Frequently Asked Questions

Q How do I initiate a dispute?
A. There are two ways you can launch a dispute into item(s) on your report:

Over the telephone – Simply call 1-800-663-9980 to reach one of our TransUnion representatives for assistance with your inquiry.
In writing - Click Here for mailing instructions and TransUnion requirements
 

Q How does the dispute process work?
A. At your request, TransUnion will verify any credit information disputed by you. In order to complete this request, we contact the organization reporting the information and verify its accuracy. We recommend that you not apply for credit while a dispute is pending.

Investigations are typically concluded within 30 days of the date we receive your request. If we cannot verify the disputed information, the item is removed from your credit report or updated as requested. We notify the companies that have made a recent inquiry to your file that an amendment was made and we send you notice, by Canada Post, at the conclusion of the investigation.

If our investigation verifies that the information is reporting correctly, you may add a 100-word explanatory statement in your report to explain your dispute. Exception: 200 words in Saskatchewan.

 
Q How do I add a Consumer Statement to my credit report?
A If our investigation verifies that the information is reporting correctly, you may add a 100-word explanatory statement in your report to explain your dispute. Exception: 200 words in Saskatchewan. TransUnion requires the request in writing accompanied by a minimum of two pieces of acceptable identification. Together these combined pieces must contain your name, current address, date of birth and signature.

This statement is referred to as a consumer statement. This statement should serve as an explanation of item(s) contained in your credit history to companies viewing your credit report. Your statement can be removed at any time at your written request otherwise is maintained on your file for 6 years. All information should be supplied, with your signature to:

Correspondence in English
TransUnion Consumer Relations Department
3115 Harvester Road,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

Correspondence in French
Centre de relations aux Consommateurs TransUnion
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

 
Q Why can’t I dispute my credit score?
A A score is a numeric evaluation of your credit file made at a particular time (i.e. when an inquiry is made by a creditor). Therefore, a score is not part of your credit report.
As the information in your credit report changes, the score may change. Credit history information in your credit report, such as the number of credit related inquiries, outstanding balances, number of accounts, age of account, etc, is considered when calculating the score. Therefore, we are unable to accept a dispute regarding your credit score. We can however, investigate the information on your credit report if you believe it is inaccurate or incomplete.  If your report is updated, this may have an effect on your score if the change includes one of the factors mentioned above.

Q How do I remove or update my Fraud Statement?
A Should you wish to remove the protective statement from your credit report or extend its expiration, TransUnion requires the request in writing accompanied by a minimum of two pieces of acceptable identification. Together these combined pieces must contain your name, current address, date of birth and signature.

Please note: If your disputed account(s) have not been deemed fraud by a creditor, your statement will be removed.

Should you wish to amend the address or phone number you have provided, you will be required to send a minimum of two pieces valid, non expired acceptable identification that verifies the change in address. Any changes to the statement such as your contact details will also extend the warning for additional 6 years for the updated date.

All information should be supplied to:

Correspondence in English
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
3115 Harvester Road,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

Correspondence in French
Service d’aide aux victimes de la fraude TransUnion
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8


 
Q How do I know if I’m a victim of fraud?
A If a creditor’s fraud department, government agency or law enforcement agency referred you to the TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department (FVAD), you may already know that you are a fraud victim. Otherwise, you may merely suspect that fraud has occurred. If you are the victim of a credit fraud crime, you should take certain steps to protect yourself and your rights.

Common Signs of Fraud

Signs of Fraud can vary but typical indicators of fraud and / or stolen identity include:
One of your creditors informs you that they have received an application for credit with your name, address and/or Social Insurance Number.
• Telephone calls or letters state that you have been approved or declined by a creditor to which you never applied.
• You no longer receive your credit card statements or you notice pieces of mail are no longer delivered to you.
• Your credit card statement includes unusual purchases.
• A collection agency informs you they are collecting for a defaulted account that has been established with your identity but not opened by you.


 
Q How do I restore my credit after I’ve been a victim of fraud?
A As a victim, you are required to take steps to protect your rights. A criminal using another person’s identity usually uses the person’s name and credit information for a short time. Your credit may have been damaged in the process. With your help and patience, we can help you resolve your situation. To make the process as manageable as possible, we have prepared the following procedures to help you resolve any problems with your creditors, remove inaccurate information from your credit report and prevent any further fraud from occurring. We hope these steps will help clarify your situation.

The following steps will assist you to restore your credit:
Step One: Review your credit report
Review your TransUnion credit file for any unauthorized account and inquiry information. Should any of the information on your credit file not pertain to you, please contact the credit grantor directly and ask about the account or inquiry.


Step Two: Contact Creditors
Explain your situation to the credit grantor and ask for an explanation of the procedures for fraudulent accounts or charges. You may be required to complete an “Affidavit of Fraud” and / or send additional documentation. These may include a police report, a copy of your driver’s license and documents from other credit card companies confirming the accounts as fraudulent. Once each creditor acknowledges fraud, ask the creditor to send you and all major credit reporting agencies a letter of confirmation.
We suggest you keep a log of all phone conversations when dealing with each Credit Card Company and financial institution. Record all dates, names and notes about what you discussed with each company. Follow up with each company and ask about the progress of the investigation. Inquiries determined to be fraudulent are removed upon that determination.


