A credit report is a "snapshot" of your credit history. This credit information allows financial institutions and lenders to measure your level of financial risk and assess your creditworthiness.
A credit score is based on various things such as past and current level of debt, debt repayment or bill payment habits, etc. There is no standard model for a consumer credit score in Canada; credit reporting agencies and other businesses use their own formulas to assess creditworthiness. The only way to fix bad credit is with good credit practices over time.
Tip: How to improve your credit score
- In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to 900 points—with 900 being the best score.
- Always make your payments on time. If you cannot pay the full amount, make at least the minimum payment.
- If you think you will have trouble paying a bill, contact the lender right away. See if you can work out a special arrangement to repay your debt.
- Be wary of people who claim they can instantly fix your credit score.
How to Find your Credit Report
You should check your credit report every year to make sure that it is accurate. You can get a copy of your personal credit report from either Equifax or TransUnion. There are different ways of getting a credit report. For example, immediate online access to a credit report (and credit score) is available for a price, or you can ask for a free copy of your credit report by mail, by phone, or—in some areas—in person.
To order a free credit report from the main national credit reporting agencies, call the following numbers:
- Equifax Canada: 1-800-465-7166
- TransUnion Canada: 1-800-663-9980 or 1-877-713-3393 if you are a Quebec resident
Learning More about Credit Reporting
- Financial Consumer Agency of Canada - Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score
- Office of Consumer Affairs - Credit Reports, Credit Scores and Credit Repair
Credit reporting and credit reporting agencies are regulated by provincial and territorial governments. For more information, contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.