Credit histories of millions of other people is recorded in files maintained by at least one of Canada’s major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. Under Canadian laws a consumer can request a FREE copy of their credit file at any time.
Obtaining your free credit report is done in writing and you must the appropriate identification.
Equifax Canada requires two pieces of government such as a driver’s license, health card, birth certificate or passport. If neither piece of government-issued identification shows your current home address, you must also submit a copy of an additional document that shows your address (such as a recent telephone or utilities bill, or a bank or credit card statement). You may black out transaction details on a bill or statement, as long the copy clearly shows the date of the document, the sender, your name and address, and your account number.
Please send a completed copy of the free Equifax credit report request and photocopies of your identification to:
National Consumer Relations
P.O. Box 190
Station Jean-Talon Montreal, Quebec H1S 2Z2
By Fax: 514-355-8502
TransUnion also requires both sides of two pieces of photocopied identification from the following list. Together these combined pieces must contain your name, current address, date of birth and signature. Do NOT send any original copies of identification. If submitting a request for more than one consumer in the same envelope, please ensure that the request and identification for each consumer are submitted on separate request forms and separate 8 ½” x 11” sheets of white paper.
Acceptable primary identification
We require one piece of valid, non-expired Canadian Government issued identification. Examples include:
- Drivers license
- Canadian Passport
- Certificate of Indian Status
- Birth Certificate
- Permanent Resident card
- Citizenship and Immigration form
- Health card
- Old Age Security card
- Department of National Defense card
- Ontario Photo ID
Additional pieces of acceptable identification
- Utility bill indicating current address
- Credit card statement indicating current address
- Signed credit card
- CNIB card
- Social Insurance card
- T4 slip (current tax year)
- Notice of Assessments (current tax year)
- GST/HST Refunds (current tax year)
- Child Tax Benefits (current tax year)
Together these combined pieces must contain your name, current address, date of birth and signature.
Mail form and identifying information
TransUnion Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 338, LCD1
Hamilton, ON, L8L 7W2Quebec residents
Centre De Relations Aux Consommateurs TransUnion
1 Place Laval Ouest
Both credit-reporting agencies report the lenders’ rating of each of your credit history items on a scale of 1 to 9. A rating of “1” means you pay your bills within 30 days of the due date. A rating of “9” means that you never pay your bills at all or that you have made a consumer debt repayment proposal to the lender. A letter will also appear in front of the number: for example, I2, O2, R2. The letter stands for the type of the credit you are using.
- “I” means you were given credit on an installment basis, such as for a car loan, where you borrow money once and repay it in fixed amounts, on a regular basis, for a specific period of time until the loan is paid off.
- “O” means you have open credit such as a line of credit, where you borrow money, as needed, up to a certain limit and the total balance is due at the end of each period. This category may also include student loans, for which the money may not be owing until you are out of school.
- “R” means you have “revolving” credit, where you make regular payments in varying amounts depending on the balance of your account, and can then borrow more money up to your credit limit. Credit cards are a good example of “revolving” credit.
The most common ratings are “R” ratings. These are known as North American Standard Account Ratings and are the most frequently used. The “R” indicates that the item being described involves revolving credit. If you always pay on time, it will be coded an R1. If an amount was written off because you never paid it back, it is coded R9. The R ratings are a coding system that translates “on time”, “one month late”, “two months late”, etc., into two-digit codes. The following table shows R ratings and a brief description.
North American Standard Account Ratings
|R0||Too new to rate; approved but not used.|
|R1||Pays (or paid) within 30 days of payment due date or not over one payment past due.|
|R2||Pays (or paid) in more than 30 days from payment due date, but not more than 60 days, or not more than two payments past due.|
|R3||Pays (or paid) in more than 60 days from payment due date, but not more than 90 days, or not more than three payments past due.|
|R4||Pays (or paid) in more than 90 days from payment due date, but not more than 120 days, or four payments past due Pays (or paid) in more than 90 days from payment due date, but not more than 120 days, or four payments past due.|
|R5||Account is at least 120 days overdue, but is not yet rated “9.”|
|R6||This rating does not exist.|
|R7||Making regular payments through a special arrangement to settle your debts.|
|R8||Repossession (voluntary or involuntary return of merchandise).|
|R9||Bad debt; placed for collection; moved without giving a new address or bankruptcy.|