Your credit report contains information about your financial situation. It is used to, among other things, determine whether you’re a good credit risk.
An individual or business may ask to see your credit report before renting an apartment to you, providing you with a credit card or even offering you a job. However, your consent is needed to view your credit report.
You’ll often hear the term “credit rating” or “credit score” being used alongside the term “credit report”. The credit rating is a number between 300 and 900. The higher the number, the better the rating.
This information about your financial situation is compiled in Québec by two credit assessment agents (credit agencies): Equifax and Trans Union.
Did you know you can access your credit report and credit rating free of charge?
Simply go to the Equifax This link will open in a new window and Trans Union This link will open in a new window websites and follow the indicated procedure. You don’t need to buy a monthly subscription or register for a credit monitoring service to check your credit report or credit rating.End of the insight
Why access your credit report?
Consumer associations recommend that you check your credit report at least once a year or each time there’s a suspicious situation (for example, you receive an account statement for a service you didn’t ask for).
By checking your report, you’ll see if it contains errors or if someone other than yourself has tried to obtain credit in your name. You could then request a correction to your credit report or have an explanatory statement entered on it.
Why take care of your credit?
Missing one or two payments on, say, your car loan or credit card could significantly impact your credit report and credit rating. The same applies if you make several credit applications at the same time, even if you only do it to take advantage of an in-store discount. A bad credit report could make it difficult for you to get a cell phone, a car loan or even a job.
Some people think you can just cut up a credit card to sever ties with the credit card company. Others simply stop communicating with the companies they owe money to. Such behaviour causes serious damage to a person’s credit report and credit rating.
Bad credit report? Beware of credit repairers
They may also call themselves “refinance brokers” or “credit counsellors.” Their services can be very expensive and the solutions they offer are limited. Instead, consult a consumer association in your area This link will open in a new window (in French only).End of the warning