According to several home buyer surveys, lots of people get surprised by at least one piece of information in their credit report. It only takes one bad item to create a roadblock to getting the lowest mortgage rate possible, or even getting a home mortgage at all.
It’s important to know what’s in your credit report before you shop for a new home. Then you will have the opportunity to deal with any unexpected issues.
As an example, you might find an error, which is not unusual. If you do find there is a mistake in your credit report, inform the credit bureau immediately. They are required, by law, to promptly make a correction.
If there are late payments noted on your credit report, you can write a letter of explanation to the credit bureau telling your side of the story. This will accompany the credit information that goes to your lender. Assuming everything else in your credit report is fairly good, most lenders will accept a reasonable explanation for late payments, such as being laid off from a job, an extended illness in the family, or military service overseas.
How do you get your credit report?
There are two major credit bureaus in Canada:
All have websites that allow you to order your credit report for a reasonable fee. It’s a good idea to order both credit reports as not all companies report credit information to both bureaus.
Getting your credit report, and checking that it’s accurate, will make the home buying process go a lot more smoothly.
Get a free credit report
Order a copy of your credit report from both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. Each credit bureau may have different information about how you have used credit in the past. Ordering your own credit report has no effect on your credit score.
Equifax Canada refers to your credit report as “credit file disclosure”.
TransUnion Canada refers to your credit report as “consumer disclosure”.
Order by mail or fax
Order by telephone
- Call the credit bureau and follow the instructions
- Equifax Canada
- TransUnion Canada
Tel: 1-800-663-9980 (except Quebec)
Tel: 1-877-713-3393 (Quebec residents)
- Equifax Canada
- Confirm your identity by answering a series of personal and financial questions
- You may also need to provide your Social Insurance Number and/or a credit card number to confirm your identity
- You must receive your credit report by mail