Step Three: Contact Credit Reporting Agency
Contact the other major credit reporting agency, Equifax and request that a protective statement be placed onto your credit file. Be sure to ask how long the statement will remain on your report. Ask if any recent activity appears on your credit file. If so, ask for each name, address and / or telephone number of any unauthorized account or inquiry. In addition, ask to receive a copy of your credit file for you to review. Carefully review the reports for any unauthorized activity and also contact those creditors to ask about the account and / or inquiry. Keep in mind that each of the major credit reporting bureaus may have different procedures. It is best that you contact each company and ask what the procedures are.


Step Four: Contact Financial Institutions
Notify your financial institution for suggestions on how to handle your concerns regarding your existing accounts.


Step Five: Contact Service Canada
If you believe your Social Insurance Number (SIN) was used fraudulently, you should contact your local Service Canada Office for advise on protecting your SIN. You should take with you all of your personal identification and any documents you may have which pertain to this situation. To identify an office near you and for more information on this subject, you may visit:
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/


Step Six: Notify TransUnion of Any Fraudulent Accounts Reporting on Your Personal File
If you have received any documentation from credit card companies that were victimized, forward this information to TransUnion. Once your dispute forms and/or documents are received by our office, we contact each creditor involved and verify the account information you are disputing. It may take time for a creditor to investigate your claim that an account is fraudulent. At the completion of our investigation we will send you an updated copy of your credit file, if we have received the appropriate identification, reflecting the results of our investigation.


Step Seven: Order your Credit Report
Order your credit report once a year from all the major credit reporting companies. Check for any unauthorized activity. Should any information on your credit file not pertain to you, contact the creditors and question the account and / or inquiry.
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Q How long does a fraud alert stay on my credit file?
A The statement remains on your file for a period of 6 years from the date reported. The statement requests that creditors viewing your complete report contact you before making a decision to extend credit based on the information in your credit report.

The protective statement is applied to your credit file and a copy of your report will be mailed to you upon receipt of proper identification.

 
Q What is the age of Majority in my Province in which I can place a fraud warning on my file?
A TransUnion does not maintain credit records for individuals under the age of majority in their current province of residence. You must be the age of majority in your province in order to place a fraud alert. The age of majority in the individual provinces and territories of Canada is as stated below:
Province Age of Majority
Alberta 18
British Columbia 19
Manitoba 18
New Brunswick 19
Newfoundland and Labrador 19
North West Territories 19
Nova Scotia 19
Nunavut 19
Ontario 18
Prince Edward Island 18
Quebec 18
Saskatchewan 18
Yukon Territories 19


 
Q What should I do if I'm a possible victim of credit fraud?
A
• Immediately report the incident to the police, especially if it involves stolen identification. Insist on receiving a complaint number.
• Immediately report all stolen cards to the issuers and request new credit cards. Follow up with written notification.
• Notify your bank if your cheques were stolen and close your account.
• Be prepared to fill out Affidavits of forgery to establish your innocence for banks, credit grantors and recipients of stolen cheques. These institutions are joint victims with you and may suffer a financial loss.
• If you believe your Social Insurance Number (SIN) was used fraudulently, you should contact your local Human Resources & Skills Development Office for advise on protecting your SIN. You should take with you all of your personal identification and any documents you may have which pertain to this situation.
• Get a new card, account number and password if you use an ATM card for banking services. Do not renew your old password.
• Notify the postal inspector if you suspect mail theft. Theft of mail is a felony.
• Contact TransUnion’s Fraud Victim Assistance Department and Equifax Canada to place fraud alerts on your credit files. FVAD offers a seven-step program for protecting and assisting all victims of credit fraud.


 
Q How can I update my contact information in my fraud alert?
A To change the contact information in your alert, please contact our Fraud Victim Assistance Department (FVAD). Any changes to the statement need to be sent in writing with two photocopied pieces of identification.
All information should be supplied to:

Correspondence in English
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
3115 Harvester Road,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

Correspondence in French
Service d’aide aux victimes de la fraude TransUnion
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8


 
Q How can I contact your Fraud Department?
A Please contact the Fraud Victim Assistance Department through the following phone or mail channels:

All information should be supplied to:

Correspondence in English
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
3115 Harvester Road,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

Correspondence in French
Service d’aide aux victimes de la fraude TransUnion
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8


 
Q Who else can I contact while I resolve my fraud situation?
A Print this list of phone numbers to use and keep for reference during your fraud resolution process.

Credit Reporting Agencies Fraud Departments

Correspondence in English
TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
3115 Harvester Road,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

Correspondence in French
Service d’aide aux victimes de la fraude TransUnion
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

Equifax Credit Information Services
Consumer Fraud Division
Box 190 Jean Talon Station
Montreal, Quebec
H1S 2Z2
Phone: 1-800-465-7166 or 514-493-2314

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
(formerly known as PhoneBusters)
P.O. Box 686
North Bay, Ontario
P1B 8J8
Phone: 888-495-8501


 
Q If I add the fraud statement for six years, will I still be able to get credit?
A Yes. The statement requests that creditors evaluating your application contact you directly to ensure that you are the person applying for the credit. Once your identity is confirmed, the credit decision and terms are up to the creditor.

