Knowing what’s inside your credit report is more than just a good idea, it’s an essential part of any prudent financial plan. Saskatchewan law provides consumers with the opportunity to see their personal credit reports for free.Understanding what's in your credit report and how it can affect you when applying for a mortgage is a must. Making these inquiries in advance can help you get through the home buying process smoothly and without surprises that could derail your move. However, there are other good reasons why we should all be familiar with the information that credit bureaus collect and store on our credit history.
Identify theft continues to be a problem across the country. Thieves are racking up massive debts, using the good names and credit of their victims and leaving behind a financial mess that’s difficult to clean up.Keeping on top of your credit report will help you find out if someone is using your credit, hopefully before the creditors come knocking on your door, attempting to collect the debts that have accumulated in your name.
There may be another good reason to be mindful of your credit report. It seems that a number of employers in the U.S. are beginning to request credit reports from prospective employees. I’m not completely sure why they feel this is justified. I suspect that they would argue that a person’s credit worthiness speaks to that individual’s sense of responsibility, and perhaps their character. After all, the granting of credit is always based on the promise to repay. I don’t know if we’ll ever see this practice used here, but I see nothing in the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code that would prevent it.
Our province has a Credit Reporting Act which governs the types of information that credit reporting agencies can keep on you, and how long it can be kept for. The federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act states that you have a right to know what information credit reporting agencies have about you in their files.
There are two major credit reporting agencies which operate in Canada. They are Equifax and Trans Union. Both of them will have information in their files concerning your credit history. If you need to have the report today, both services offer an over the web credit report for a fee. They also offer a free credit report which is sent to you in the mail. It is your right to obtain a free copy of your credit report each year but you must request that it be sent to you. The links below will take you right to the page of each agencies website where you can download the forms that you'll use to make that request. Why not get started on this today?
Publication titled, “Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score” published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email. Norm Fisher Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate This post was originally published November 26, 2006 and has been updated to include current links.