For many Canadians, our credit history is something we only review when a loan application has been turned down, or we have reason to be suspicious. Those who already have some of the warning signs of financial trouble are well-served by taking the time to determine their financial status.
However, there are there at least three reasons why even those with good credit should review their credit report at least once a year.
Credit Management is Money Management
If you are hoping to make a major purchase in the future that will require additional credit, a periodic review of your credit report will help make sure you’re in a good position to do so. If you have had problems with credit in the past, checking your credit report will help you make sure your credit recovery is still on track.
Clear Up Errors
Every time a company runs a credit check, it can affect your credit rating. That’s an acceptable risk if YOU are the one applying for credit, but if it’s that other “John James Smith” who lives on the opposite side of the country, it could be a problem. It’s possible to have erroneous items taken off your credit report, but that can only happen when you are made aware of the issue.
Protect Against Identity Theft
We have all heard horror stories about people who have had huge bills run up in their name, but we may not be aware of just how widespread identity theft is in Canada. Would you believe that one credit reporting agency received over 30,000 reports of true name fraud in 2013? By keeping a close eye on your credit history, you can help avoid the misuse of your sensitive personal information by would-be thieves.
When requesting a credit report, you will be required to give a lot of information that could be dangerous in the wrong hands. NEVER enter personal details like your date of birth and Social Insurance Number (SIN#) into an online pop-up window. You can contact Equifax and TransUnion to request a copy of your credit report in Canada. It’s a good idea to request a report from both companies to make sure the results are consistent.
Contact our offices in Kelowna or Kamloops for assistance with evaluating your credit report. We can help you better manage your relationship with money moving forward with services like credit counselling and consumer proposals.