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Credit Rating & Credit History

Your credit rating (or credit score) – is in large part an evaluation of your credit history by your creditors . It is an indication of how confident your lenders are that you will repay your debts on time.

Equifax and Trans Union are the two main agencies that keep and report on credit history in Canada. The information in their files is sent to them by the companies (ie credit card companies, retail stores, finance companies) and banks that give out credit. They also receive information from collection agencies and the Government (regarding the status of Bankruptcies and Proposals).
In Ontario, most bankruptcies are taken off your credit report six to seven years after discharge – however a second bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 14 years. Proposals are purged three years after completion.

Credit History Files/Records/Credit Report

A normal credit file will contain the following types of information on you:

  • Your Identification – name, address, date of birth, and Social Insurance Number (where authorized)
  • Inquiries – who has gotten a copy of your credit file in the last three years
  • Public Record Information – mortgages, vehicle loans, most secured loans, bankruptcies, court collection actions, etc
  • Third-Party Collection Agencies – if and when a debt of yours was sent to a collection agency – and the outcome
  • Transaction Information – details on your use and payment of credit transactions. Each transaction item is assigned a rating by the creditor – usually a rating from R0 to R9. R0 indicates that the item is too new to evaluate – R9 indicates the item is considered a bad debt, has gone to collection or you are in bankruptcy
  • Consumer Statement – comments you have asked to be added to your file. Usually they are your explanations of your credit situation

The information in your credit file is only released with your permission. Normally as part of an application for credit, you are asked to authorize its release.

Get a Free Copy of Your Credit History

You have the right to get a free copy of your credit file. Remember, your credit rating (credit score) is not part of your credit file – so you may have to pay extra to find out what it is. Checking your credit history will alert you to possible identify theft, give you an opportunity to correct errors, and show you how well you are doing in terms of your credit history. For your free credit file – contact Equifax or Trans Union. Note – the process for getting your credit history is time consuming and irritating – but the agencies releasing this information have to be certain that any file they release is being released to the right person.
Equifax  – free credit report. 1-800-465-7166
Trans Union – free credit report.  1-800-663-9980

How To Build A Good Credit History

  • Keep your spending under control
  • Know the difference between a need and a want
  • Make your bill and loan payments in-full and on time
  • If possible, pay your debts off early
  • Keep your borrowing to those amounts you can comfortably pay back
  • Check your credit history periodically to make sure it is accurate and up to date

If You Have Poor Credit History

The only way to repair your credit history (other than by fixing errors in your credit history) is to practice sound credit skills (see above How To Build a Good Credit History) over time. It will take a few years to recover damage done by poor credit practices, but in time, even a person who declares bankruptcy can earn a sound credit record.

If You Cannot Fix Your Credit on Your Own

If you cannot see any way to repay your debts in a reasonable time – you may need to speak to a local Bankruptcy Trustee. In the Greater Toronto Area, David Sklar & Associates will work with you to evaluate your credit and debt problems – and to help you find a solution. Call 416-498-9200 or get started with our Quick Assessment Form to book your Free Consultation with the experts at David Sklar & Associates.

We Can Help

If your debt problems seem insurmountable – we can help. At David Sklar & Associates, our Licensed Debt ProfessionalsTM have the experience and knowledge to help you get out of debt. During your consultation, we will help you understand what your current financial situation is, how best to fix it, and how to move on to a better life. With six offices in the Greater Toronto Area – we are here to help.

Call Us Today For a Confidential & Free Initial Consultation Call 416-498-9200