Thursday, April 23, 2009

investigating your credit history for free

If you are Canadian and you've ever wondered what your credit file looks like, there are two reports that you can access for free. It appears that obtaining your actual credit score will cost you some money though. Below is what I have requested free of charge. I'll review this material on the moneygardener after I receive it.

"Consumer Disclosure" from TransUnion, requested by mail with copies of both sides of two pieces of ID and the necessary completed form.
Total time commitment = 20 minutes with access to a computer, photocopier, your wallet, pen, envelope, and stamp.
What is a Consumer Disclosure?
A Consumer Disclosure is a complete account of all the information on your credit report, as mandated by consumer reporting legislation. Unlike the version supplied to a business that purchases TransUnion services, which is referred to as a "Business Version," a Consumer Disclosure lists all inquiries made to your credit information, including account management inquiries, non-credit-related inquiries and your own inquiries. The Business Version is an abbreviated version of the Consumer Disclosure. This is the credit report that creditors do see. The Business Version does not contain account management inquiries, non-credit related inquiries, or your personal inquiries to obtain a copy of your credit information.

"Credit Report" from Equifax requested by phone using automated voice recognition system. This is supposed to be mailed to me within 3-5 days.
Total time commitment = 3 minutes with access to a phone and your wallet.
What is a Credit Report?
Your credit report includes personal information such as your name, address, date of birth and Social Insurance Number. It also includes historical data such as current and previous addresses, current and previous employers, and public records like bankruptcies, liens or judgments. Most importantly, your credit report contains your credit card, mortgage and loan payment information. This information is used by lenders to see if you have missed payments, carry high balances, or are in other ways over extending yourself financially. Payment history is the most important factor in your credit rating — so pay your bills on time — even if it is just the minimum balance due each month. Lenders evaluate your credit risk based on information in your credit report. It is a good idea to review your credit report periodically and check for inaccuracies that may have an impact on your credit standing.


Fabulously Broke said...

I've done this for all 3. You are missing one more.. I can't remember their name.

Anyway, it just shows you your bank accounts, credit card accounts, your name, address and employer (last known).

No credit score, but basic info on there.

Canadian Finance said...

I combined all 3 forms into one pdf. They tend to bury them deep into the site, probably hoping you'll pay instead...

Cash Instinct said...

Experian is dead in Canada:
"Effective April 17, 2009, Experian will unfortunately discontinue its Canadian consumer credit bureau operations as a result of the very difficult economic environment in Canada and around the world, which Experian believes will persist for some time. This means that as of April 18, 2009, Experian will no longer be providing credit reports out of its Canadian database regarding any consumer in Canada.

We will continue to respond to ongoing consumer requests for copies of credit reports, as well as handle disputed items and other consumer assistance until April 17. After that date and upon completion of any disputes in process, all consumer information will be deleted from our database and will no longer be available to consumers or creditors.

If you have not previously obtained your credit report from us or initiated a dispute on your Experian credit report, you may wish to contact one of the other credit bureaus for assistance."

Colourful Money said...

Can you also get your credit report from MyFico? Any opinions on that?

sam said...