Understanding your credit report

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Table 1: What letters mean in a rating on a credit report
Letter Meaning Example
I Installment credit
You borrow money for a specific period of time. You make regular payments in fixed amounts until you pay off the loan.
Car loan
O Open status credit
You may borrow money when you need to, up to a certain limit.
Line of credit
R Revolving or recurring credit
You may borrow money up to your credit limit on an ongoing basis. You make regular payments in varying amounts depending on the balance of your account.
Credit card
M Mortgage loan
Mortgage information may be included on your credit report.
Table 2: What numbers mean in a rating on a credit report
Number Meaning
  • Too new to rate
  • Approved, but not yet used
  • Paid within 30 days of billing
  • Pays as agreed
  • Late payment: 31 to 59 days late
  • Late payment: 60 to 89 days late
  • Late payment: 90 to 119 days late
  • Late payment: more than 120 days late, but not yet rated “9”
  • This code isn’t used
  • Making regular payments using one of the following debt management options:
    • a consolidation order
    • orderly payment of debts
    • consumer proposal
    • debt management program with a credit counselling agency
  • Repossession
  • Written off as a “bad debt”
  • Sent to collection agency
  • Bankruptcy

For example:

  • If you have a credit card account that you paid on time, it’ll be reported as “R1”
  • If you have a line of credit, and you missed a payment by 45 days, it’ll be reported as “O2”
  • If you have credit card debt and you’re being contacted by a collection agency for payment, it’ll be reported as “R9”

The best rating is 1. Any number higher than 1 will likely hurt your credit score.

Sample credit reports

To better understand how to read your credit report, find a sample credit from:

Note: These examples are for illustration purposes only. They may not include all information typically provided in a credit report. The presentation has been modified for online display.

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