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There are two credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and Transunion (there was a 3rd, American company, but it appears to be defunct). Contrary to the prices listed all over their websites, they’re obligated to provide you with one free credit report every 12 months. You should make a request to each organization, as they don’t seem to synchronize their data in our experience, and where things may look great with one, could look terrible with the other. Bonus points with your request if you ask their respective privacy officers who they provide your personal information too, they’re required by Canadian privacy legislation to respond to this request.

Making this request has several benefits, from our perspective, the main benefit is that this is the best way you can determine if you’ve become victim to identity fraud. Also, it gives you an ideas of what financial institutions think about you, the next time you want to apply for credit, a loan or mortgage. We also think you’ll be surprised when you see how many organizations they provide this information too.

The Equifax Credit Report Request form (pdf)

Transunion Customer Disclosure Request Form (pdf)

Once you’ve sent these off, add them to your calendar to repeat the exercise in 12 months from now.