Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Have You Checked Your Credit Report Lately?



Did you know that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country? Well it is! The Better Business Bureau of Canada reported that it costs consumers, banks, retailers and other businesses $2.5 billion a year and this number is continuing to grow.

It’s vital that you check your credit report. It’s recommended by Equifax that you check your credit report at least twice a year or every few months if you’ve ever been a victim of identity theft. This will allow you to catch any inaccuracies sooner than later. You can obtain one free credit report per year.

When you check your credit report, look for the following things:

  • Check to make sure your name and address are correct 
  • Check that your S.I.N is correct if it’s provided 
  • Check to make sure all credit cards, loans, and mortgages are yours
  • Check the open and closed dates of each item to ensure it's correct
  • Look for any credit that may be on your report that does not belong to you
  • Check the inquires against your own records
Inquiries are when a bank or a business checks your credit report to see if you are credit worthy. Often this happens if you go into a bank and apply for credit, or a landlord may check your credit if you are trying to rent an apartment.

There are hard inquiries and soft inquiries. A hard inquiry is when you have applied for some form of credit or you have applied to rent an apartment. A hard inquiry affects your beacon score. A soft inquiry on the other hand does not affect your beacon score. It’s when a bank or an insurance company checks your credit report to see if you qualify for a pre-approved credit card or line of credit. You may also see a soft inquiry from Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation, Genworth or Canada Guranty. These are mortgage insurance companies that check your credit report if you’ve ever applied for a mortgage and put less than 20% down payment.

If you notice something on your credit report that should not be there, contact either Equifax or Transunion immediately, depending on which report you noticed the inaccuracy.  

2 comments:

JqGpx Marketing and Design said...

This is good for people to know, However the average person needs help just checking there credit even if they order it free. Most people don't know how to be consistant in paying bills and financial planning.

Shondell said...

Thanks for your post. www.equifax.com does a great job explaining how to check your credit report.
Paying your bills on time can be difficult at times. I would suggest putting a reminder in your calendar every month to remind yourself when a payment is due. If that doesn't work you could automatically pay your bills by contacting your creditors and have them automatically take your payment out of your account. If you choose this option, you will have to pay attention to the amount being paid every month, to ensure it’s correct.