Credit Checks Canada

3 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering what types of credit checks are available in Canada.  With the recent news of Equifax - should we still be using that company or is there any others options that match what Equifax does?

As well, is there any issues or complaints about credit karma?  I'm interested in using it but would like other peoples intake on it before going any further.

Thanks for your help and input in advance! 

@Richard Huynh

In Canada, you can request a full credit history which will read in much the same manner as a credit history in the U.S.A. or elsewhere.  

However, do not confuse accessing your personal credit history directly from a credit bureau with accessing the credit history of others from the same bureau. 

To perform credit checks as a landlord, you could try to establish an account directly with Equifax or TransUnion, but most of us do not have the volume of credit history requests to justify the subscription costs, nor would most landlords have the security and privacy controls in-place.

You may be better served by using a credit agency such as RentCheck or Tenant Verification Services (TVS) as an intermediary:  they will have accounts with multiple credit bureaus and can provide you access to credit histories for both Canadian and U.S.A. applicants.   There is still a vetting process when you apply for an account, but qualification will be more easily achieved by a small business.

@Roy N.

Thank you for continually answering my questions! 


A follow up question, if I wanted to just do a personal credit check on myself would you recommend using Equifax or TransUnion?

Thanks!

Originally posted by @Richard Huynh :

@Roy N.

Thank you for continually answering my questions! 


A follow up question, if I wanted to just do a personal credit check on myself would you recommend using Equifax or TransUnion?

Thanks!

You are entitled to one free copy/pull of your credit report per year under Canadian Law.  Since this has been in place for generations, the regulations indicate you need to write the credit bureau and request your "free" credit report.  Both bureaus are pedantic about this and will not provide the "free" report via their websites.

That said, either will provide you with your credit history via their website for ~$20.   Pulling from either bureau should yield pretty much the same results.  I have not looked closely at Credit Karma to see if it draws upon multiple bureaus ... if it does, it may be the one to use.

While this is good for keeping an eye on your own credit history, it is not practical for screening tenants ... you should not ask tenants to provide you a copy of their credit history (they could alter it) ... and the terms of service from the credit bureaus most likely preclude thm from sharing it with you anyway.

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