 
Q What are some tips for avoiding fraud?
A By reviewing these simple tips, you can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud:
• Do not carry your extra credit cards, social insurance card, birth certificate or passport in your wallet or purse except when necessary. This practice minimizes the amount of information a thief can steal.
• Ensure all mail is re-reouted if you move or change your mailing address.
• Advise creditors of any change of address at the time of your move.
• Install a lockable mailbox at your residence to reduce mail theft.
• To avoid family fraud, avoid family member's access to your accounts. If you allow access, you have just assumed the debt.
• Take credit card receipts with you. Never toss them in a public trash container.
• Never leave your purse or wallet unattended at work or in church, restaurants, health fitness clubs, parties or shopping carts. Never leave your purse or wallet in open view in your car, even when your car is locked.
• Destroy all cheques immediately after you close a chequing account. Destroy or keep in a secure place any courtesy cheques that your bank or credit card company sends you.
• Do not have your bank send your new cheques to your home address. Tell them that you prefer to pick them up.
• Reconcile your cheque and credit card statements in a timely fashion and challenge any purchases you did not make.
• Limit the number of credit cards you have and cancel any inactive accounts.
• Never give any credit card, bank or social insurance information to anyone by telephone, even if you made the call unless you can positively verify that the call is legitimate.
• Minimize exposure of your social insurance and credit card numbers.
• Do not allow an institution to use your social insurance number as an identifier for your account.
• Try to keep your chequing / saving or credit card account separate from your line of credit. If a fraudster gains access to your account, the losses could be severe.
• Avoid easily identifiable PINs (e.g. date of birth).
• Safeguard your credit / debit and ATM card receipts. Shred them before discarding.
• Scrutinize your utility and subscription bills to ensure that the charges are yours.
• Memorize your passwords and personal identification numbers (PIN) so you do not have to write them down. Be aware of your surroundings to ensure no-one is watching you input your PIN.
• Keep a list of all your credit accounts and bank accounts in a secure place so you can quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards. Include account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments.
• Do not toss pre-approved credit offers in your trash or recycling bin without first tearing them into small pieces or shredding them. Dumpster divers use these offers to order credit cards in your name and mail to their address. Always do the same with other sensitive information like credit card receipts, phone bills and such.
• Avoid credit repair scams.
• Order your credit report once a year from all the major credit reporting companies. Check for any unauthorized activity. Should any information not pertaining to you show up on your credit file, contact the creditors and question the account and / or inquiry.


 
Q Does adding a fraud warning prevent information from updating to my credit file?

A A fraud flag does not prevent changes from being made to your file without your authorization. In Ontario, the legislation mandates that financial institutions (and other mandated organizations) upon receipt of a fraud warning, take reasonable steps to identify the consumer that they are entering into specific transactions with. These “reasonable steps” may include contacting the consumer by phone or other steps, as determined by each financial institution. If you wish to monitor changes to your credit file, we recommend a visit to our website at www.transunion.ca for more information about our Credit Monitoring product. Please note that there is a fee for enrolling in this service.


 
Q How can I place a fraud warning if I hold Power of Attorney for a consumer?

A TransUnion Fraud department cannot flag or change a consumer’s credit report without the consumer’s knowledge. Therefore, Power of Attorney papers, two pieces of the consumer’s identification and two pieces of the Power of Attorney’s identification is needed. This is to ensure the Power of Attorney is current and valid. If the appropriate information has been supplied and is correct, the request will be processed and a copy of the file sent to the Power of Attorney’s address.


 
Q How can I place a fraud warning on a deceased consumer file if fraud has occurred?

A In order to release personal information on a deceased person, TransUnion requires a copy of the Death certificate or the will/certificate of appointment, stating that this person is the next of kin or executor/executrix. The request must also include two pieces of the identification of the next of kin or executor/executrix requesting the file as well as one piece of identification for the deceased that verifies address. If the appropriate information has been given, the file will be processed and sent to the executor’s/next of kin’s address. If the Death Certificate has a Social Insurance Number (“SIN”), the SIN will be added to a High Risk Fraud Alert database to indicate that the SIN is deceased. The SIN number will remain in a protective state indefinitely and a note will also be placed onto the credit report to indicate that the consumer is deceased.

Q How do I receive a free copy of my TransUnion Personal Credit report?
A Please refer to Consumer Disclosure section and there you will have options to choose from to receive your file.


 
Q How do I receive a free copy of my TransUnion Personal Credit report or place a Fraud Warning if I live out of country?
A For a former resident of Canada TransUnion requires both sides of two pieces of photocopied identification indicating last Canadian Address plus current proof of address from current country of residence for mailing.

Together these combined pieces must contain your name, current address, last Canadian address, date of birth and signature.
• Do NOT send any original copies of identification.
• If submitting a request for more than one consumer in the same envelope, please ensure that the request and identification for each consumer are submitted on separate request forms and separate 8 ½” x 11” sheets of white paper.


