TransUnion.ca Provides Tips to Help Canadians Get their Credit Profile in Shape
Many Canadians are dealing with the effects of the ongoing economic crisis – from potential layoffs to mounting credit card debt and increased scrutiny from lenders. Consumers must take a more active interest in understanding their credit file to ensure it remains healthy now and in the future.
But a new survey commissioned by TransUnion.ca and conducted by Zogby International reveals nearly half of Canadians are unaware of what impacts their credit score, and three in four don’t understand what information is included on their credit file.
“It’s critical that consumers understand and familiarize themselves with how lenders and other creditors are viewing them,” said Tom Reid, director of consumer solutions for TransUnion.ca. ”Monitoring their TransUnion credit profile and score on an ongoing basis can help consumers ensure that the credit they’ve earned is accurately reflected, and help guard against the potentially damaging impact of fraud and identity theft all at the same time.”
In order for Canadians to maintain a healthy credit file, TransUnion.ca recommends tracking the following credit and financial vital signs:
- The Credit File. Your TransUnion credit profile is divided into six main sections: personal information (address, date of birth and employment), consumer statement, account histories, public records, inquiries and creditor contacts. Regularly monitoring your credit file with a service like the one offered through TransUnion.ca can help ensure accuracy, allow you to detect possible fraudulent activity and recognize areas for possible improvement.
- The Credit Score. There are five main characteristics that go into a credit score which is why it is so important to organize and manage your finances on a regular basis. By keeping track of the following components: payment history, amount of debt currently owed, length of credit history, recent applications for credit, and the types of credit you are using, you can help ensure your overall credit file is in good standing.
- The Due Date. Remember that negative records such as late payments and collection accounts can remain on a credit report for up to 6 years from the date of first delinquency, so it’s critical that consumers make at least the minimum payment every month to avoid these negative records. Bankruptcies that have been discharged can remain on your report for up to 7 years depending on provincial legislation and where there are multiple bankruptcies, they can remain on your report for up to 14 years.
- The Updates. Your credit file will constantly change as information is updated by your creditors. So, getting in the habit of checking your credit regularly starting today can help you remain in good financial shape down the road.
For more information about credit management, visit www.transunion.ca.
Zogby International was commissioned by TransUnion.ca to conduct an online survey of 500 Canadian adults from 7/16/09 through 7/20/09. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.