What Information is on a Credit Report?

September 14, 2010  |  Credit Report Canada

What’s on a Credit Report in Canada?

What is on a credit report? Great question, many Canadians are asking the same thing. Countless adults in Canada are unsure of their credit score, what they would find on their credit report or how to interpret one.

Before you learn how to read a credit report or understand a credit score you first need to know what’s on one. Check Your Credit First Canada is one of few places in Canada where you can both check your credit and learn how to understand it.

While both credit bureaus in Canada offer easy to read credit reports, the truth is that they are often complicated and hard to understand for the average person. Let’s get started by going over what is on a credit report.

Information on a Credit Report in Canada

There are many parts to a credit report in Canada. Some are more important than others but each section provides information that employers, banks, finance companies and law enforcement find useful.

Your credit file contains a personal and financial profile of you that includes your identification, employment history and a detailed account of who you owe money to and how well you’re paying them.

On your Canadian credit report you will find the following information:

Personal Information – Personal information is mostly self-explanatory and includes information such as your full name, aliases, social insurance number and address. Along with your name and residence this section of your credit file also contains your employment history and previous employment history.

Credit Score (beacon score) - In Canada your credit score, also known as your beacon score, is one of the most important aspects of your credit file. Anyone with a credit history will have a beacon score between 300 and 900. The higher your credit score, the better. IMPORTANT: A credit score is only visible on a Canadian credit report if the consumer (or business) has purchased both the credit report and credit score.  When you request a free credit report in Canada you will only receive a basic report that does not include your credit score.

Credit Inquiries – Whenever you apply for a loan, someone “pulls” your credit file. This is called an inquiry and it is recorded on your credit report under the section ‘credit inquiries’. Too many inquiries can be a bad thing and can lower your credit score.

Public Records – Bankruptcies, consumer proposals, court judgements and secured loans all report under the public records section of your credit file. If someone registers a lien against you or you take out an auto loan, it will appear here.

Collection Information – If you’ve ever defaulted on a loan or skipped out on a very high cell phone or video store bill, this is where the resulting collection will be registered. If you have not paid a collection it will report as unpaid. Once you’ve settled the collection your Canadian credit report will update and label the collection paid.

Consumer Statement / Comments – Both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada will allow you to add a message to your credit report under this section. Most statements in this section are declarations asking that lenders contact the applicant before granting credit.

Credit Information – This is arguably the most important part of your credit report. In the credit information section of your file you will find a detailed history of your previous and current loans. Each loan has a trade line to describe its status. A credit report trade line shows the name of the lender, credit limit, balance, payment owed, start date, end date and a detailed history of how it’s been paid. If you apply for a loan, this section of your credit report tells the lender what kind of borrower you are and in most cases will be the biggest factor in their decision.

Each area of a credit file houses information that is important to your financial health, credit rating and your identity. In Canada a good credit score can be the difference between high interest and low interest rates and a secure financial identity can prevent you from being a victim of fraud.

Protected your credit and your identity by knowing what’s on your credit report. Before you apply, check your credit first!

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