 
Q Is it possible to transfer credit information from Canada to the United States or another country?
A TransUnion Canada and TransUnion in the United States or other countries operate their credit databases separately. TransUnion in the United States or other countries do not have access to your TransUnion Canada credit file and cannot transfer this information to a U.S. credit file. Many United States creditors are able to obtain a copy of your Canadian credit report when directed to therefore, when applying for credit in the United States , we recommend that you advise your creditors that you previously have an established credit history in Canada.


 
Q How old do I have to be before I can have a credit file at TransUnion?
A TransUnion does not maintain credit records for individuals under the age of majority in their current province of residence. Our file creation rules comply with the age of majority in the individual provinces and territories of Canada as listed below:
Province Age of Majority
Alberta 18
British Columbia 19
Manitoba 18
New Brunswick 19
Newfoundland and Labrador 19
North West Territories 19
Nova Scotia 19
Nunavut 19
Ontario 18
Prince Edward Island 18
Quebec 18
Saskatchewan 18
Yukon Territories 19

 

Q How do I add a Fraud Alert to my credit report?
A Please contact the Fraud Victim Assistance Department:
• For English speakers in all provinces except Quebec, please contact us between the hours of 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET at 1-800-663-9980
• For French speakers in all provinces and English speakers in Quebec, please contact us during the hours of 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET (Monday to Friday) at the following phone numbers: 1-877-713-3393 or 514-335-0374 in Montreal
The statement advises that creditors viewing your report contact you before making a decision to extend credit based on the information in your credit report. The protective statement is applied to your credit file and remains for 6 years, however if any time you wish to have the statement removed, we require a written request with two pieces of acceptable identification to do so.


 
Q How can I identify who some of the creditors are on my report so that I may contact them about my accounts?
A The creditor’s phone numbers are provided on the credit report. You may also contact the Consumer Relations Centre at 1-800-663-9980 if more information is required.


 
Q If I pay accounts, will they come off my credit report?
A If an account is paid and does not contain any adverse information, the account will remain on your file for twenty (20) years from the last date of activity. This information assists creditors to understand the type of credit you have managed successfully in the past. If you have paid an account that was not paid in agreement with the contract with the lender, this account will report for six (6) years from the date you first became delinquent on the account.


 
Q Why are some of my accounts showing as joint, even after a divorce?
A The creditor is currently reporting the disputed information as a joint obligation. When co-signing for credit, you are equally responsible for repayment of that obligation. Unless you and the creditor agree to remove your name from the account, we will report these debts and subsequent credit information in the names shown on the contract or application. If the creditor agrees to release you from any obligation, please notify us immediately and we will re-investigate the account.
A divorce decree does not override an original contract with a creditor. Any credit history established jointly before a divorce can be reported under both names shown on a contract or an application. If you have notified the creditor(s) and they are willing to release you from your obligation, please notify us and we will re-investigate the account.


 
Q What is in my credit report?
A TransUnion credit reports may contain the following pieces of information:
• Identifying information: consumer name, current and previous addresses, Social Insurance Number, telephone number, date of birth and current and previous employers
• Credit history or trade lines: history of bill /debt payments to credit grantors (such as retail stores, banks, finance companies)
• Public records: items that may affect credit worthiness such as judgments, bankruptcies and registered items
• Inquiries: a list of credit grantors and other parties authorized by the consumer and/or by law, which have received a consumer’s credit report
• Other information, which could include banking information and/or collections

TransUnion credit reports DO NOT INCLUDE
• Medical history
• Major purchases paid in full with cash or cheques
• Business/Personal accounts, unless you are personally liable for the debt
• Race, creed, colour, ancestry, ethnicity or political affiliations
• Income
• Criminal records, traffic violations, etc

While TransUnion may furnish credit scores to its clients based on the information contained in an individual credit file, TransUnion does not maintain or update that information in the individual consumer’s credit files.


 
Q What is an inquiry?
A An inquiry is a notation on your TransUnion credit report showing that someone requested to utilize information contained in your credit report. Often, when you apply for credit, tenancy, employment or insurance, they request your consent to obtain a copy of your credit report to assist with their decision.

Contact numbers are provided for each organization listed that has inquired on your file. If you do not recall authorizing their use of your information, please contact them to identify what authorization they obtained to access your information.There are different types of inquiries that can report on your file:

Credit Related Inquiries: 
When you apply for credit, companies may request your consent to access your credit report to assist in their decision.  Each time they request your report for credit-related purposes, an inquiry is listed on your file. These inquiries will be disclosed to other companies viewing your credit file and may impact your credit score. 

