Getting your credit report and credit score
Credit bureaus in Canada may collect different information about how you’ve used credit in the past. Requesting your own credit report has no effect on your credit score.
Get your credit report online
You can access your credit report online for free from Equifax and TransUnion. Accessing your credit report online allows you to see it right away. Other companies may also offer to provide your credit report for free.
Equifax allows you to access your credit report online and updates it monthly.
TransUnion allows you to access and download your credit report (called Consumer Disclosure) online and updates it monthly.
Get your credit report by mail
Equifax allows you to request your credit report online for postal delivery. You’ll receive it within 5 to 10 days.
Order by mail
Make your request using the forms provided by the two credit bureaus.
You will need to provide copies of two pieces of acceptable identification, such as a driver's licence or passport.
Order by phone
Equifax allows you to request your free credit report by phone. Call the credit bureau and follow the instructions.
You will need to confirm your identity by answering a series of personal and financial questions.
You may also need to provide your Social Insurance Number and/or a credit card number to confirm your identity.
Get your credit report in person
Both credit bureaus allow you to request your free credit report in person. You’ll need to visit one of their locations and bring at least 2 pieces of identification.
Get your credit score
Your credit score comes from the information in your credit report. It shows how risky it would be for a lender to lend you money.
You can access your credit score online from Canada’s 2 main credit bureaus.
Your credit score from Equifax is accessible online for free and is updated monthly. If you live in Quebec, you can also access your credit score from TransUnion online for free.
Other companies may also offer to provide your credit score for free. Some may ask you to sign up for a paid service to get your score.
Protect yourself when getting your credit report or score
For example, find out if your information will be sold to a third party. This could result in you receiving unexpected offers for products and services. Fraudsters may also offer free credit reports or credit scores to get you to share your personal and financial information.
Always check to see if a website is secured before providing any of your personal information. A secured website will start with “https” instead of “http”.
What is credit monitoring
Canada’s credit bureaus, as well as many credit card issuers and financial institutions, offer credit monitoring services. These services will notify you after certain updates have been made to your credit report and credit score, such as a credit inquiry.
You could consider using this service if you think you’ve been the victim of fraud or if you’ve been affected by a data breach. This can help you see if somebody is trying to apply for credit in your name.
You usually need to pay for these services. Some institutions may offer it for free under certain conditions.
How often you should check your credit report
Consider getting your credit report from one bureau, then wait six months before requesting it from the other bureau. That way, you may be able to detect problems sooner.
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