How to Check and Monitor My Credit Score. Knowing your credit score is a necessary step toward financial wellness. Knowing where your credit score stands tells you what steps to take to keep (or develop) exceptional credit ratings and better financial health. You likely believe that the only locations where you will be rated are school and possibly work. That is not the case. We are rated for our financial performance throughout our lives. A credit score is what it’s called. It has a more significant impact on our lives than we think.
In Canada, credit scores are inextricably linked to people’s daily life. Many countries, including Canada, have extensive credit systems. A credit system like this will influence whether your bank will authorize a loan or whether you can secure the apartment or job you seek. Having good credit in Canada is essential for everyone’s daily life. Keeping a careful eye on your credit score might help you spot any abrupt changes in your credit before they occur. Let’s look at how to check and maintain your credit score so you know exactly where you stand.
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a number that represents your credit information at a specific point in time. On a scale of 300 to 900, it corresponds to how much risk you pose to lenders compared to other consumers. A high rating on this scale is advantageous. The higher your credit score, the lesser risk you pose for the lender.
You can check out our blog post about what makes up a credit score and how to boost your credit score. Discover the elements that influence your credit score. Learn about the average credit rating by age group, credit score ranges, and credit-boosting tactics.
What is a credit report?
A credit report is a report that contains information about your credit history. It’s an overview of how you settle your financial commitments. That includes information based on your previous actions. It is one of the primary tools lenders use to determine whether or not to extend credit to you. Your credit score is calculated using some of the data found in your credit report.
How to Check and Monitor My Credit Score
Equifax and TransUnion are the primary credit bureaus in Canada. These are private firms that monitor your credit usage. To calculate your credit score, they examine public data and information from lenders, that include banks, collection agencies, and credit card issuers. You may get a copy of your credit report by mail once a year for free, but if you want immediate results online, you’ll have to pay. There is a charge.
To check your credit report, follow these five steps:
CHOOSE YOUR CREDIT BUREAU
You have the right to a free copy of your credit report once a year under Canadian law. Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada are the two national credit bureaus in Canada. Thus, which credit bureau should you select? You should contact both bureaus.
Score providers, such as Equifax and TransUnion, use distinct credit scoring algorithms and may use a variety of variables to construct credit scores. Credit ratings supplied by the two national credit agencies may also differ since some lenders may disclose data to both bureaus, one or none of the bureaus. Furthermore, lenders and creditors may use factors other than credit ratings to determine whether or not to provide you with credit. As a result, we urge that you obtain a copy of your credit report from each bureau. To ensure that you are adequately informed before acquiring a loan.
Obtaining your credit report does not affect your credit score. However, some websites should be avoided. Many websites are fraudulent. Borrowell and Bankrate are two reputable third-party websites.
PROVIDE YOUR IDENTIFICATION
You have two choices for obtaining your credit report. You may acquire one for free or pay to get immediate results. Let’s look at the form of identification required for each choice.
For free credit report
- Use the forms given by the two credit bureaus, Credit Report Request Form (Equifax) and the Consumer Disclosure Request Form (Transunion), to make your request.
- Submit copies of two pieces of valid identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. If your address on either of those pieces of identification is out of current, you can use a bank statement or a phone bill. The credit bureaus urge you to conceal transactional information.
- Put your contact details in the form.
- You are free to decide whether or not to provide your SIN. But we urge that you do. This enables the bureaus to cross-check your data, thus avoiding delays and confusion. Subsequently, this will hasten the process.
- Mail or Fax your completed form and proof of identity to the supplied address in a securely sealed envelope.
- Your report should arrive in five to ten days!
For paid credit report
You may pay to acquire an immediate copy of your credit report through Equifax or TransUnion. Both require a fee to access your credit report and credit score quickly. If you want to pay for your credit report, you’ll go through the same steps as the free report. But with one additional step: Include your credit card details at the bottom of the Credit Report Request Form.
If you’ve had excellent credit for a long time, consistently pay your bills on time, use less than 75% of your credit limits, and haven’t applied for plenty of credit recently, you don’t have to spend money to find out your credit score; it’ll be good. However, if you think your credit isn’t as good as it should be and are interested in applying for credit, you might want to pay to know your credit rating.
DECIDE HOW TO RECEIVE YOUR CREDIT REPORT
You can obtain your credit report in three ways.
- Order by mail. It’s either completing the online form described in the previous step or request for it over the phone. You’ll be asked personal and financial questions to validate your identification. Within 1-2 weeks, you will receive your credit report by mail.
- Get your credit report in person. You can request your free credit report in person from either credit bureau. You should go into one of their locations and present at least two kinds of valid identification. Find out how to obtain a free Equifax credit report in person. Find out how to get a free TransUnion credit report in person.
- Order online. This is likely the most practical option because you will have instant access to your credit report (albeit there’s a cost associated).
UNDERSTAND YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Credit reports are referred to differently by the major credit bureaus.
Credit file disclosure is how Equifax refers to your credit report.
Your credit report is referred to as a consumer disclosure by TransUnion.
Lenders utilize codes for transmitting information to credit agencies about how and when you pay your bills. Depending on how you pay for every account. Your credit report may contain a variety of codes.
There are two sections to these codes.
A letter indicates the sort of credit you are utilizing.
A number is displayed when you make payments.
When you obtain a copy of your credit report, it will come with explanations to help you comprehend the facts of your credit report. It should also tell you how to remedy errors or dispute information you believe is wrong. To help Canadians understand how the credit reporting system works in Canada, the Government of Canada also released a booklet called, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. It has a wealth of beneficial information. This includes the length of time information remains on your credit report.
MONITOR YOUR CREDIT SCORE MONTHLY
Credit monitoring services are provided by Canada’s credit bureaus, credit card issuers, and financial institutions. These services will tell you when your credit report and credit score are updated, such as when a credit inquiry is conducted. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud or a data breach, you might consider using this service. This might assist you in determining whether or not someone is attempting to obtain credit in your name. However, you will be powerless to stop it.
These services are typically chargeable. Under specific situations, some institutions may provide it for free. It is entirely up to you whether you believe these services are worthwhile. The basic fact is that you may always check your credit report by mail for free. Alternatively, you can pay to have it anytime you want online. If you have been a victim of identity theft or are concerned that you may be a victim of ID theft, the cost may be justified.
Monitoring your reports can help guarantee that the information in your credit profile is correct. It can assist you in detecting and correcting any problems that are harming your credit. We hope you find the information presented above useful.
On the other hand, if you wish to finance a vehicle, we can help. We can set up and approve your financing promptly despite your credit history. We can also assist you in rebuilding and improving your credit rating. Get pre-approved here today! You’re in the right place with Edmonton Auto Loans.