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About Your Credit Report

Your credit file is created when you first acquire credit or obtain a loan and serves as a record of your credit history. Credit grantors (for example, financial institutions) then regularly report to the credit bureau information relating to those accounts. This information includes the credit limit granted to you, amount of debt incurred, payment history. Do take note that often, a credit grantor will do business with only one credit granting institution. Hence, one credit bureau may have information that another credit bureau may not have.

Your credit file normally includes the following information:

  • Personal Identification - Your name, address, previous address, birth date and Social Insurance Number
  • Credit Inquiries - Lists all individuals or organizations that have requested a copy of your credit file (done a credit check) within the past three years.
  • Public Record Information - Information about secured loans, bankruptcies and/or judgments against you.
  • Third-Party Collection Agency - Contains information about any involvement with a collection agency trying to settle a debt on behalf of another entity.
  • Credit Information - It provides details of your credit accounts as well as payment information. This information is supplied from credit grantors and includes information such as credit granted, debt incurred and payment history.
  • Consumer Statement - Contains a statement made by you which would explain underlying reasons as to your credit information.

Your credit file will not contain the following information:

  • Medical histories
  • Major purchases paid in full with cash or cheques
  • Business accounts, unless you are personally liable for the debt
  • Race, nationality, sex, creed, colour, ancestry, ethnicity or political affiliations

 

Type of Information Length of Time Stored*
Credit Inquiries 3 Years from date of inquiry
Credit History 6 Years from date of last activity
Banking Information 6 Years from date of registration
Voluntary Deposit / Orderly Payments 3 Years from the date paid
Registered Consumer Proposal 3 Years from the date paid
Bankruptcy 6 Years from the date of discharge (or 14 years from each discharge for consumers with several bankruptcies)
Judgements 6 Years from the date filed
Collection Accounts 6 Years from date of last activity
Secured Loans 6 Years from the date filed

* Time varies from Province to Province.

Laws governing your credit report vary from province to province but are more or less substantially the same. For more information, consult the following statues:

  • British Columbia - Credit Reporting Act
     
  • Alberta - Fair Trading Act
     
  • Saskatchewan - Credit Reporting Agencies Act
     
  • Manitoba - Personal Investigations Act
     
  • Ontario - Consumer Reporting Act
     
  • Quebec - An Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector
     
  • Nova Scotia - Consumer Reporting Act
     
  • Prince Edward Island - Consumer Reporting Act
     
  • Newfoundland - Consumer Reporting Agencies Act

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