Your credit report is a summary of your credit history. It starts when you borrow money for the first time. Lenders send information about your accounts to credit reporting agencies to be included on your credit report. Businesses, organizations and individuals can use your credit report to help make decisions about many things including lending money to you, collecting a debt, renting a property, or offering you a job.
Your credit report contains a lot of personal information so it is important to understand what can be reported and who can have access to this information.
The law covers what can be included in a credit report and who can see it. Individuals and businesses can have a credit report; the law applies to both.
Read the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
What is included on my credit report?
- Information to accurately identify you such as your name, address or employer.
- Information about financial obligations. Your report will include the name of any lenders, the amount owed, and details about payment history.
- Financial and legal information about debts that have been sent to collection agencies, bankruptcies or court judgments.
- Any requests for information from creditors or other businesses and individuals.
Who can see my credit report?
Nobody can access your credit report without your consent. Anyone who wants to view your credit report must be able to prove that you have given them permission. Normally, when you seek credit, you are agreeing that the lender can view your credit report. This is usually in the fine print.
There are certain situations where your credit information may be released to law enforcement agencies, or the courts (by court order).
If you are worried that someone is accessing your credit report without your permission, contact the credit reporting agency and ask them to clarify who has access to your report. If you still have concerns, contact us.
What if the information on my credit report is not correct?
If your credit report shows the wrong personal information, or has incorrect details of your debt, here’s what to do:
Step 1: If there is an error for the amount owing, contact the original creditor to try and make the correction.
Step 2: Contact the reporting agency, either TransUnion or Equifax, to ask that they fix the error.
Step 3: You have the option to enter a 100-word statement on your credit report to explain the error. Contact the reporting agency directly to submit your statement. This is included every time your credit report is accessed.
Step 4: If you have tried the above steps, and you have concerns about the accuracy of your personal information on your credit report, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (OIPC) may be able to assist.
Make a complaint to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Read the Personal Information Protection Act.
How can I add a statement to my credit report?
You have the right to enter a 100-word statement to your credit report. This statement will give you the chance to explain any information that you feel is relevant to your credit. You can submit your statement by sending it directly to the credit reporting agency. This is included every time your credit report is accessed.
If the credit reporting agency does not allow you to submit a 100-word explanation on your credit report, you can contact us
for further help.
Read our consumer tips:
Links to external resources:
Credit reports and scores (from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada)
Buying goods on credit, credit cards and credit bureaus (from Clicklaw and the Canadian Bar Association)