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Equifax Canada: Other Topics and Resources for Canadian consumers looking for credit information about credit reports and credit scores

From: Equifax Canada
Date: Current

Obtaining a copy of your credit information file on a regular basis is an important step in managing your financial situation. Just as important is gaining an understanding of other credit-related issues and resources. In this section of CanadianCreditCenter.com, you can find credit information about Equifax Canada's privacy policies and practices, and consult Common Topics and Resources for information on financial subjects such as fraud, credit scoring, counselling and more. There are many reputable sources of credit information on matters concerning personal credit. We've tried to gather all the best credit information into this web site.

QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED BY CANADIAN CONSUMERS OF EQUIFAX CANADA:

* Why was I denied credit?

* Does Equifax use consumer credit information to market consumer products and services, or sell my name to direct mail companies?

* How does divorce affect consumer credit?

* What is a credit score?

* Is the credit score part of my credit file?

* How is my credit file affected if I was a co-signer on a loan and the person on whose behalf I co-signed fell behind in their payments?

* Can I get advice and assistance if I have credit problems?

* How can I establish and maintain a good credit rating?

* Should I go to a Credit Repair Clinic to fix my poor credit rating?

* What if I am planning to do a major renovation or make a large purchase; can I protect myself from dealing with a company that may not be reputable or commercially viable?

ANSWERS PROVIDED BY EQUIFAX CANADA:

Why was I denied credit?
Equifax neither grants nor denies any application for credit. We simply provide a factual account of your credit history to credit grantors. The credit grantor reviews this information and makes an independent decision based on its own policies. You can call Equifax to establish whether there was negative information on your credit file that may have prevented you from receiving credit.

Does Equifax use consumer credit information to market consumer products and services, or sell my name to direct mail companies?
Equifax does not do this.

How does divorce affect consumer credit?
A divorce decree does not supersede the original contract with the creditor, and does not release you from legal responsibility on your accounts. You must contact each creditor and seek their release of your obligation. Only after that release can your credit history be updated accordingly.

What is a credit score?
A credit score is a numeric value assigned by credit grantors to indicate how likely someone is to pay back a loan or credit card according to the agreed repayment terms. It is an indicator of the level of risk that a borrower might represent. It is used as a predictor of future performance.
Much like a life insurance company that reviews your medical history to determine the insurance risk when you apply for a life insurance policy, credit grantors review your financial history to determine your credit risk. Credit grantors often use an automated scoring process to help make that risk assessment.

A credit score is only one piece of information credit grantors use when evaluating your application for credit. Some credit scores may be based solely on information in your credit file. Other scores may be based on a combination of credit file information and other information you supply on your credit application. Generally, scores use your past credit history to help predict how you might manage credit in the future.

Is the credit score part of my credit file?
The credit score is not part of your credit file.

How is my credit file affected if I was a co-signer on a loan and the person on whose behalf I co-signed fell behind in their payments?
If you are a co-signer to a loan, the activities related to that loan will usually be reported by the credit grantor on both the file of the primary borrower and the co-signer. However, reporting policies may vary amongst credit grantors.
Therefore where there is a default in payment, a note indicating that the loan is in default will appear on the credit file of the co-signer.

Can I get advice and assistance if I have credit problems?
Yes, you may obtain assistance from various organizations. For example, Consumer Credit Counselling Services (CCCS) are non-profit organizations that offer free or low-cost financial counselling to help people solve their financial problems. For more information, see Credit Counselling.

How can I establish and maintain a good credit rating?
There are a few simple ways to keep a solid credit rating. First, pay your bills promptly and always meet payment due dates. Borrow only the amount you can afford to repay. Draw up a budget to control your spending. If you have debts, pay them off as scheduled or even ahead of schedule. And finally, review your credit file regularly to stay informed about the details in your credit file.

Should I go to a Credit Repair Clinic to fix my poor credit rating?
You may see advertisements for Credit Repair Clinics in the classified sections of newspapers, with claims that they can "fix" bad credit reports, for a fee. Only responsible credit practices over time can improve a poor credit history. (Editor's Note: In Canada the only reputable way to repair your bad credit and improve your poor credit ratings is a "secured credit card" like the one offered by HomeTrust VISA. By demonstrating your responsible use of credit, you should see a better credit score with 12-24 months).

Credit counseling organizations are not the same as Credit Repair Clinics, and can offer you professional advice on how to improve your credit practices. For more information on several reputable credit counselling agencies, go see Credit Counselling.

What if I am planning to do a major renovation or make a large purchase; can I protect myself from dealing with a company that may not be reputable or commercially viable?
Equifax has the single largest commercial credit database about Canadian companies. We have credit reports on over 2 million businesses. You can order a commercial credit report about a company with which you are planning to do business.

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EQUIFAX CANADA OTHER TOPICS & RESOURCES FOR CANADIAN CONSUMERS
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Equifax Canada offers a wealth of financial topics and resources for Canadians trying to understand their money situation in Canada.


 

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