Monday, September 17, 2012

How to get a credit report for free

After moving to Canada I have faced with a new lifestyle requirement called credit history. Why lifestyle? Because your credit report reflects how you live, how you pay your debts, how reliable you are. Credit report includes your credit score, which represents your creditworthiness. In easy language based on this score financial institutions decide to provide you a loan/mortgage/credit card or not... The credit history is recorded and maintained by credit bureaus. To be honest in Azerbaijan no one does this records and there is no credit bureau in Azerbaijan. Therefore, for people who immigrated to Canada from Azerbaijan is very difficult to get first credit card or a loan. I faced with the same issue when applied for my first credit card here. The only way of getting a credit card was depositing an amount of the credit line to a restricted deposit account.  But obtaining a credit card was an only way for me to start my credit history in Canada. There are also options to obtain a small loan in order to start the history. However, without having a credit history it is almost impossible to receive a loan. 

In Canada there are two major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. If you visit their websites by clicking of the names, you can see that they offer your credit report by paying $15. And usually people are paying it to get the report. However, if you read all page with more attention you can see that in "Other Credit Services" box it says that "You can receive a free credit file disclosure from Equifax Canada Inc. via Canada Post". And this message has a link to an application form. You just need to fill it out and fax or mail it to them along with the required documents. The report will not show your credit score, but will show your credit history. If you want to see your credit score you can fill you credit card details bottom of the application which will cost you $12, $3 less than if you apply online. Please note that this requests is noted in your credit report, but it has no effect on your credit score. I believe that getting free reports and maintaining your credit history is very good tool for getting financing/mortgage approvals easily. Paper copy of the reports should be received within 5-10 days. If you decide to order a report with the score you should be able to read the report. Here is some information about how to understand your report and score.  

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