your credit report is a good way to determine your financial stability and whether or not youll be able to get approved for loans and credit in the future.
In the article below, well tell you how you can get a free copy of your credit report from Canadas credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. We also have some information that could prove useful to you, if and when youre making any big financial decisions that will impact both your life and the health of your credit.
How Can I Get A Free Copy Of My Credit Report In Canada
As we mentioned earlier, there are two major credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. You can request a free copy of your credit report from either bureau:
You can get a free credit report in Canada once every 12 months . To make that request, you can follow the instructions provided on their website, fill out the required forms, and send them in with a copy of two pieces of identification. You should then receive your free credit report within 15 business days. Its important to know, however, that your credit score will not be included with your credit report.
If you want, you can request an instant copy of your credit report and credit score via their websites. Unfortunately, both bureaus will charge you a fee to obtain this service. You can check out the TransUnion and Equifax websites for more information.
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How Often Should You Check Your Credit Report
Experts recommend that you check your credit report at least once a year. Taking a full deep dive with a credit report to ensure no inaccuracies, make sure you know where you stand and use a monitoring service that keeps you informed. We can help you stay informed with a credit monitoring service. Sign up for Chase Credit Journey to help monitor your credit.
If you’re planning to make a major purchase soon, or even in the somewhat distant future, you should regularly check up on your credit report. You want to make sure your report is as accurate as possible to get the best interest rates.
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How To Correct Errors In Your Credit Report
If you see anything you believe is incorrect, contact the credit bureau immediately. You can call the telephone number on the report to speak with someone at the credit bureau. If you find evidence of identity theft, the next steps to take include contacting any creditors involved to close fraudulent accounts and filing a police report. See Identity Theft Victim Checklist, on our web page for more information on what to do.
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What Is The Fair Credit Reporting Act Or Fcra
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is an important law that gives you the right to know the information that the credit bureaus keep on you and how that information informs your credit scores.
This law includes a number of consumer rights and protections. For example, under the FCRA you have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information on your credit reports. In most cases, the credit bureau must investigate your case and correct or remove any inaccuracies within 30 days.
How To Find Out Your Credit Score In Canada
As was previously mentioned, you can pay Equifax or TransUnion to get your credit score . However, if you don’t want to pay and you only want a rough idea of what your credit score might be, you can try out this to get a free credit score. This calculator also comments on your credit score and tells you how good it is. You can then play with the calculator to come up with some ideas of how you may be able to improve your score, or you can learn more by .
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You Have More Than One Credit Report
When you order your free TransUnion credit report, youll also have the option to order your free Equifax and Experian credit reports. The information in these reports can differ, so its good practice to review all three. For example, some lenders choose to report account data to only one or two credit reporting agencies, not all three. Or, when you apply for a loan, a lender may only pull your credit report from one credit reporting agency, which would result in a hard inquiry on your credit report from that agency only.
How To Get A Copy Of Your Credit Report For Free
Its always been a good idea to review your credit report for errors and omissions every now and then, but with identity theft happening so often these days its absolutely critical that you keep an even closer check on it than ever.
Be aware that there are several private companies that offer free credit reports, but those companies all require something in exchange. Most experts recommend steering clear of those websites.
Instead, you should use AnnualCreditReport.com which is the only website thats officially sanctioned by the U.S. government to provide you with a truly free copy of your credit report once every year.
This page on the Federal Trade Commissions website has all the details about the governments free annual credit report requirement and the official AnnualCreditReport.com website.
Bottom line: Identity thieves are running rampant these days, causing financial hardships for millions of Americans.
Dont let yourself become a victim. Protect yourself and your family by requesting your free credit report every year and checking it closely for errors, omissions and fraudulent transactions.
To finish up, the short video below offers a clear and concise explanation of what your credit score really means.
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the square icon in the lower right-hand corner of the video.
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