It is vital to stay on top of your credit by reviewing your credit report regularly, and correcting any errors that occur.

Your credit report remains an extremely vital piece of information that can affect both your current and future livelihood. Because of this, it is important to understand what type of mistakes or errors can occur on your report and how they can be fixed.

Common Credit Report Mistakes

To find mistakes on your report, you first need to get a copy, which can be done by requesting your report from one of Canada’s two credit bureaus – TransUnion or Equifax. It is recommended you do this once a year.

Once you have your report, be very thorough and ensure all your information is correct. The four most common errors on Canadian credit reports are:

1) Clerical errors: ensuring there are no misspelled names, wrong addresses or incorrect phone numbers on your report can avoid any negative impacts from credit bureau clerical errors.

2) Incorrect payment history: the credit bureaus in Canada generally take 60 to 90 days to update your report, so following up to provide updated information can be very important.

3) Outdated information: outdated or closed accounts aren’t always immediately updated by creditors. They can even remain on your account for a few years if you don’t double check.

4) Identity fraud: when your identity is stolen, it’s important to not only follow up with your bank or credit card company, but also with the credit bureaus to ensure they are aware of the situation.

How to Fix Mistakes on your Credit Report

If you do happen to find any errors on your report, you have the right to challenge them. This is done by contacting either TransUnion or Equifax. Both bureau websites also include additional information on how to add an explanatory statement if required.

If you are still not satisfied that your report is 100 per cent accurate after contacting the credit bureaus, there are other options available to further investigate incorrect information on your report, such as contacting your Federal, Provincial and Territorial Consumer Affairs Offices.

Most importantly, be sure to stay on top of your credit information by reviewing your report at least once a year and updating the credit bureaus on major changes, such as a divorce or a new address.

Impact on Your Financial Livelihood

All this may not seem like a big deal at first glance, but unwarranted effects to your credit score can really affect your life in a variety of ways. As mentioned above, checking your score at least once a year can help ensure that you maintain your cost of borrowing money.