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Someone asked me for a credit check. What does this mean?

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Someone asked me for a credit check. What does this mean?
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Community Advocacy & Legal Centre (CALC)
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)

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Someone asked me for a credit check. What does this mean?
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Reviewed: 
March 23, 2017
Answer

If someone asks you for a credit check, it means they want to see a copy of your credit report.

Often, someone asks for a credit check before they decide to:

  • lend you money, which is called giving you credit
  • give you a credit card
  • rent you a house or apartment
  • hire you or promote you at work
  • sell you insurance
  • do other business with you

Your credit report is a detailed history of how you have paid your bills—things like your credit cards, hydro bills, rent, and any loans you have. Your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. Your credit score is used to predict if you will be able to pay back what you owe and make payments on time.

Consumer reporting agencies create your credit report. Equifax and TransUnion are the two main consumer reporting agencies in Canada.

A credit report includes both credit information and personal information the reporting agency gathers about you. For example, the agencies track when and if you pay your debts. They also use information from public sources, like court records.

Your credit report contains 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
  • what the limit on the debt is (for example, if your credit card limit is $1,000)

You have the right to correct and check the information on your credit report. Equifax and TransUnion must give you a copy of your credit report for free once a year if you ask. It is a good idea to check your credit report regularly.

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