Monday, March 31, 2008

TransUnion finally reports for duty

I requested my credit report from the three Canadian credit bureaus on February 7. This was my first time ever obtaining my report, and I opted for the free version, which must be requested offline, as opposed to the version available online for a fee. For Equifax and Experian (aka Northern Credit Bureaus), I was able to send my request by fax. TransUnion, however, does not list a fax number, so I had to mail my request to their Consumer Relations Centre in Hamilton. In all three cases, the request consisted of a form filled out with my personal information, as well as photocopies of two pieces of identification.

Equifax and Experian both responded promptly, and I had these two reports by the end of February. Equifax has an incorrect digit in my postal code, but other than that, the information in both reports is 100% correct. All trade lines listed are actual credit accounts that I recognize, and each line has the correct age, limit, balance and status. I was relieved to see no evidence of any identity theft. However, as March rolled along, I became increasingly uneasy at the lack of response from TransUnion.

Well, come Friday March 28, I finally received my credit report from TransUnion. The "file pull" date listed on the report was March 24, so it seems to have taken them 40 days, or just under six weeks, to fulfill my request, assuming four business days' delivery time at either end of the transaction.

As unimpressed as I am with TransUnion's turnaround time, it was interesting to note the differences in the content of the three reports. Equifax and Experian seemed pretty similar in the number and type of trades that they listed, while there were a number of accounts that were absent from the TransUnion report.

I think I'll still make a point of requesting all three reports once a year, but next time I'll make sure I send my TransUnion request by registered mail. It's just too unnerving having all my personal information floating out there for over a month with no idea of whether it's reached its destination.

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