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Review your credit report regularly.

What your credit report is and why
it matters

Even if you never see it, your credit report is an important information file that can deeply affect your life.

What it is

Your credit history is a record of your payment habits over time. In Canada, this information is compiled by the two major credit reporting agencies — Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.

Your credit report is a snapshot of your credit history at a certain moment in time. It usually contains the following information about you:

  • Personal information, such as your name, address, phone numbers and the name of your employer
  • Money borrowed, such as credit cards, loans, lines of credit and mortgages
  • Your history of credit repayment, including how long you take to make your loan payments
  • Bank account details, including NSF cheques
  • Public records, such as a bankruptcy, credit-related court judgments or secured loans
  • Debts that have been referred to a collection agency
  • Statements you may have made to the credit reporting agency to explain a financial situation
  • A list of credit report inquiries by lenders and others

The credit report may also include a credit score. This is a ranking that indicates your financial health at a specific point in time. It compares the risk you pose for lenders to that of other Canadians.

How it’s used

Your credit report is personal information, and no one can access it except you, unless you provide permission. When you sign a credit card application, you are usually giving permission for the card issuer to check your credit history.

Lenders will take your credit report into account when deciding whether to approve a loan or mortgage application and in deciding what interest rate to charge you.

Your credit report may also be requested by a landlord when you go to rent an apartment, by an insurance company when you submit a policy application or by a potential employer — making it an important record that you need to protect.

Learn how your credit report can affect your career, housing and credit situation.

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