Your credit report is a document that shows how you manage your credit. Mistakes can give lenders the wrong impression. If there is an error in your credit report, a lender may deny you a credit card or loan, or charge a higher interest rate. You may also not be able to rent a house or apartment or get a job.
Mistakes can also be a sign that someone is trying to steal your identity and get a credit card, mortgage, or other type of loan in your name.
- When you receive your file, check:
- if there are errors in your personal information, such as an incorrect mailing address or incorrect date of birth
- if there are errors in credit card or loan accounts, such as a payment made on time but showing as late
- if there is still negative information about your accounts after the maximum number of days it can remain on file
- if there are any accounts you have never opened, which may be a sign of identity theft
A credit bureau cannot change exact information about a credit account on your file. For example, if you have missed payments on your credit card, paying the balance in full or closing the account does not remove that negative history.
Negative information, such as late payments or defaults, stays on your credit file for a certain period of time.
Check your credit report for fraud
Accounts you don’t recognize could mean someone has applied for a credit card, line of credit, mortgage, or some other kind of loan on your behalf. It may be an administrative error. Make sure it’s not fraud or identity theft, take the necessary steps to fix it.
If you find an error, contact the lender and any other organizations that may be involved. Notify them of potential fraud.
- If it is a fraud, you must:
- request that a note be added to your credit file
- contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center is Canada’s central agency that collects criminal information and intelligence on topics such as fraud and identity theft.
Add a fraud alert
A fraud alert notifies lenders that they must contact you and confirm your identity before approving any credit application. The aim is to prevent any subsequent fraud.
someone broke into your house
You may be required to provide identification and an affidavit to prove that you have been defrauded.
You can add a fraud alert for free with Equifax. TransUnion charges a fee of $5 plus tax to add a fraud alert to your file.
Correct errors in your credit report
You have the right to dispute any information in your credit report that you believe is inaccurate. Ask the credit bureau to correct errors for free.
Strengthen your case
Collect all receipts, statements and any other documents related to your credit accounts. You may need it to justify your request.