Non-Credit Related Inquiries and Account Review Inquiries:
Non-credit related inquiries and account review inquiries, as well as your own requests to view your credit file, have no impact on your credit score.  Companies may, with consent or as authorized by law, access all or part of your credit information before completing a transaction or entering into a relationship with you for purposes other than credit (non-credit related inquiries) and/or to periodically review your credit file after establishing a relationship with you (account review inquiries).  Companies perform non-credit related and account review inquiries for such things as verifying your identity, collecting on a debt, employment or tenancy screening, insurance underwriting, fraud detection, meeting regulatory requirements, account renewals, limit changes, monitoring or for products and services offerings.
Non-credit related and account review inquiries may be used (without disclosing the details of such inquiries) by TransUnion to provide fraud detection and monitoring, identity verification, alerts and analytical services to our customers and may be disclosed to deliver products that you have requested through a direct-to-consumer reseller. 

 
Q What are account review inquiries?
A After establishing a relationship with you, companies may periodically review your credit file for account renewals, limit increases and pre-approved offerings. Since these inquiries are for “account review” purposes only, they are not disclosed to any other companies viewing your credit file and have no impact on your credit rating. These inquiries are posted for your information.


 
Q How does an inquiry made by an insurance company impact my credit score?
A It doesn’t. An inquiry made by an insurance company is considered a non-credit related inquiry or “soft inquiry”.


 
Q Can you tell me what is on my report over the telephone?
A When you call into the Consumer Relations Centre, you will be asked a number of questions to authenticate your identity. When you have successfully authenticated yourself, we will review your file with you. Due to the confidential nature of credit information, we cannot disclose the contents of your credit report over the telephone if you have failed to answer our authentication questions. To further your request for a copy of your TransUnion Personal Credit Report, you may order by mail, obtain instruction on how to obtain a copy of your report by clicking here or access our IVR solution by dialing 1-800-663-9980 (selecting option #1 after language preference).


 
Q Who can access my credit report?
A Provincial and federal laws outline the requirements for what organizations may access your personal credit information. Typically, when you establish a relationship with an organization, they will have you complete an application form that contains a consent statement advising you of how they will use your information. For example, they may inquire with the credit bureau to make a decision about your application and once you have established an account with them, they may report that information to the credit reporting agency and periodically review the status of your account.

TransUnion may only provide organizations with access to your information if they have a permissible purpose as defined by provincial consumer reporting legislation. These permissible purposes typically relate to an extension of credit, collection of a debt, employment, tenancy, insurance and the establishment of a business relationship between you and an organization.

Finally, you also have the right to access your credit report.


 
Q How do I build a good credit history?
A Establishing a good credit history takes time. If you have steady income and have used the same mailing address for at least one year, you may wish to apply for credit with a local business or department store or for a secured loan or credit card through a financial institution. Paying credit obligations on time will help you develop a good credit history and may enable you to obtain additional credit in the future.

When you apply for credit, you may wish to see if the company reports account information to a credit-reporting agency. Companies are not required to report account information but most do.

If you are declined credit, find out why. You may be have been declined for various reasons including your not having met with the creditors minimal income requirement or not having been at your current residence or job for the required amount of time. You can overcome these obstacles with time.

If you have problems establishing credit, you may wish to ask a person with established credit to co-sign an application for you. This allows the creditor to base the decision on both applicants’ credit histories. Please note that a signer and co-signer are equally responsible for repayment of the debt. Payment history on this type of debt may be reflected on both parties’ credit reports. Once timely payments have been made on the account, you may again wish to apply for individual credit.

Each creditor has different requirements for issuing credit. If you are declined credit, contact the creditor to determine the reason for the decline.

When filling out credit applications, it is important to use complete and accurate personal information.


 
Q Where do you get the personal information that is on my credit report?
A The personal information appearing in our credit-reporting system is generally reported to us by credit grantors or other institutions that are responsible for obtaining consumer consent to do so. However, it may also be obtained from other sources permitted by law, including public records, federal and provincial government offices and public registries, or collected directly from individual consumers in response to communications TransUnion has had with them. It is our policy to limit our collection of personal information to include only what is necessary to supply our clients with accurate and up-to-date information so they can make meaningful decisions about consumers. TransUnion periodically reviews the data in its credit-reporting system to ensure that it only contains information relevant to the services we provide.


 
Q How often should I check my credit report?
A You should review your credit report at least once a year to make sure the information is accurate. If you are planning important financial transactions over the next few months, you should order your report before doing so. This allows for enough time to contact TransUnion regarding any information that you feel needs to be amended or removed.


 
Q What do lenders look at when deciding whether or not to approve a loan or credit card?
A Typically, lenders want to see how you have managed your credit obligations in the past. This helps them determine whether or not they should approve your application for credit and the term of the credit extension. Example - a gold card vs. a platinum card.
A credit score based on your TransUnion credit report is one of several tools that lenders use when evaluating your application for credit. It provides a summary of how likely you are to repay a loan as agreed and based on how you have managed your credit obligations in the past. Lenders may also evaluate other information in their loan evaluation process. This may include information you provide on the credit application (income, length of time at current address and other banking relationships you may have).


 
Q What is a consumer-reporting agency or credit bureau and what does it do?
A Consumer reporting agencies serve both consumers and the business community by providing credit information and risk management tools to help businesses make credit decisions.

