Q and A: Credit Reports and Credit Scores

Q: What is a credit report?

A: It’s your credit history. It shows:
>When you opened accounts
>Amount owing
>If you make payments on time
>If you miss payments
>If you go over your credit limit
Q: What is a credit score?
A: It’s a number that lenders use to rate your ability to use credit. Credit scores range from 300-900 points. The best score is 900 points. Lenders may also use your score to set your interest rate and credit limit.

Q: Who creates my credit report and credit score?

A: Credit report agencies are private companies that collect, store and share information about how you use credit. There are two main agencies: Equifax and TransUnion Canada.
>You can get your Credit Report at
BDO Accounting Firm
155 Belvedere Avenue
Charlottetown, PE
>You will need two pieces of ID

Q: What can I do with my credit report?

A: Your credit report can be used to:
 >Lend money to you
 >Collect on a debt you owe
 >Consider you for rental housing or for a job
 >Provide you with insurance

Q: How long does information stay on my credit report?

A: The maximum is 6 or 7 years. Accounts paid on time may be kept longer.
Q: How can I build my credit report?
A: The top three tips would be :
>Build your credit history early
>Make payments on time
>Apply for a secured credit card
Q: How can I improve my credit rating and score?
A: There are a few ways you can improve your score.
> Pay a little more than your minimum payment on time
> Keep older accounts, even if you are not using it
> Try to always use less than 35% of your available credit
> Keep Hard Hits down. A Hard Hit would be applying for a credit card and a Soft Hit would be requesting your own report.
Q: How often should I get my credit report?
A: Check your credit report at least once a year for errors and signs of identity theft. You have the right to dispute any information on your credit report!
If you have additional questions or concerns about your credit report, Family Service PEI offers free and confidential credit counselling. Call toll free 1-866-892-2441