If you’d like to secure a loan, whether to make a big purchase like a brand new vehicle or to secure a mortgage, one key step to take is to apply for your credit report.
A credit report is a comprehensive statement of your credit records over the years. It highlights the occasions where you’ve ever used, cancelled, or applied for a credit card. It also shows the instances where you’ve collected, applied for or had loan applications rejected by your lender.
In times past, you’d need to pay a little fee to check out your score, but today, you can have access to your credit report for free. Continue reading this article to find out how to get a free credit report from the likes of Equifax, Credit Karma, and TransUnion.
Credit Report vs Credit Score
Many people often confuse a credit report for a credit score and vice versa. And despite their similarities, there is a difference. Credit scores are typically three-digit numbers that reflect your financial stability and creditworthiness.
A good credit score starts from 650 and goes all the way up to 900. Any score less than 550 and you’d run into difficulty accessing loans from grade “A” lenders. You can have access to your free credit score from companies that provide credit reports like Credit Karma.
You can apply for a TransUnion Free Credit Report which is provided to you once a year. However, for a little fee, both agencies can monitor your credit and also provide you with your credit score monthly.
A credit report, on the other hand, is more detailed than a credit score. It showcases every financial product you use and its effects on your financial health. Your credit report also contains your details which lenders see whenever they access your report.
Who makes the Report?
Once you make use of financial products like credit and debit cards, your credit report will be made by either of these two major credit reporting companies in Canada.
Credit Report Information
Some of the information you can find in a credit report include:
- Date of Birth
- Past and present address
- Past and present phone number (s)
- Social insurance number
- Driver license info
- Passport number
- Past and present credit information
- Cell phone history
- Internet service history
- Hard credit pulls
- Legal judgments
- I. D verification
How to Read a Credit Report
Each detail in a credit report is represented by a letter or a number. These include:
- I – installment Loan (monthly installment loans)
- O – Open Status (money you can borrow to a specific limit)
- R – Revolving (money you can borrow month up to a certain limit)
- M – Mortgage (installment payments for your home)
- 0 – A new or unused account
- 1 – A paid-off account within the stipulated time
- 2 – Late payment within 31 to 59 days
- 3 – Late payment within 60 to 89 days
- 4 – Late payment within 90 to 119 days
- 5 – Late payment over 120 days
- 6 – An unused account
- 7 – A consolidated account
- 8 – A repossessed account
- 9 – An account in serious debt
Who has access to my Report?
Canadian legislation ensures your report is for your eyes only as well as the credit bureau. Any other person or organization that needs access to your credit report must seek your consent.
Getting a Free Credit Report
As earlier stated, you can get an Equifax Free Credit Report and TransUnion once a year. A report at any other time will cost you. After submitting your application, your free credit report will be sent to your mail in 15 business days.
An instant copy of your report can be obtained at the Equifax and TransUnion platform. However, you’d have to pay a fee to get your credit report at an earlier time.
Other sources of Free credit report include:
- Borrowell: Gives you access to free monthly credit scores and credit reports.
- Mogo: Access to free credit scores only.
- Credit Karma: Access to free credit scores and credit report.
- Ratehub: Access to free credit scores and report
- Lowestrates.ca: Access to free credit score.
Importance of a Credit Report
Your credit score and report are vital financial information that enables you to achieve your dreams as a Canadian.
Most financial institutions, including lenders, and creditors need your credit report and credit score to determine whether you can pay back the money you borrow.
The best way to do this is to look at both financial information. It is therefore important to spend wisely and pay your debts on time to maintain a good score and a healthy report.
Free vs Paid Credit Report
Most people don’t need to pay for credit reports. Except your credit habit is bad and need to be monitored, you hardly ever need a credit report until you have to make big purchase decisions like vehincle purchase or mortgage.
The major advantage a paid credit report offers is ease and accessibility. A deal breaker with paid reports like TransUnion is that they provide up to $50,000 ID Theft Insurance.
With free credit reports, you’re usually entitled to one report, once a year. A report at any other time will cost you.
If you decide to opt for a paid report. You might want to consider TransUnion. You can get your Credit Report from TransUnion for only $19.95 per month. TransUnion is a global leader in information and risk management for 40 years.