How to Check Your Credit Score and Report For Free
Firstly, let’s identify what information is in a credit report for those that aren’t familiar with them.
It’s vital to know that each credit agency will hold different information about you, so to get a complete oversight of your report, it might be worth checking all of them.
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However, to give you a taster, here is what a typical credit report would include:
- Your payment history;
- Your overdue debts;
- Whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy, a Consumer Proposal or taken part in a debt management program;
- Your name, date of birth, address and other key personal information;
- Any County Court Judgements that have been made against you.
Despite these being on your full credit report, keep in mind that if you ask to receive a physical copy certain details will be blocked out in order to protect your identity in the case of the report being sent to the wrong address by accident.
When you’re looking to get a free credit report and check your credit score, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of information that’s out there.
So we’ll set this straight for you to help you get a better understanding of the process.
Tips on getting a free credit report
So how can you get a free credit report in Canada?
Well there are a couple of methods that you can use:
Use a credit reference agency
Did you know you have a legal right to see a copy of your credit report without having to pay for it?
You can easily request the full details of your credit file from a credit reference agency that currently holds the information on you.
Luckily, for your convenience, there are a variety of different credit reference agencies that you could use that will offer you one free credit report each 12 months.
Make sure that when you’re obtaining your credit report, you check that it’s a full credit file.
If it states that it’s an online version only, then you won’t be sent a physical copy.
Whereas if it’s a full file, you’ll receive it through the mail.
Keep in mind that often, it will not contain your credit score – this is something that you’ll have to pay for separately.
But how do you access this?
The quickest way to access this through them is to call the agency via their toll number.
All you have to do is verify your identity and you’ll be sent a physical copy of your credit report.
Make sure when doing this, however, that you give precise and honest information – as without accurate information there’s a high possibility that your credit report request will be rejected by the agency.
An alternative to calling the agency is to request a free credit report by filling out an easy-to-use form.
Available either to download, print and mail or to fill out online when they receive this information they will work on sending your free credit report out.
Of course, the instructions as to how to fill it out/how long it takes for you to receive the report will depend on the agency that you use.
So make sure that you read up about them beforehand.
Discover a credit score membership
Another way that you can get a free credit report is by opting for a subscription membership from a credit agency.
Giving you access to up-to-date information surrounding your credit history, it will help in discovering what your credit score is.
Make sure that you cancel this subscription after the free trial, however, as otherwise you’ll be charged for it when it comes to an end.
The alternative – paying for a credit report
If you want an instant copy of your credit report and don’t want to wait for a physical copy, you also have the option to pay for it.
As aforementioned, on top of this, you’ll also have to pay to see your credit score.
Understanding your credit report
You might worry that once you receive a physical copy of your free credit report that you won’t understand what all of the details mean.
Thankfully, both agency’s reports come with information that will help to ease this confusion.
Plus, if you notice any mistakes on it, you’ll be able to dispute this in a time frame that suits you.
How to check your credit score
To check your credit score, as aforementioned, you could either opt for a third-party resource to do this for free, or you could use one of the above agencies as they also offer this service.
This can be done either online, on the phone or in a face-to-face meeting.
Your credit score is calculated by considering several factors, including:
- What debts that you currently have;
- Your ability to cover bills in the past;
- The number of accounts you currently hold;
- Available credit;
- Types of credit used.
Once you discover what your credit score is and you want to improve it, it’s vital that you seek professional advice.
Ensuring that you’re on the right path to financial success, you’ll be more likely to have your credit applications approved in the future.
When should you discover your credit score?
If you think that your credit is poor, whether this be because you’ve failed to make payments in the past or you hold several accounts, it’s a good idea to check your credit score.
If you’ve held good credit for years and always keep up with repayments, then you might not want to pay to receive your credit score.
Of course, you still may opt to find it out by filling out a free form, that’s up to you.
But if you have used less than 75% of your credit limits, you can have the peace of mind that your credit score is probably high.
Are you seeking debt relief services?
Do you want to find out any more information about how to get a free credit report, how to check your credit score or how to improve it?
No matter what the query, our local and Licensed Insolvency Trustees are your first port of call every time.
Simply get in contact with us today!