Monday, July 23, 2007

Free credit reports in Canada

Taking steps to prevent identity theft is an important part of personal finance. Tricia from Blogging Away Debt has put together a great list of tips on protecting your identity. A lot of these focus on physical management of personal information, but she also provides the crucial "check your credit report" advice. Tricia links to the American "" site (which is only available to American ISPs), and I thought I would take a minute to gather the equivalent links for Canadian consumers.

Canadians can obtain credit reports from either Equifax or TransUnion. Although both of these agencies provide free credit reports to consumers, this option tends to be hidden behind the numerous fee-based options they provide. Basically, you're paying a fee in order to request and receive the report online; the free report must be requested and delivered via snail mail. Here are links to request a report from the two agencies:

Credit report options
Free credit report request form (PDF)

Credit report options
Free credit report request form (PDF)

Note that neither agency provides the actual credit score as part of the free report. Equifax provides the score as part of their "deluxe" credit report package, for $23.95.

** UPDATE **

There's a third reporting agency in Canada:

Northern Credit Bureaus
Credit report options
Free credit report request forms (print and fill out IDENTITY and DECLARATION forms)

*** UPDATE ***

Experian Canada now offers credit reports directly:
Credit report options
Free credit report request form

**** UPDATE ****

Experian Canada is ceasing operations after April 17, 2009. From their website:
Effective April 17, 2009, Experian will unfortunately discontinue its Canadian consumer credit bureau operations as a result of the very difficult economic environment in Canada and around the world, which Experian believes will persist for some time. This means that as of April 18, 2009, Experian will no longer be providing credit reports out of its Canadian database regarding any consumer in Canada.

We will continue to respond to ongoing consumer requests for copies of credit reports, as well as handle disputed items and other consumer assistance until April 17. After that date and upon completion of any disputes in process, all consumer information will be deleted from our database and will no longer be available to consumers or creditors.

If you have not previously obtained your credit report from us or initiated a dispute on your Experian credit report, you may wish to contact one of the other credit bureaus for assistance.


Anonymous said...
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JennieG said...

Hi there

In the US, American Express offers a service called CreditSecure which would monitor all 3 Bureaus and you can access your credit reports and scores from each bureau ad nauseaum for the monthly fee of $11.95 USD. All from one Amex site.

Is there something similar in Canada?

I see a lot of "FREE" sites but I am very paranoid on giving my info to any website out there that can just pretend it is affiliated with either bureau. At least Amex is reputed as a firm in the US so I trusted it. It worked very well for me while I was there for a decade but now that I am back in Canada, I need something similar.

Nice blog. Do you think that you have enough "Emergency Funds"? My Financial Advisor tells me that I need 4-6 months of salary as emergency (gulp)!! Anyway, I think that you are on the right track and love the progress bars and good visual representation.

Looks like I might go for the TransUnion package versus Equifax since the TransUnion one has the credit score and credit monitoring bundled for $14.95 CDN while Equifax wants you to get the score (only once) w/ credit report a la carte and have the credit monitoring separate (more $$$). So in essense, to get the same info as TransUnion, you would be paying twice with Equifax and not even get the benefit of any changes of credit score alerted to you.

So let me know,


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