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Keep control of your credit rating

(NC) Did you know that everyone should ask to see their credit report at least once a year?

According to a survey done in 2011, over 90% of Canadian respondents said they did not know that a copy of their credit report could be sent to them in the mail, free of charge. Moreover, 62% said that they did not know the procedure when it comes to getting a credit report corrected.

If you'd like to know more, here's an overview:

• Start by ordering a free copy of your credit report. You can do so by mail, fax, or telephone, or in person from the two Canadian credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. Your credit history summarizes the information concerning the types of credit that you use or that you have used in the past, including credit cards, loans and financing plans. Examine your credit report carefully to determine whether there are any errors or signs of identity theft.

• Check for errors in your personal information and in the information concerning your credit card and loan accounts, as well as for mention of accounts that you have never opened. Errors may give lenders the wrong impression and result in a denial of your credit application. Even errors that do not seem to be serious, such as a misspelled name or incorrect address, can create problems if, for example, you want to rent an apartment or are applying for a job. If you find a mistake, contact Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.

• To find out the steps to follow to correct an error in your credit report, go to itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada provides resources to help you understand your credit report and your credit score. More information is available online at itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

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