Understanding Your Credit Report

Your credit report is extremely important to your finances. Learn how to get the most out of it.

A credit report is an essential part of your financial outlook. Maintaining clean, accurate credit reports is also a key part of using credit successfully, in order to ensure you have the highest credit scores possible. This makes it imperative that you understand how credit reporting works and understand what you need to do to ensure your credit reports are accurate.

If your debt is getting out of control, it is most certainly having a negative impact on your credit. Consolidated Credit’s trained credit counsellors can be reached at and they will provide you with a free analysis on your financial situation and they will offer advice on your best options. You can also take the first step online with a Free Debt Analysis.

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a written history of a consumer’s credit use. It is used by creditors and lenders to establish your credit worthiness and help assess your risk as a borrower. They will look at your current situation, and how responsible you have been with credit in the past, and this will allow the creditor to set the terms for your new credit. This could mean the difference between low and high interest charges, or a terrible credit report may prevent you from receiving credit altogether.

How to access your credit report for free

Every consumer has more than one credit report because Canada has two main credit bureaus – Equifax and TransUnion. Both bureaus produce credit reports and lenders will access both files. Credit bureaus charge for instant service, but if you are patient, you can receive your credit reports for free by mail.

Prepare photocopies of two pieces of government ID and download request forms from TransUnion and Equifax. You should receive your credit report within a week or two.

What is included in a credit report?

Although the two credit bureaus vary in which information gets included in your credit reports, the following is a list of common elements that appear in your reports:

What is NOT included in a Credit Report?

A credit report will never include personal information that could be used by a creditor to discriminate against a consumer (such as race, ethnicity, religious background, sexual orientation and political affiliations); medical history; banking information related to cash or cheque purchases; non-debtor accounts such as cell phone or utility bills (unless they are accounts that have been sent to collections); business or corporate debts.

What is the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

Your credit score is a three-digit number that is generated from information found on your report. Your credit score (generally ranging between 300 and 900) has a huge impact on your financial health and that is why it is important to make sure your report, which influences your score, is accurate.

Why you need to check your own credit reports

In millions of credit reports and hundreds of millions of credit entries, there are bound to be mistakes. Some experts estimate as many as one-third of all credit reports include some kind of error. It may be a small error, or it could be something that could be costing you points on your credit score.

With this in mind, many experts recommend that you check your credit report at least once per year (quarterly is better), or prior to any applying for a new line of credit or taking out a loan. If you find errors, you can access Equifax’s dispute form here, and TransUnion’s here.

If you fear that out-of-control debt is having a negative impact on your credit, it might be time to seek help in eliminating that debt. Speak to one of our trained credit counsellors at to get expert advice on your unique situation. You can also get started online by trying our Free Debt Analysis.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc has been verified as the owner or operator of the Web site located at www.consolidatedcredit.ca. Official records confirm Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc as a valid business. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

We are a proud member of the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS), the national voice for not-for-profit credit counselling services. As a CACCS member, you can trust that our trained credit counsellors strive to provide the best in professional, independent and unbiased personal finance services. We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians find relief from debt. Call us today to find out if we can help you.

Consolidated Credit Counseling of Canada is proud to be a member and support the Toronto Board of Trade. Founded in 1845, the Toronto Board of Trade is Canada’s largest local chamber of commerce. We share their vision, passion and commitment to serving the community and to foster economic and social welfare of the City of Toronto. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is accredited by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation – a national organization responsible for ensuring excellence in community service. We meet CCA’s high standards of service and accountability. Give us a call today and find out what we can do for you.

We are proud members of the Ontario Association of Credit Counseling Services (OACCS). OACCS sets the standard of required expertise for the financial counseling industry and the only organization to offer the exclusive professional designation of Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada (AFCC). With over 500,000 people helped, you can be assured that we can find the right solution for you. Call us today.

Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc has been a BBB Accredited Business since 2008 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

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AFCC (Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada)

AFCC (Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada) is a distinguished professional designation, indicating that a counsellor has successfully completed the program and has specialized knowledge, unique skills and expertise as a qualified Credit Counsellor.

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