TransUnion, a consumer reporting agency, facilitates consumer transactions by providing consumer credit reports to its clients, which include banks, credit-card companies, finance companies and other institutions. By their nature, these consumer credit reports must include some personal information about consumers. Accordingly, TransUnion regularly collects, uses and discloses personal credit information of Canadian consumers. Credit grantors and other institutions provide TransUnion with factual information about how their customers pay their bills and other debts. Credit reporting agencies, such as TransUnion, compile and assemble this information, along with public record information, into a "file" for each consumer. In return, credit grantors and authorized institutions, pursuant to the applicable provincial consumer reporting legislation, are able to obtain credit reports about consumers.

TransUnion generates millions of credit reports every year to make credit buying fast, easy and safe for qualified applicants. The availability of these reports benefits both businesses and consumers. The credit reports allow our clients to make informed credit decisions and portfolio management decisions based on reliable information and consumers, in turn, benefit from rapid access to credit facilities in order to purchase cars, major appliances and other household items.

TransUnion also provides a suite of authentication services to assist its clients in identifying potentially fraudulent transactions. In the course of providing these services, TransUnion may use personal information contained in the credit reports to see if it matches the information that has been provided by an applicant, typically to credit granting institutions or merchants. While preventing fraud is in everybody’s best interest, these services may benefit consumers directly if someone is attempting to pose as a consumer by misappropriating the consumer’s identity and personal credit information.


 
Q What is Credit?
A Credit is the term used to describe a transaction in which a person receives merchandise, money or services for little or no money up front, but promises to pay an agreed upon amount of money, in an agreed upon amount of time in the future. Usually, the person or company that gives credit to a person charges a fee for providing this service.


 
Q What is a Credit Report?
A A credit report is one of the primary tools that credit grantors use to make fair and accurate decisions on whether or not to grant credit. It is a snapshot of your financial history.


 
Q How long does TransUnion keep my information on file?
A TransUnion will maintain a record of positive credit information (i.e. accounts that were paid and have no negative history) for a period of twenty (20) years. This retention period benefits most consumers by recognizing their previous involvement with the credit granting industry, even when the consumer has limited or no current credit history.

TransUnion may delete credit information reported about you by a data supplier if our relationship with the data supplier comes to an end. The end of a data supplier relationship may impede our ability to maintain a current and accurate credit file and/or carry out our investigation procedures. We delete credit information in these circumstances to ensure that your credit file remains as accurate, complete and up-to-date as possible.

INQUIRIES:
An inquiry by a business purchasing a service from TransUnion will be automatically removed from your file after six (6) years. The system will maintain a minimum of six (6) credit inquiries on your file. However, account review inquiries will only report for one (1) year for all provinces except Quebec where these inquiries will remain for (2) years.

ACCOUNTS WITH ADVERSE CREDIT HISTORY:
These accounts will automatically be removed from your file six (6) years after the date you defaulted on the account.

DEBTS SATISFIED THROUGH AN ORDERLY PAYMENT OF DEBT OR CREDIT COUNSELING PROGRAM:
All debts reported as included in the debt repayment program will be removed from your file two (2) years from the date the program was satisfied or (6) years after the date you defaulted on the account, whichever date comes first.

CONSUMER PROPOSAL:
The consumer proposal and all accounts reported as satisfied through the proposal will be removed from your file three (3) years from the date you satisfied the proposal or (6) years after the date you defaulted on the account, whichever date comes first.

BANKRUPTCY:
TransUnion maintains this information on your file for the maximum length of time permitted by provincial credit reporting legislation. When a bankruptcy is removed from your file, all accounts reported as included in that bankruptcy will also be removed from your file. For a single bankruptcy, TransUnion maintains this information as follows:

BC, YK, NWT, NU, AB, SK, MB, NS, NB- six (6) years from the date of discharge
ON, PQ, PEI & NL- seven (7) years from the date of discharge.

If the consumer declares bankruptcy on more than one occasion, each bankruptcy will report on file for fourteen (14) years from the date of discharge of each bankruptcy

JUDGMENTS:
TransUnion maintains this information on your file for the maximum length of time permitted by provincial credit reporting legislation TransUnion maintains this information as follows:
BC, YK, NWT, NU, AB, SK, MB, NS, NB- six (6) years from the date of judgment
ON, PQ & NL- seven (7) years from the date of judgment
PEI- ten (10) years from the date of judgment

COLLECTIONS:
These accounts will automatically be removed from your file six (6) years after the date you defaulted on the account with the original creditor.

CONSUMER REMARKS:
Fraud statements and other statements requested to be added by you, are removed from your file (6) years from the date posted.


 
Q How do I obtain a copy of a Consumer disclosure of a deceased Consumer?
A TransUnion will release a copy of deceased consumer’s Consumer Disclosure via mail only to the executor or executrix of the estate, provided that the following criteria are met:
• A copy of the Death Certificate or Certificate of Appointment (verifying that they are the next of kin or executor / executrix) is supplied
• A copy of two pieces of acceptable ID from the executor / executrix as well as one piece of acceptable ID of the deceased individual that verifies address. If the deceased address is noted on the Death Certificate, TransUnion will accept it as viable address verification for the deceased. See attached link for acceptable id listing.


