How to Correct Errors on Your Credit Report
Your credit report is a record of your personal credit history. It’s the main tool used by lenders in deciding whether to extend you credit. It can mean the difference between getting your loan or credit card application approved or denied.
Unfortunately, mistakes happen from time to time – by making a habit of regularly reviewing your credit report you can spot them and report them right away. We will discuss common mistakes on your credit report, how to order your free credit report, and steps to take to correct errors.
How Are Errors Made On Your Credit Report?
It’s recommended that you review a copy of your credit report twice a year. You don’t want to wait until the last minute when you’re being approved for a mortgage to discover there’s an error on your report.
When you receive your credit report, you should check it for any errors. If your credit report has an error, it’s usually because it is incomplete, or has information about someone else. This can happen for a number of reasons:
- The individual made credit applications under different names (Jim Smith, James Smith, etc.).
- Your financial institution made a clerical error when typing your name or address from a hand-written credit application.
- The individual gave an incorrect social insurance number (SIN), or the number was typed incorrectly by your financial institution
- Credit payments were applied to the incorrect account.
How to Order Your Free Credit Report
There are two major credit reporting agencies in Canada: Equifax and TransUnion. You are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the credit rating agencies. You’ll have to make a written request to receive your credit report by mail. You can receive your credit report and credit score instantly online, but it cost you money.
To avoid paying, you can request your credit report every six months, alternating between the two agencies. If you suspect you’re a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft, it’s advisable that you request a copy of your credit report immediately.
To confirm your identity, you’ll need to provide your SIN and two photocopies (both sides) of government-issued identification (such as your driver’s license, health card, birth certificate or passport).
- Phone: You can order your credit report by phone by calling 1-800-465-7166.
- Mail or Fax: To order your free credit report by mail or fax, you’ll need to complete the Canadian Credit Report Request Form and forward to National Consumer Relations, PO Box 190, Station Jean-Talon, Montreal, QC H1S 2Z2. Alternatively, you can fax it to 514-355-8502.
- In Person: You can order your free credit report in person by visiting Equifax’s office at 5650 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M2M 4G4.
- For full instructions on requesting your free credit report, please visit the Equifax website.
- Phone: You can order your credit report by phone by calling 1-800-663-9980.
- Mail or Fax: To order your free credit report by mail or fax, you’ll need to complete the Credit Bureau Request Form and forward to Consumer Relations Centre, PO Box 338 LCDI, Hamilton, ON L8L 7W2. Alternatively, you can fax it to 905-527-0401.
- In Person: You can order your free credit report in person by visiting TransUnion’s office at 709 Main St. W., Hamilton, ON L8S 1A2.
- For full instructions on requesting your free credit report, please visit the TransUnion website.
How Do I Correct Errors on my Credit Report?
When you find an error in your credit report, it’s important to correct it as soon as possible. To correct an error you’ll need to request an investigation. Equifax and TransUnion each have their own ways of correcting errors.
- Mail or Fax: You can complete the Consumer Credit Report Update Form and forward to Consumer Relations Department, PO Box 190, Station Jean-Talon, Montreal, QC H1S 2Z2. Alternatively, you can fax it to 514-355-8502.
- For full instructions on filing a credit dispute, please visit the Equifax website.
- Phone: You can call 1-800-663-9980 to speak with a representative and request a dispute investigation on your behalf.
- Mail or Fax: You can complete the Request for Investigation Form and forward to Consumer Relations Centre, PO Box 338 LCDI, Hamilton, ON L8L 7W2. Alternatively, you can fax it to 905-527-0401.
- For full instructions on filing a credit dispute, please visit the TransUnion website.
For more information on correcting errors on your credit report, please visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website.