Tag Archives: free credit report

Temporary Free Credit Report Online

Inside of 10 minutes online you can get yourself a free New Years’ present. Equifax is the largest credit bureau in Canada, used by over 80% of lenders to make their decisions. Right  now, Equifax will give you your free credit report online.

You can go to: Equifax.ca and click on the top “learn more” section where it says Equifax’s response to Covid-19. Or here is the direct link to a better section at: https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/products/credit-report/

Make absolutely sure to check that you do not have a tick mark on any subscription or their upsell to other things. They cost a bunch of money and you do not need them! Since less than 20% of adults have ever seen their credit report, now would be a great time to do that.

Why bother? The same reason you have a physical and go to the dentist for a checkup. This is your credit health – and it’s free and you can do it from home! Almost a quarter of adults have errors in there that are serious enough to be turned down for credit. You can’t fix what you don’t know. Plus, millions of people took advantage of mortgage or loan deferrals this spring. This is your chance to make sure your lender has coded it correctly as a deferral and not as arrears!

What will you get in your report? It’ll be 4 or 5 pages in total. The first section is just your personal information such as address, etc. The next section shows you which company looked at your credit report. Look through it for anyone you don’t know that is looking at your credit and shouldn’t be.

The main section shows each of your borrowing items. So for a credit card it’ll show when it was opened, your credit limit, last statement balance, and minimum payment and how many times you’ve been a month, two months or three months behind. Needless to say, this is the most critical section to go through because it’s 35% of your credit score.

If something is wrong, the law states that they have to fix it when you challenge something in there. The bottom of your report will give you the information. Of course, the Money Tools book has an entire chapter on the what, the why and how to of your report. You’ll have access to it for 30-days and should print it off and keep it.

The (Last) Half Hour

For the past two weeks, we talked about a number of financial steps that can be done inside of half an hour that will have a significant impact on your financial life.

Do a budget just once
Set up a separate savings account
See your payroll department: Fill out the payroll form to have some money deducted right off your cheque
Apply for a charge card that has no monthly payments and makes you pay the balance in full each month
Set up a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account)
Get your kids or grandkids on track with one-third of their money into savings, one-third to giving, and one-third for spending.

Here are the final three steps. We’ve saved the best, or most important, for last:

-Get your free credit report: Once a year you’re entitled to see your credit report. It’s the snapshot of what all lenders report about you. Go to Equifax.ca for the form. It’s free by mail with some ID, or spend the few bucks and get it online. You have to know what’s in your credit file. About one-third of credit files have errors big enough to prevent you from getting preferred interest rates or getting approved at all. You can’t change what you don’t know.

-Make a financial date night with your partner: In relationships, most people do not want to talk about money, debts, or budgeting. Small wonder money and money arguments are the top reasons for divorce. Take half an hour, longer if you can, and just talk about the state of your finances, bills, budget, and what your goals and dreams are. It’s your partner in more than title. It isn’t HER money or HIS money – it’s our money.

If only one of you handles all that, you’re in trouble. The partner in control isn’t your Mommy or Daddy, and the other partner often starts to rebel by dialing out, making an argument, getting entrenched about THEIR money, or lashing out through stupid spending or hiding debts. You need to do this together.

-Cash out your points: Take half an hour and look at the various points or rewards you’re chasing. Unless you’re honestly on track for something big, cash them out. Many expire and even more never get used. Don’t do it – get them redeemed. Rough rule of thumb is the best bang for your buck – or points – is to redeem them for gasoline gift cards. That way they turn to real cash, and you’re guaranteed to use them up. Plan B is to buy that toaster with points, instead of going to a retailer and buying it for half the money…

Today you haven’t reached your financial dreams or goals yet. But you’re one day close than you were yesterday. That’s assuming you have dreams or goals. After all, you can’t reach what you don’t work towards.