 
Q What is the procedure for releasing a copy of a Consumer Disclosure to me if I have Power of Attorney rights?
A TransUnion will release a copy of the Consumer Disclosure to the individual who is appointed as Power of Attorney, provided that the following criteria are met:
• A copy of the Power of Attorney papers (current and valid) are supplied
• A copy of two pieces of the Consumer’s identification and two pieces of the Power of Attorney’s identification are provided to process the Consumer request. See acceptable id listing.

If the appropriate information has been supplied, TransUnion will send the Consumer Disclosure to the Power of Attorney’s address via standard mail.


 
Q Will TransUnion accept Third Party requests?
A In order for TransUnion to release personal information to a third party, there must be written consent/authorization of the Consumer. Two pieces of acceptable identification from both parties (Consumer and Representative) must be supplied and meet with TransUnion identification criteria.


 
Q Will TransUnion accept TTY & TRS (Telephone Relay Service Calls)?
A Yes, an individual who is hearing impaired may contact TransUnion through a Telephone Relay Service (TRS) to access their personal credit file by phone, provided the following criteria has been met.
• Call identifies themselves as a TRS operator at the start of the call
• Operator provides the name and TRS company that they represent
• Operator provides full name and Employee number to the TransUnion Associate handling the call

Once all required elements have been met, the standard operating procedure for handling Consumer calls will apply.


 
Q What is the IVR?
A IVR or Interactive Voice Response is an automated tool to serve you through the use of your touch-tone phone or voice. The TransUnion IVR serves Consumers who wish to acquire a copy of their Consumer Disclosure through a secured and effective channel without having to wait to speak to a representative. It is a service provided to you free of charge which asks you a series of questions to authenticate your identity in order to provide you with a copy of your Consumer Disclosure. If/when you pass the authentication process, your Consumer Disclosure will be sent to your home address via standard mail. Simply call 1-800-663-9980 and select #1 when in the options menu.


 
Q How can I request a copy of my file if I fail to authenticate or am unable to understand TransUnion’s Interactive Voice Response System (IVR)?
A You can request your free Consumer Disclosure by mail. Simply click here for detailed instructions. You also have the option to order your report on-line through our True Credit delivery service (fee applied to this service).


 
Q Why did I receive an alert for an inquiry not showing on my credit report supplied by the direct-to-consumer reseller?
A If you subscribe to credit monitoring products through a TransUnion direct-to- consumer reseller, you may now also receive alerts for TransUnion non-credit related inquiries; in addition to credit-related inquiries. You may request a copy of your TransUnion Consumer Disclosure, which will include all inquiries made to your TransUnion credit file.

Examples of non-credit related inquiries (not score impacting):

- Rental, employment, insurance, etc.
- Authentication
- Request for one’s own TransUnion Consumer Disclosure

Examples of credit-related inquiries (score impacting):

- Application for loan, credit card, mortgage, etc.


 
Q What is an inquiry?
A An inquiry is a notation on your TransUnion credit report showing that someone requested to utilize information contained in your credit report. Often, when you apply for credit, tenancy, employment or insurance, they request your consent to obtain a copy of your credit report to assist with their decision.

Contact numbers are provided for each organization listed that has inquired on your file. If you do not recall authorizing their use of your information, please contact them to identify what authorization they obtained to access your information.

 

Q What is a Credit Score?
A A credit score is a statistically derived prediction of an individual’s credit risk at a particular point in time. Credit risk is typically defined as the likelihood of an individual becoming seriously delinquent (ie. 3 payments past due or worse) within a 12-24mth period in the future). The score is a three-digit number that lenders use to help them make decisions. A higher score indicates that the individual is a better credit risk to a lender.
It is important to regularly review your own credit score to understand how you may be viewed by lenders and other businesses when submitting applications for credit products and services. Get UNLIMITED access to your Credit Score with TransUnion Credit Monitoring.
A credit score is:
• An objective summary of the information contained in your credit report at a particular point in time.
• A number that lenders use to help them decide whether or not to give any given person a loan or credit card and the risks associated to whether or not they can expect to be paid in accordance with the credit agreement.
• An objective and non-biased lending tool used by lenders to provide the consumer with a faster, equitable and more consistent response.
• A number that is made up of 6 main categories of information from your credit report:
o Payment History (maintaining Credit) – What is your track record?
o Amount of credit you owe (total balances) – How much is too much?
o Utilization of credit – How close are your balances to their credit limits?
o Length of time credit established (Credit Experience) – How established is yours?
o Search for an acquisition of new credit (new accounts and inquiries) – Are you taking on more debt?
o Types of credit established (Credit Mix) – Is it a healthy mix?

 

Q Once my credit report is updated, how long before my score is updated?
A Credit scores are calculated when requested by a lender based on the most current information available on your credit file.

