If you are thinking of buying a home in the near future and applying for a mortgage it might be helpful to check your credit report before applying. Not only will this help you understand your own credit score, it will give you the opportunity to check for, and correct if necessary, any errors.

A credit report is a summary of your financial history and shows whether or not you have had any problems in the past paying off debts.

For more information on understanding your credit report and score, please visit: https://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng/resources/publications/creditLoans/Pages/Understa-Comprend-16.aspx

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), a federal government agency, has tips on how to order your credit report for free and how to improve your credit rating.

Even if you’re not thinking about buying a house it might be advisable to order your credit report so you have an idea of how it looks.

What is a credit report?

If you have ever used a credit card, taken out a personal loan, or used a "buy now, pay later" offer, you have a credit history.

Your credit report is created when you borrow money or apply for credit for the first time. Lenders send information about your accounts to the credit reporting agencies. Your credit report also includes personal information that is available in public records, such as a bankruptcy.

Your credit report contains factual information about your credit cards and loans, such as:

  • when you opened your account
  • how much you owe
  • whether you make your payments on time
  • whether you miss payments
  • whether you go over your credit limit.

Mobile phone and Internet accounts may be reported, even though they are not credit accounts.

Chequing and savings accounts that have been closed “for cause,” due to money owing or fraud committed by the account holder, can also be included.