Simply put, your credit report is a summary of your financial history. Lenders require this document to determine whether they should grant you credit, funding, or a loan. Understanding how credits report work is crucial, so here is what you should know.


Your credit report contains information about some aspects of your life but does not mention your ethnicity, income, purchases paid in full, medical history or criminal record. Here is what’s included in it instead:

  • Essential identification, such as name, address, social insurance number and employment history
  • Credit payment history, consisting of a list of payments you have made to creditors
  • Public records such as bankruptcies, arrests and other things that may impact your credit application
  • A list of recent inquiries made by creditors
  • Each item on your credit report has a rating scale of 1 to 9. 1 means all payments were made on time, while seven indicates that you didn’t pay or that you entered a consumer proposal, and bankruptcy appears as 9.


Negative information will stay on your credit report for up to six years, although exceptions exist. When lenders evaluate your credit report, they will look at your payment history and existing debt. Those tend to carry the most weight when determining whether to lend you money. Late and missed payments will make it harder for you to get credit, as will bankruptcies.


Considering your credit report is both a complete record of your financial activity and one of the main things lenders use to assess your credit application, its accuracy is essential. Here are some types of mistakes that you should look out for:

  • Errors in your personal information
  • Errors in accounts and credit cards, such as payments that you made on time but got reported as being late
  • Unfavourable information (missed payments, consumer proposal, bankruptcy) should not be there.
  • The presence of accounts you never opened, suggesting identity theft and fraud
  • Credit bureaus can correct a mistake on your report by merely gathering all the relevant documentation and filling out the required forms. This service is free.

If the creditor agrees there has been a mistake, they will correct it. If they don’t, you can make a complaint, attach a consumer statement to your report or file a grievance about the credit bureau itself.

understand your credit report


Fox-Miles & Associates Inc. can help you gain your financial independence back. Whether you need a credit counselling service or are considering filing for bankruptcy, a licensed insolvency trustee will help you understand your situation and your options. Contact us today to set up a free consultation or visit one of our offices in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove or St. Albert.