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Published July 9, 2024
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How to Check Your Credit Score and Credit History in Canada

You can check your credit report for free by contacting Canada’s two main credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. Your credit score isn’t always included in your report and may require paying a fee.

A credit score in Canada is a number between 300 and 900 that tells potential creditors how likely you are to pay back debt. The higher your score, the less risk you present as a borrower.

Financial companies often check credit scores to determine your eligibility for a credit card, loan, or mortgage and at what interest rates.

You can check your own credit score by reaching out to one or both of Canada’s two credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion.

How to check your credit score

  • You can submit a request for a free Equifax credit score and credit report via an online form, as well as by phone or mail.
  • TransUnion only allows residents of Quebec to check their credit score for free. If you live in any other province, you’ll have to pay for monthly credit monitoring to get your TransUnion credit score. All Canadians can get a free credit report from TransUnion, (which they refer to as a consumer disclosure).
  • You can also use one of the Canadian personal finance websites that offers free credit scores and reports to users who sign up with their email address, like Borrowell or ClearScore.
  • Some banks in Canada, such as CIBC and RBC, also provide free credit scores. CIBC gives clients instant access to their TransUnion score when they use online banking or the CIBC Mobile Banking App, while RBC provides TransUnion credit scores to all of its online banking customers.

Why check your credit score?

The credit bureaus regularly update your credit score based on the information your creditors send them about payments you’re making on your loans and credit cards.

It’s important to check your credit score and report often to make sure there are no mistakes. A sudden, unexplained dip in your score could indicate something is amiss. Catching errors as soon as possible helps ensure they don’t negatively affect your credit score.

Even more importantly, checking your credit score and report helps prevent fraud or identity theft because you can see if anyone is fraudulently opening accounts under your name.

Why are TransUnion and Equifax scores different?

Your Equifax and TransUnion credit scores will likely be slightly different because credit bureaus don’t always prioritize the exact same metrics to determine your credit score.

Also, some creditors may decide to report your accounts to just one credit bureau rather than both, as there’s no law that account data must be reported to both Equifax and TransUnion. When deciding whether to extend credit to you, lenders will typically look at scores from more than one bureau.

What about foreign credit scores?

Your credit score as reported by Equifax or TransUnion applies only in Canada. If you are moving to Canada from another country, you will likely need to build a Canadian credit profile from scratch. Some lenders may be able to consider your foreign credit history, but it’s less common.

How to rebuild your credit if you have a low score

Here are a few suggestions to fix and rebuild a low credit score:

  • Bring your accounts into good standing. Delinquent accounts will continue to damage your credit score as long as they remain unresolved. Work with your creditors to develop a repayment plan. Once these accounts are up-to-date, you can begin rebuilding your credit.
  • Get a secured credit card. Because you have to supply a deposit, secured credit cards are much easier to get yet can still help increase your credit score when used responsibly.
  • Make your payments on time. Payment history is the most crucial factor in your credit score. (An overpaid credit card, one with a negative balance, will not have a negative impact on your credit score.)
  • Don’t cancel old credit card accounts. Even if you don’t use them anymore, it’s good to keep them open because credit history is also an important facet of your score. If you have to cancel your credit card, make sure you do so safely.

Frequently asked questions about checking your credit score

How do I get a free copy of my credit report?

You can access a free copy of your credit report through either of Canada’s credit bureaus: TransUnion and Equifax. Alternatively, you can use a Canadian credit monitoring site, like Borrowell, to access you credit score and report.

How do I check my credit score with RBC?

As an RBC customer, you can access your credit score through your online banking portal. Visit “My Services” and select “View Your Credit Score.” After you accept the legal disclaimer and the CreditView dashboard agreement, you’ll gain access to your credit score and various tools and calculators.

How do I check my credit score with TD?

If you bank with TD, you can access your credit score using the Interac verification service. This is a third-party app you must download. Then, you can log in using your TD EasyWeb or TD Mobile app credentials. Once you agree to the terms and conditions, you can access your Equifax credit score.

DIVE EVEN DEEPER

Are Credit Monitoring Services Worth It?

Are Credit Monitoring Services Worth It?

Credit monitoring may be worth it if you’re worried about identity fraud or trying to build your credit.

What Is a Good Credit Score in Canada?

What Is a Good Credit Score in Canada?

The definition of a good credit score depends on the reporting agency, but generally, scores above 660 are considered “good.”

How Do Credit Inquiries Work?

How Do Credit Inquiries Work?

A soft inquiry pulls enough of your credit history to determine your creditworthiness; a hard inquiry is a formal review of your credit report.

How to Build Credit as a Newcomer to Canada

How to Build Credit as a Newcomer to Canada

Building credit is an important part of starting your new life in Canada. It requires applying for the right credit products, using them responsibly and paying all of your bills on time.

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