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How often can you check your credit score in Canada?

4 min read

How often can you check your credit score in Canada?

Written By

Courtney Johnston
Courtney Johnston

Knowing your credit score is helpful if you’re applying for a new credit card, loan, or apartment. Since your credit score helps show how responsible you are with credit, many lenders require higher scores to approve you for new accounts.

Taking a look at your credit report regularly can help keep you on track. Here’s how you can check in on your credit score and how often experts suggest reviewing it.

Can I check my credit score for free?

Canada has two major credit reporting bureaus — Equifax and TransUnion. You can check your credit score online with Equifax for free. If you live in Quebec, you can also check your credit score from TransUnion online for free. Your score is generally updated monthly.

Your credit report, which provides a more robust breakdown of your credit accounts and payment habits, is also available online. You’re entitled to a free copy of your Canadian credit report from each credit bureau (Equifax and TransUnion) online twice per year.

Some credit card issuers and other credit services might offer free access to your credit score and other credit profiles.

Checking your credit score or report will not impact your credit.

How often should you check credit scores?

Most creditors provide monthly updates to credit bureaus. The credit bureaus then update your credit score once a month. If you’re trying to grow your score or preparing to apply for a new credit account, checking in monthly can help you monitor your progress more closely. Otherwise, checking in a few times a year is enough to keep you aware of your credit habits while making sure no discrepancies pop up.

Since you can only access your credit report once a year from each credit bureau, it’s a good idea to stagger these checks every six months.

This way, you can request your Equifax report and, half a year later, your TransUnion account, giving you more visibility into your full credit profile.

What are soft and hard inquiries?

There are two types of credit pulls — hard and soft inquiries. When a lender wants to view some basic facts of your credit profile, they might opt for a soft pull, which will show high-level information but not a comprehensive breakdown. A soft pull does not impact your credit score. Many times, lenders will perform a soft pull to pre-qualify you for a line of credit.

However, a lender will most likely require a hard pull if you’re applying for a new credit card, line of credit, loan, or mortgage.

This gives the lender a full copy of your credit score and report. Hard pulls can impact your credit score, though usually only temporarily. It will typically only lower your score by a few points. Hard pulls should fall off your credit report after 36 months.

What’s in your credit report?

Your credit report details some personal identifying information, a full list of your tradelines (or credit accounts), information about previous inquiries, and public record data.

  • Personal information: A lender can see your full name, address, Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.), date of birth, and sometimes employment records.

  • Tradelines: Credit accounts, such as credit cards, loans, lines of credit, and mortgages, will show up here, along with your payment history, loan amount, or line of credit.

  • Previous inquiries: This section contains a list of lenders who requested access to your credit report. Soft and hard pulls both show up here.

  • Public records: If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, have an account in collections, or have any other financial court records, they will appear in this section.

Stay on top of your credit activity

Unless you’re applying for a new line of credit, you likely won’t need to check on your credit score or report monthly. But you should check in on your credit score at least quarterly to make sure there are no surprises.

If you spot any errors or notice a sudden drop, you can request a full credit report from either Experian or TransUnion once per year.

Note: KOHO product information and/or features may have been updated since this blog post was published. Please refer to our KOHO Plans page for our most up to date account information!

Courtney Johnston

Courtney is a professional writer, editor and financial literacy enthusiast. You can find her writing on CNET, Investopedia, The Motley Fool, Yahoo Finance, MSN and The Balance. She spends her free time exploring different cities across the globe or enjoy some downtime with her two cats and one dog.

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