Alternatives to Bankruptcy in Canada
How Do I Check My Credit Rating in Canada?
NOTE - Bankruptcy Trustees do not report to or have access to Canada's Credit Bureau information.
Every piece of credit history information in your credit file is assigned a rating by the credit grantor. The most common ratings are "R" ratings. These are known as North American Standard Account Ratings and are the most frequently used. The "R" indicates that the item being described involves revolving credit. If you always pay on time, it will be coded an R1. If an amount was written off because you never paid it back, it is coded R9. The R ratings are a coding system that translates "on time", "one month late", "two months late", etc. into two-digit codes.
Bad debt; placed for collection; moved without giving a new address; bankruptcy
Other rating indicators that might be found on a report are "I" for installment credit or "O" for open credit line.
Investigating Your Own Credit Rating
Under consumer legislation governed by each province, you are entitled to a copy of all the information a credit agency has on you.
There are three credit reporting agencies in Canada: Equifax, Northern Credit Bureaus and Trans Union.
If you want a copy of your credit report, mail or fax a request with copies of two pieces of identification to the
companies. In a couple of weeks, they will mail your report to you. The service is free.
If you do not wish to wait, you can visit the offices of Credit Counselling Services of Alberta in Calgary or Edmonton to obtain a copy of your Equifax Credit Report. The cost is $15.00 and you must bring 2 pieces of ID. OR purchase your credit report online from Equifax for $14.50
You can dispute errors in your report. Information on how to dispute bad information is included in the written credit report you will receive from the bureau.
The credit bureau is obligated to review your complaints, however you must supply all the material they ask for on their forms. The forms, which accompany your personal credit report, explain how to file disputes and get corrections made. It can be a drawn out process, but be persistent.
If the credit bureau won't correct your file, ask them to mark the file "in dispute." You may also exercise your right to have a statement (100 words or less) inserted into your credit report to explain your side of the story to potential creditors.
A final note: if you cannot get the agency to make changes, you may want to contact your provincial consumer department. In Alberta, try contacting Alberta Government Services .
Consumer Relations Department
Box 190 Jean Talon Station