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Your credit report

A measure of your financial health

What is a credit report?

Your credit report is a record of your credit history. It contains information about your debts, including the type and amount of credit and whether payments are made on time.

Credit checks are required by many Canadian financial institutions, landlords and other parties to secure a loan, lease or other service.

How do I get a credit report?

Request a copy of your credit report from national credit bureaus Equifax Canada or TransUnion. You can ask for a free copy of your credit report by mail or view your credit history online for a small fee.

Why do I need to have good credit?

The credit rating or score assigned to you by credit reporting bureaus shows how well you meet their criteria for borrowing responsibly. A high credit score allows you to:

  • Rent an apartment more easily
  • Take out a car or mortgage loan
  • Get a better interest rate on certain types of loans
  • Avoid security deposits

4 tips for a good credit rating

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Start building credit

A credit file is created for you the first time you borrow money. Young people and newcomers without a credit record should start building one now, because future creditors will need proof that you repay your debts.

A credit card1 is a good place to start. Learn about our different Mastercard® credit cards to find the right one for you.

See our credit cards

Keep up good habits

How do you prove you can be trusted to pay back creditors? Stay within your budget, limit yourself to one credit card, make your minimum monthly payments if you can't pay your full balance and always pay your bills on time.

Worried you'll forget? Set up automatic payments and you'll never miss a due date.

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Young woman sitting on a bench next to her little dog
Young woman sitting on a bench next to her little dog
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Check your credit record regularly

Stay on top of your finances by requesting a copy of your credit report on an annual basis or before applying for a loan. Keep an eye out for discrepancies, which may indicate you've been a victim of identity theft or fraud.

Also check for errors. If the information in your file is incorrect or out of date, contact the credit bureau to fix it.

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Tip

Take out loan insurance and you won't need to worry about your credit score. Your debts could be repaid in case of death, critical illness or disability.

Rebuilding your credit

Collections, defaults, bankruptcies and similar situations can affect your credit rating for six years or more.

It takes time and patience to rebuild bad credit, but it's possible if you maintain good habits. However, it's best to address your debts and create a repayment strategy before you end up with a bad rating.

How to manage your debt
Young woman sitting at her kitchen table working on a budget
Young woman sitting at her kitchen table working on a budget
Young woman sitting at her kitchen table working on a budget
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Legal Disclaimers

® Mastercard is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Inc. Authorized user: National Bank.

1. Subject to credit approval by National Bank.

Learn more about credit

Need advice?

Speak to an advisor to learn more about credit.

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