A Year of New – Week 8: Credit Rating

Where: From home, using the internet and regular mail
Cost: Free

When I sat down two months ago now to develop my list of what I would do for this A Year of New project, doing new things every week for a year, it didn’t take me long to decide that checking my credit rating should be on the list. Even I find it unbelieveable that I could have procrastinated on this simple task for so long, for it is something that I meant to do years and years ago and just never really got around to accomplishing it.

The silly thing is that checking our own credit rating in Canada is something that we can easily do for free, so I really had no good reason why I procrastinated doing it. But now that I’m a credit rating convert, I’m going to tell you how I did it just in case you too have never checked it and have always meant to too.

Although there is apparently another company that can report back to you on your credit history, I used the company Equifax to check mine. All I did was go to their “Contact Us” webpage and consult the “Related Resources” section on the right hand side. I downloaded the paper form, filled it in and mailed it away to Montreal along with photocopies of two pieces of ID. Within ten business days the completed report came back to me in the mail and – finally, after literally years of meaning to do this and never doing it – I had my credit rating in my hands.

I wasn’t surprised to see errors on my form, but it was only in my current employment section. The job that Equifax had listed for me was a position I held two jobs ago, so they were a little out of date on that one. They also screwed up my name in their salutation to me, but that’s not surprising because anyone who knows me well knows that I have a bunch of name issues which I won’t go into here. But the current employment updates and the fact that I now have a new address does mean that there are a couple of things I should probably update Equifax on. Luckily, they handily provided a Consumer Credit Report Update Form in their mailing to me for this very purpose. (I guess I should complete that and mail it off right away, so that I don’t leave it for another few years to complete!)

All in all, I always knew that I had good credit but it gave me peace of mind to actually see what was listed on the form and check it over for any errors. Luckily all the actual credit details listed on the report were correct; it almost felt like a bit of a walk down memory lane going over them!

In these days rife with scams, frauds and identity thefts, checking our credit rating is a simple thing we all can do (for free!) to make sure our personal information hasn’t been tampered with. Yes, it wasn’t really that exciting of a “new thing” to do this week for my year-long project, but it feels good to get that little niggling task accomplished. Now I just have to remember to check my credit rating semi-regularly to keep on track a bit more diligently in the future!

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