I'm going to start by sharing a few tidbits of information about credit reports in Canada and details on where to find your reports for FREE. There are options to pay, but it's unnecessary because there are many free options.
There are two credit bureaus here in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. Each credit bureau has a credit report and a credit score for us, so we all have two reports and two credit scores. It is normal for your scores to be different with each credit bureau because they use slightly different formulas to calculate your scores, and in some cases, there may be credit accounts that are only on your credit report with one of the credit bureaus.
Where can you find your credit reports?
You can get your reports directly from each of the credit bureaus. There are a few different options, you can find more details HERE. Several apps or financial institutions also provide your credit report information for you, but you can access your reports directly from each of the credit bureaus. If you want to access your reports online, here are the links:
What should you look for on your credit report?
It's important to check that your personal details, like address and birthdate, are correct. This will make sure that all of your credit products will be added to your report. Next up, review all of your credit accounts, any items in collections, and any derogatory remarks. You want to make sure that the accounts all belong to you, that you see all of your credit accounts, and that there aren't any errors. If you do find anything that shouldn't be on your report, you can start a dispute to have it removed. This is the critical step in reviewing your credit report to catch any fraud early.
How often should you review your credit report?
It's a good idea to review your credit reports at least once a year. Checking your score once a month is also a good habit to start. If you see any unexpected changes in your credit score, you should check your report to see what is causing the score change. To help build these regular habits, try adding reminders to your phone.