Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a credit score?
A credit score is a number ranging from 300 to 900 that represents information on your credit report. It’s calculated by factors such as your payment history, available credit, the number and age of credit accounts you have open, as well as your credit activity.
Generally speaking, the higher the credit score, the better. Your score can vary depending on which credit reporting agency calculates it and the specific model(s) they’re using. In addition, not all lenders will pull your score from the same source, and they may consider things other than your score (like the information you submit on your application form) when deciding whether to extend credit. Knowing your score is a good step towards understanding your credit health.
Why is my credit score important?
Your credit score is important because it can affect the interest rates you’re offered, your lending and credit options, your ability to rent an apartment or home, and your eligibility for certain jobs. It gives lenders a picture of your credit history and an idea of how you manage your credit.
What’s a credit report?
Your credit report provides an overview of your history with credit cards and loans. It can include information on when you’ve opened your accounts, your payment history and more. You can request a version of your credit report – known as a Consumer Disclosure – from TransUnion® or Equifax®. See the next question for details.
How can I get a copy of my credit report?
You can get a copy of your credit report from TransUnion or Equifax. See below for details.TransUnion
You can request your report online, by mail, in person or over the phone. Visit the TransUnion website for more details.Equifax
You can request your report by mail. Visit the Equifax Canada Inc. website to download a request form which includes information and instructions on how to request your report.
How do I avoid negative impacts to my credit report?
The best way to avoid negative impacts to your credit report is to keep your accounts up-to-date and in good standing – here’s how:
- Make payments on time and always pay at least the minimum amount required
- Update your personal information with your lender or bank – such as a new home address or email – to ensure you receive your statements
- Let your creditors know if you experience problems making a payment
- Review the accuracy of your credit report by checking with one or both of the two largest credit reporting agencies – Equifax or TransUnion
If I have any negative credit information on my report, how long does it stay there?
Negative credit information won’t stay on your report forever. By law, it must be removed after a certain period of time, and the length depends on the province you live in – for example, the amount of time for most negative information is 6 or 7 years, and in some rare instances it can be up to 14 years.
What should I do if I see something on my credit report that looks incorrect?
If you see something on your credit report that doesn’t look right, you can file a dispute with the lender that reported the information in question. If your dispute isn’t resolved, you can file a secondary dispute with the applicable credit reporting agency. For more information, visit the TransUnion website or visit the Equifax website.