BASICS OF A CONSUMER CREDIT REPORT
•Information contained in a consumer credit report
•How long does negative information gets retained on a consumer credit report
•Understand your ratings
•Sample Equifax report (.pdf file format)
•Other important Considerations
What information does a consumer credit report contain?
Here is a general overview of the different sections in a consumer credit report:
1. Personal Identification
Contains key identification information, such as your name, address, birth date and Social Insurance Number (SIN), Social Security Number (SSN).
Lists all individuals or organizations that have requested a copy of your credit file in the past three years.
3. Public Record Information
Contains information about secured loans, bankruptcies and/or judgments.
4. Third-Party Collection Agency
Contains information about any involvement with a collection agency trying to settle a debt.
5. Trade Information
Provides details of your credit transactions and shows whether payments are being made. Each of these "trade" items is evaluated by the credit grantor.
The evaluations are based on industry standard ratings, the most common of which use a range from R0 to R9. R0 indicates you are too new to rate; R1 indicates that you pay within 30 days of billing or as agreed; R9 indicates a bad debt, collection or bankruptcy.
6. Consumer Statement
This is where you can add a brief comment about any information in your file. For example, if you have an R9 rating, you may want to explain that you suffered a setback due to illness, temporary unemployment or other extenuating circumstances.
How long does a credit bureau keep information in my credit file?
The following is from the public domain of Equifax:
CREDIT INQUIRIES TO THE FILE: An Inquiry made by a Creditor will automatically purge three (3) years from the date of the inquiry. The system will keep a minimum of five (5) inquiries.
CREDIT HISTORY AND BANKING INFORMATION: A credit transaction will automatically purge from the system six (6) years from the date of last activity.
All banking information (checking or saving account) will automatically purge from the system six (6) years from the date of registration.
VOLUNTARY DEPOSIT - ORDERLY PAYMENT OF DEBTS, CREDIT COUNSELING: When voluntary deposit - OPD - credit counseling is paid, it will automatically purge from the system three (3) years from the date paid.
REGISTERED CONSUMER PROPOSAL: When a registered consumer proposal is paid, it will automatically purge three (3) years from the date paid.
BANKRUPTCY: A bankruptcy automatically purges six (6) years from the date of discharge in the case of a single bankruptcy. If the consumer declares several bankruptcies, the system will keep each bankruptcy for fourteen (14) years from the date of each discharge. All accounts included in a bankruptcy remain on file indicating "included in bankruptcy" and will purge six (6) years from the date of last activity.
JUDGMENTS, SEIZURE OF MOVABLE/IMMOVABLE, GARNISHMENT OF WAGES: The above will automatically purge from the system six (6) years from the date filed.
COLLECTION ACCOUNTS: A collection account under public records will automatically purge from the system six (6) years from the date of last activity.
SECURED LOANS: A secured loan will automatically purge from the system six (6) years from the date filed.
(Exception: P.E.I. Public Records: seven (7) to ten (10) years.)
Ratings and what do they mean
•R0 Too new to rate; approved but not used
•R1 Pays (or paid) within 30 days of payment due date or not over one payment past due
•R2 Pays (or paid) in more than 30 days from payment due date, but not more than 60 days, or not more than two payments past due
•R3 Pays (or paid) in more than 60 days from payment due date, but not more than 90 days, or not more than three payments past due
•R4 Pays (or paid) in more than 90 days from payment due date, but not more than 120 days, or four payments past due
•R5 Account is at least 120 days overdue, but is not yet rated "9"
•R7 Making regular payments through a special arrangement to settle your debts
•R8 Repossession (voluntary or involuntary return of merchandise)
•R9 Bad debt; placed for collection; moved without giving a new address
•Other rating indicators that might be found on a report are "I" for installment credit or "O" for open credit line.
Click here to download a Sample Consumer Credit Report
Watch out for a loan that you have co-signed. Depending on the policy of the lending institution, Co-Signed loans get reported on both files of the borrower and the co-signer.
A default in payment could get reported on the credit file of a co-signer.