 

Q Does every inquiry affect my score?
A No. The only inquiries that would affect your credit score are those initiated by you for specific credit transactions. Also, most scoring models take the appropriate steps to ensure that your score is not lowered because of the multiple inquiries that might occur in a specific time as a result of shopping for the best terms for an auto or home loan.
Inquiries have less importance than delinquencies, balances owed and the length of time you have used credit. In general, scores only consider inquiries from the last 12 months. Inquiries are usually more important on your credit score if you have a limited credit history.
Also, the score excludes inquiries when:
• -A credit grantor has verified your identity for the purpose of offering you credit.
• -A credit grantor with whom you have a business relationship has reviewed your account with them.
• -You have received your own personal credit report.

 


Q How is the TransUnion Personal Score Calculated?
A To calculate a score, numerical weights are placed on different aspects of your credit report and a mathematical formula is used to arrive at a final credit score. TransUnion calculates your credit score based on many factors of your credit history and payment behavior. These many factors may include but are not limited to:
• How you are paying your accounts
• How much money you currently owe
• How long your accounts have been open
• What different types of credit you use
• How much credit you use compared to the amount of credit you have available
• How often and how recently you have applied for credit
The credit industry uses various types of credit scores to assess risk for different types of credit. For example, a creditor may use one type of score when assessing risk for a credit card account and another type of score when assessing risk for a mortgage account.

 

Q I corrected things on my credit report and my score went down. Can you explain?
A The effect on your score due to changes made to your TransUnion credit report depends on the nature of the information that was changed, what information is left intact and what other items on your credit report have been updated during the time that the corrections were made.
Some specific reasons why your score may not have improved include:
• Your TransUnion credit report included several negative items and some but not all of them were removed. The presence of one or more negative items may still have an adverse impact on your score.
• Your TransUnion credit report reflects some positive changes but there may have been new updates to your file that offset them such as higher balances reported on accounts, new account openings or new credit inquiries.

 

Q What is a good score to get?
A There are several types of credit scores available. Typically, the higher the score the better. Each lender decides what credit score range it considers to be a good credit risk or a poor credit risk. For this reason, the lender is the best source to explain what your credit score means in relation to the final credit decision. After all, they determine the criteria used to extend credit. The credit score is only one component of information evaluated by lenders.

 

Q Will I be penalized for shopping around for the best interest rate?
A Most scoring models take the appropriate steps to ensure that your score is not lowered because of the multiple inquiries that might occur in a specific time period as a result of shopping for the best terms in an auto or home loan.

 

Q Do credit lenders use the TransUnion Credit Score?
A Currently, there are some lenders that do use the TransUnion score but most credit lenders use their own scoring tools to make a credit decision. While the overall purpose of credit scores is universal, there are numerous score products in the market today that measure different components of an individual’s credit worthiness. Each lender will use his or her own criteria to measure an individual’s credit worthiness. The only way to find out about how they measure this is to ask the individual credit lender.

 

Q Why don't I have a Personal Credit Score?
A A credit score cannot be calculated because one or more of the following has occurred:
• Your credit report does not contain at least one account
• A remark on one of your accounts references a person who is deceased

 

Q How can the TransUnion Personal Credit Score help me?
A You can use your TransUnion Personal Credit Score to help you learn more about your use of credit and the types of tools lenders are using when making credit decisions. Credit scores are one of the primary tools a lender considers when determining the risks associated to lending to you. Lenders use scores to determine whether or not to grant credit and if so, how much credit and at what rate? Lenders may also access and consider your complete credit report, which can provide further support on a given component of the score that could impact their final decision. However, as most credit decisions are made very quickly, it is the credit score that is most often used.

 

Q Can I use the TransUnion Personal Credit Score to apply for credit?
A Most lenders will access their own scoring tool(s) to assess a consumer’s credit worthiness so they may not be interested or ask for the consumer score you have obtained online. However, you can use the TransUnion Personal Credit Score to gauge your credit worthiness for future credit applications and needs.

 

Q What is a factor description?
A A factor description explains the top reason(s) why your score was calculated as it was. When you receive your TransUnion Personal Credit Score, up to four “factor descriptions” are also delivered.


Q Why do lenders use credit scores?
A Lenders use credit scores because it provides a fast and objective measurement in determining the risk associated to lending money.
As a result of using credit scores:
• People acquire credit faster
• Credit decisions are far more equitable

 

Q Is there just one type of score?
A No, there are literally thousands of score models used in the credit industry that consider different variables for different types of credit.


 
Q What are the advantages of credit scores?
A When examining an applicant’s credit report, many lenders find it valuable to have a numeric score based on the credit report itself. Credit scores can give lenders a fast, objective and impartial snapshot of a credit report and can be a helpful tool in making loan approval decisions. As credit granting processes become more efficient, customers can more quickly gain access to the credit they need.


 
Q How do inquiries affect my score?
A A common misconception is that every inquiry decreases your credit score a certain number of points. This is not true. While an inquiry is recorded on your personal credit report every time you, one of your creditors or a potential creditor obtains your credit report, the presence of inquiries has only a small impact on your credit score and certain types of inquiries (your inquiry to your file and account review inquiries) have absolutely no impact.
Inquiries have less importance than delinquencies, balances owed and the length of time you have used credit. In general, scores only consider inquiries from the last 12 months. Inquiries are usually more important on your credit score if you have a limited credit history.