I promise I’m not making this up. There is no catch here, just an honest dude passing along some quality information on getting your free credit report. I’m sure you’re thinking, “there is nothing free, what’s the catch?”, and I assure you there is no catch. Getting your credit report is free and available to everyone. I know that very few things in life are free, you even have to pay to use the toilet in some places, but getting your credit report is FREE. I’ve done it many times (once a year usually) and never paid a dime to get my free credit report. So, if a clumsy person like my self can do it, I assure you that you can as well.
I’ve written before on the importance of getting your credit report every six months ideally, but once a year at the bare minimum. Getting your credit report is super easy and available free of charge from both Canadian credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax.
I also want to clarify something. A free credit report is a free credit report. However, it does not include your credit score. This is your magical number that all creditors look at when deciding whether to grant you credit or not. Despite that these free credit reports don’t carry your credit score number, it is still very worthwhile to get your credit report.
By getting your free credit report, you are ensuring everything is correct. Cross checking to ensure that all the information is correct, all the credit cards and loans are yours and most importantly it gives you the opportunity to check for any fraudulent activity.
Frustration kicking in….
I’m sure that you’ve heard friends or someone within your circle get their free credit report. And, I’m sure you went online and did your search by typing in “free” and “credit report” into the search engine. And you became frustrated, because you were lead to a bunch of websites offering you free credit reports, only after you click on a bazillion ads, type in information you don’t want to type in and jump through many hoops. I know all about this. I feel your pain. I was this exact person a few years back, but not anymore.
Like I said….it’s FREE!
There are two simple ways to get your free credit report in Canada, either from Equifax or TransUnion:
- Via Telephone
- Via Email
It’s obvious that the credit bureaus don’t make it easy for you to obtain you free credit report, but with a little guidance and searching in the right location, getting your free credit report will be a breeze. I did promise that this will be free, but it does take a little work:
You can do it over the phone by calling the following numbers:
TransUnion (within Quebec) 1-877-713-3393
You can also do it via mail by simply completing a simple application and mailing it in the address listed below, either for TransUnion or Equifax respectively. You can also fax in your form, I did it last year (2011) and it worked. Now, I’m not going to lie, there was a bit of confusion, but I got my free credit report in roughly three weeks.
Here are the forms to mail in:
The forms are simple and straightforward to fill out. You will need to send a copy of two pieces of ID and a copy of a credit card, T4 slip or social insurance number to go along with your application. I would recommend for an added piece of mind to track your postage, it will cost you roughly $3.50 (Ontario) and you will know when it was received, just in case you want to follow up……just saying, ya know.
If you’re ordering via phone, just have your social insurance number handy. It’s a computerized phone call, which will guide you through step by step by asking you some questions. It just wants to verify that it’s really you.
Added value by spending some money!
If you want to see your credit score and your report in one shot, you have to spend it to get it. Is it worth it? Hell yeah. Everyone should know their magical number. Its a peace of mind, security and undoubtedly it will give an instant confidence boost.
The paid in depth reports will show you your credit score, but they are not free. Currently I believe that TransUnion charges $14.95 and Equifax charges $23.95. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s money well spent. So, why pay a price versus convenience? Simply you’re paying for the price of convenience. You get to see your report instantly, versus waiting for it to come in the mail.
I ordered my report, so what do I with it?
When your FREE credit report arrives via mail, double check that all information is correct. Starting with your address, name, loans, credit cards and any other credit you’ve taken out. You want to make sure that everything in the report is totally accurate.
For some odd reason (and it happened to me) that the credit bureau has incorrect information about your credit use, you must call them right away and work out the discrepancy.
What are your thoughts on free credit reports? Have you ever taken one out?