Does your credit report know you better than you know yourself? Unless you’re a real financial nerd (respect), you may only have a vague idea about the personal information that’s listed in your credit report.
Your credit report is created when you open your first credit account or borrow money from a bank. Your lender contacts the credit bureaus (or major credit reporting agencies) with information about your accounts. The credit bureau then uses that data to create your personal credit report. It provides an overview of your history with credit, and it can give you insight into how lenders see you when considering you for a loan or credit card.
Your credit history, all in one place.
Your credit report provides a summary of your credit history and includes details about who you are. No, no, we’re not talking about whether you’re a parsley or cilantro person. Or whether you like to watch TV with the subtitles on. We’re talking about hard facts. Like your name, date of birth and, of course, your credit activity.
Here’s an overview of some of the things you might find in your report:
Personal information like your name, date of birth, social insurance number, driver’s license, passport number and current and previous employers, addresses and phone numbers.
Credit inquiries that count as hard hits. A hard hit is when a lender checks your credit history to make credit decisions like approving or rejecting a loan application, and it can impact your credit score. A soft hit is sometimes used to see if you’d qualify for certain credit offers without being tied to an application, and doesn’t impact your score.
Information about your credit history including your credit accounts and when they were opened, how much you owe on each account and if you’ve missed any payments or gone over your credit limit. It also includes closed accounts.
Other financial information like fraudulent accounts, money owed or non-sufficient funds payments, which is when there isn’t enough money in your account to cover the amount of a cheque you wrote (a.k.a. a bounced cheque).
Information from public records such as a bankruptcy or debts that are being handled by a collections agency.
Learn about how this information may appear in your report on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s website. They also feature a sample credit report for your reference.
Want to know more? Next up, we break down the benefits of checking your report.