Know your score!

Toronto ON – Ask a group of people if they have ever checked their credit report, and likely the response will be “no”. It is important to review your credit report annually since your credit score may be used by insurance companies to set rates on personal property policies. It is quite possible the lower your credit score the higher your insurance premium.

The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) released a report stating “78 per cent of Ontarians were not aware that insurers were using their credit score to price their home insurance.” Currently, the IABO is lobbying the Ontario government to have the property insurance industry banned from using credit scores to set rates because the practice is not in consumers’ best interest.

“We are advocates of everyone checking their credit reports on an annual basis,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “It is important to review the document for accuracy especially since the report is the basis for qualifying for a mortgage, car loan and for now, a good rate on your home insurance.”

If you do find errors or need to dispute an item on your credit report Consolidated Credit offers the following advice:

  • Contact Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada annually to request your free copy of your credit report.
  • Verify your personal information is up-to-date.
  • If you find a discrepancy dispute it yourself.
  • Send letters, in writing, to the credit reporting agencies and the credit grantor.
  • Keep records of any phone conversations, emails, etc. to refer back on.
  • Keep your letter brief, describe the problem exactly, suggest a solution, and send the letter registered or use a courier to get a confirmation of receipt.
  • Attach any documents that will prove the information is incorrect – copies of paid statements, etc.

For more information check Consolidated Credit’s advice on how to repair your credit.

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