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Personal Credit Report

Calgary Select: Personal Credit Report

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Does your credit report paint a pretty picture?

34_creditreport.jpg(NC)-If you're like most Canadians, you probably know that information on your credit history is on file, somewhere. But did you know that you can get a summary of your credit history mailed to you, free of charge?

Your credit history

If you've ever taken out a loan or used a credit card, you have a credit history. Every financial institution that gives you credit also sends information to credit-reporting agencies (or credit bureaus) about how much time it takes you to pay back money you borrow. If your credit is not good, a lender may charge you a higher interest rate or refuse to give you a loan. Landlords may also refuse to rent you an apartment. Needless to say, an error in your credit file could cause you difficulties.

Your credit report

A credit report, which is a "snapshot" of your credit history, is what potential lenders see when they check your credit. Fortunately, you can see for yourself what's in your credit report. If you ask them, all three credit-reporting agencies in Canada will mail you a copy of your credit report, free of charge. You can contact these agencies as follows:

Equifax Canada

Web site: www.equifax.ca

Tel. (toll-free): 1-800-465-7166

TransUnion Canada

Web site: www.tuc.ca

Tel. (toll-free): 1-866-525-0262

Northern Credit Bureaus Inc.

Web site: www.creditbureau.ca

Fax (toll-free): 1-800-646-5876

It's a good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from all three agencies once a year and review it carefully, to make sure there are no errors. If you do find an error, it's in your interest to get it corrected immediately.

If you have difficulty understanding the information in your credit report, help is available. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) offers a guide on how to interpret the information and get errors corrected, as well as how to improve your credit rating. You can order the guide, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score, by calling FCAC toll-free at: 1-888-461-3222. You can also download it at: www.fcac.gc.ca.

- News Canada