Your personal information is protected in Canada by the federal Act called PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act) and Credit Reporting Act. Other provincial acts like PIPA (Personal Information Protection Act) also protect your personal information.
Three Main Canadian Credit Bureaus
First Step to fixing your credit is to order your credit report from one of the three largest credit bureaus in Canada Equifax, Trans Union or Northern Credit Bureaus:
Equifax Canada Inc.
Consumer Relations Department
Box 190 Jean Talon Station
Web site address: http://www.equifax.ca/
Send an e-mail request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales and Marketing Division
325 Milner Avenue, Suite 1501
Toronto, On M1B 5N1
Phone us at: (416) 609-2070
Fax us at: (416) 609-1994
Web site address: http://www.tuc.ca/
Northern Credit Bureaus Inc
336 Rideau Boulevard
Rouyn -Norand PQ
Fax: (800) 646-5876
Web site address: http://www.creditbureau.ca/ENGLISH/english.htm
Also a collection agency.
Request a Copy of Your Credit Report
Upon written request any to any of these credit bureaus, they will provide you with a copy of your credit report. If you have been denied credit recently, they generally do not charge for the report. Otherwise, there is a customary fee of approximately $15.00.
Right to Dispute Inaccurate Information
You should check your report for accuracy. If you do find incorrect information, the next step is to dispute the incorrect information in writing to the credit bureau or directly to the creditor. This can include outdated and old information as well as incorrect information. Keep in mind that negative items can remain on your credit report for 6-10 years unless you request that they be taken off your report and can substantiate the reasons why the information is inaccurate.
Once the credit bureau receives your written request, they will then write to the creditor within 30 days from receipt of your request. Generally the creditor has 30 days to respond to the written request. If they do not respond, it is deemed denial of the request, and you can file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. If the creditor does not substantiate the negative item, then the credit bureau removes it from your report. If the creditor does substantiate the negative item, then it remains on your credit report as stated above for approximately 6-10 years.
Order an Updated Credit Report
Once the item has been fixed, I recommend ordering an updated copy of your credit report just to be sure that the information has been deleted. In many jurisdictions, the credit bureau is required by law to provide a free credit report update to anyone who received a past report within the prior six months before any amendments or consumer statements were added to the credit report. Also, for employment purposes, the credit bureau is required to send an updated credit report to the required parties involved within the past two years of any amendments.
Remember though, only time can repair and improve bad credit.
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