How to Read your Equifax credit report.
I am going to write a post about the different reports that I have had and how it has grown over the past year since claiming and being discharged from bankruptcy. Before I write a post like that I am going to write about the different information that is included in a credit report and how to read it.
Everyone is entitled to 1 free credit report by mail from each of the 2 credit bureaus in Canada. I personally have credit monitoring that I pay for each month. When I started it was just for Equifax but I have recently also gotten it with transunion as well. Yes it is fairly costly over the month. I pay roughly about 30 per month on my credit card between the two. I have recently learnt that the 2 are not necessarily the same information. I won’t keep the reporting forever and will just buy one report every 6 months to make sure that they are still accurate and to see where I am at. Right now there is too many issues and the possibility of old things coming back up. For that reason I am okay with the investment.
Watch for a review of the services in the future because there is one that is way better than the other as far as what it includes for the same price.
For this post I am going to go through an actual Equifax report (with personal information removed of course)
This is the top section. It will provide your name and the confirmation number
This number is good because if you need to dispute anything on your report- this is a number they will ask for.
You will also have the date the report was pulled.
They will then point out where your credit score is. This is sometimes called a FICO score. You also get a little blurb on this score. The score will be between 300 and 900 except while you are bankrupt. When bankrupt it apparently shows R7 or R9. I didn’t actually see this on mine. but YAY ME! I am finally out of the poor stage. I am just barely considered fair. What does that me? Pretty much just that I still can’t be approved for much. When I am approved the interest rates will be fairly high.
The next is a section where they tell you why your specific score is where it is. I have noticed in the past that this isn’t always lined up with the report. Some of the options appear to just be random. Mine however on this report are correct
The next is again about the score and the delinquency rates. For me its not about how many were 90 days late anymore but more about the accounts that were written off.
Then the actual report starts
You don’t need to change your information with Equifax- it gets changed automatically.
Consumer statements are there in case I wanted to put a note on the file to explain something. I don’t have any on my report
After removing the personal information that links this report to me, this is a portion of my actual credit report. I didn’t put all of them on here but one of each type that I have. The 2 that you see above are ones that I had to contact Equifax to correct and contact the companies to update the system because I still get a few credit calls here and there. They were both still showing open until a few days before I pulled this report. (a year after my discharge)
The first one is a car loan. This car was repossessed after my ex claimed bankruptcy and decided that it could be picked up to be liquidised. The late payments that you see were after the repossession because I still owed almost half of the loan with no car to show. It wasn’t very high on my list for payment at that point. Remember that you may not need to give up your card depending on how much the car is worth.
The 3 below:
The first one is the current card that I have already mentioned having in a previous post.
You can see that I have had the card now for a full year (report is about 2 weeks old and they hadn’t updated my report since July)
You see that I pay it on time , how much my limit is, ect.
Below that you actually see my house. My house was closed when my ex went bankrupt. I had the option to buy out the house before a certain date. I couldn’t and they took the house and sold it. The house sold for under market value which was around 155000. So I could have had a HUGE debt there. When we reached out to the company that the mortgage was through, they decided not to go after me for the money.
The third one below is actually a loan that the ex and I had together. This loan is one that she also backed out of and left me with. But then they closed it nice and easy when I claimed bankruptcy. It updated beautifully on my report and I have never gotten a call from they or their collection company since. (the only one aside from the mortgage)
There is a section on the end of the report that shows money that you owe to a collection company