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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Nash

Understanding Your Credit Report

Let's talk about your credit report; also knowns as your credit bureau. There are two main consumer reporting agencies in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. These reporting agencies collect and compile your credit history from banks, other financial institutions and other offices that may report to them; like collection agencies and the courts. They then produce a file, your credit report, and provide it to banks and other lenders to assist them in knowing whether they should take a risk to lend you funds. In other words, they tell the story of your credit worthiness.

It is important to note that Equifax and TransUnion do NOT make lending decisions. That decision lies solely with the lender processing the application; and, each lender will have their own criteria and guidelines that will need to be met.

Where do credit bureaus get their information?

Credit bureaus use different sources for collecting information, and not all third parties report to the three major credit bureaus. This means that each of your credit reports may contain different information. Creditors keep the credit bureaus updated with your account status and payment history — two factors that contribute to your credit scores.

Speaking of credit scores, there are many different credit scoring models used by credit bureaus and other entities. As a result, your credit score may vary between the three nationwide credit bureaus — even if all of your creditors report to all three. While many do, some creditors may report to only two, one or none at all.

What types of information are on credit reports?

  • Personal information, such as your name and address

  • Credit account information, including payment history, balance of an account, when the account was opened, date of the last activity, high credit on the account and the credit limit on the account

  • Inquiry information

  • Debt collections

  • Bankruptcies

It's important to note some companies may take these factors and others into consideration when evaluating your application for credit.

Credit bureaus can also provide information to banks and insurance companies to help these companies identify consumers who can potentially take advantage of specific products. This is part of how pre-approved credit card and mortgage refinance offers work.

In the early stages of the mortgage pre-approval process, I will pull your credit bureau, with your written permission, and we will review the details together. It is important to understand your credit report and if there are any discrepancies I can work with your to ensure they are resolved!

Article sourced from Equifax (


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