Looking to get your Equifax credit report and score for free? This post is for you! Gone are those days when you have to pay a credit bureau a fee to get your credit report.
Today, paying for credit reports is totally optional as you can get a copy from the credit bureaus by following some easy steps.
Equifax is one of the credit bureaus in Canada that offer access to free credit reports by mail, in-person and by phone. So how do you get your credit score for free on Equifax? What are the best alternatives? How do you improve your Equifax credit score?
Continue reading to learn about how to get a free Equifax credit report in Canada and more.
Equifax is a popular American credit bureau that has been in operation since 1899. It’s one of the world’s largest credit bureaus that specializes in global data, analytics, and technology for credit.
Equifax is headquartered in Atlanta with a presence in North America, South America, Central America, Europe and Asia.
The company is publicly traded, included in the popular US Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index and is traded with the ticker symbol “EFX” on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
With more than 400 employees in Canada, Equifax Canada has offices across Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
The company offers Canadians access to paid and free credit score services based on its proprietary credit model. With Equifax, you can access your credit report for free or through a paid plan.
Equifax offers the following services for free:
- Your Equifax credit file information summary
- Summary of the factors affecting your credit score
- 7/week access to Equifax consumer relations agents
If want to access your credit score and report daily, identity theft assistance/restoration and insurance, you can consider the Equifax paid plans as highlighted below:
|Equifax Complete Premier Plan($19.95 per month)||Equifax Complete Family and Friends Plan($29.95 per month)|
|Daily access to credit score and report monitoring||Access to Equifax Complete Premier Plan features for 2 adults|
|Identity theft assistance/restoration|
|Up to $1 million in identity theft insurance|
|Lost wallet assistance|
How Do I Get My Free Credit Report From Equifax Canada?
You can get your free Equifax report in Canada by mail, by phone or in person at any Equifax Canada office.
Let’s take a look at how you can get your free Equifax report through any of these three options.
1. By Mail
You can get your Equifax credit report for free by downloading, filling and submitting the Canadian Credit Report Request Form by mail.
When submitting the form, you’re expected to submit the photocopy of the front and back of two valid government-issued identifications. Ensure that one of the identifications contains information about your present home address.
The following are the categories of acceptable identifications:
- Canadian citizenship card
- Canadian passport
- Permanent resident card
- Canadian citizenship card
- Birth certificate
- Social Insurance card
- Certificate of Indian Status
In addition, you are expected to attach your proof of identity when submitting the completed form.
That said, you can also provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) to help Equifax avoid confusing your identity with another person.
Once done, you should submit the completed form and supporting documents to the following mail:
Equifax Canada Co., National Consumer Relations, Box 190 Montreal, Quebec H1S 2Z2
It will take between 5 to 10 business days for your request to be delivered and the report sent to you.
2. By Phone
If you wish, you can also request your Equifax credit report for free by phone. All you need is to call their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system at 1-800-465-716.
The IVR is an automated system that collects your information via voice response and processes it for your credit report.
One of the required information the IVR will require from you is your Social Insurance Number (SIN). But if you don’t want to share your SIN, you can request the report by mail or in person.
Once you provide the valid information and your identity is confirmed, you will get your report within 5 to 10 business days sent to your home address through Canada Post.
This is a quick and easy way to access your Equifax credit report without leaving the comfort of your home or spending money on mailing a request.
3. In Person
Finally, you can get your free Equifax credit report in Canada in person at the Equifax office in Toronto, Charlottetown or Halifax.
The following is a highlight of the location, address, language and operating hours of each of the three offices.
|Address||5700 Yonge Street, Concourse Level, Toronto, ON M2M 4K2||155 Belvedere Avenue, Suite 200Charlottetown, PE C1A 8B9||1718 Argyle Street, Suite 720Halifax, NS B3J 3N6|
|Operating Hours||9 am-5 pm ET (Monday-Friday)||8:30 am-4:30 pm AT (Monday-Friday)||9 am-4:30 pm AT (Monday-Friday)|
When going, ensure you take along with a minimum of two identifications plus 1 proof of current address.
In addition, you should hold the original copies of the IDs you’re submitting. The following are the acceptable documents:
- Canadian Citizenship Card
- Canadian Passport
- Driver’s License
- Permanent Resident Card
- Current Photo Identification
- Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) Card
- Nexus Card
- Provincial Photo Card (if applicable)
- Certificate of Indian Status
That said, you can choose to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) to help Equifax provide the correct information to you.
Once you provide the valid information and your identity is confirmed, you will receive a copy of your credit report right there.
How to Get Free Equifax Credit Report Online in Canada
As noted above, you can only request your Equifax credit report by mail, phone and in person. If you want to access your report faster and easier, you need to use an online service.
Some of the companies that allow you to get your free Equifax credit report online include Borrowell and CIBC. Let’s take a brief look at each of them.
Borrowell is a Fintech company founded in 2014 which boasts as the first to offer free credit scores in Canada.
The company has 2 million members and it partners with over 75 companies to provide personalized credit-building recommendations.
With Borrowell, you can check your Equifax credit score and get your credit report for free online without hurting your credit.
Borrowell updates credit scores weekly, providing customized credit-building tips and recommendations based on your profile.
Some of the key features of the company are highlighted below:
- AI-powered credit coach that offers real-time analysis and practical credit-building tips
- $76 interest-free cash advance
- Multiple financial products and services (loans, credit cards, mortgages, banking, insurance, and investing)
Learn more: Borrowell Review
CIBC is the only one among the big banks that offer free credit score service using Equifax proprietary model.
If you are a CIBC client and are using the bank’s mobile banking app, you can check your Equifax credit report for free online. All you need is to follow the steps below:
- Login to your CIBC account on the mobile app
- Under the menu, click on “free credit score”
Right there your credit score will appear. You will also see the areas that impact your score with practical tips on how to improve your score.
What appears to be the major drawback of CIBC’s free credit score is that it’s updated after every month. The reporting frequency may be lower especially if you want to track your credit progress more often.
Learn more: CIBC Credit Score Review
Equifax vs TransUnion Free Credit Report
TransUnion is another popular US-based credit bureau that operates across different countries including Canada.
Like Equifax, TransUnion also offers free and paid credit report services. Both platforms don’t hurt your credit score when generating your own credit scores and reports.
However, the two platforms use different scoring factors, leading to differences in their report.
Due to the variation of the scoring model, your credit scores from both credit bureaus will be different. For most people, the Equifax credit score is often lower than the TransUnion credit score. This doesn’t mean that one is more or less accurate than the other.
That said, Equifax and TransUnion both offer free credit reports but with different names. While TransUnion offers a free credit report called “Consumer Disclosure”, the same service on Equifax is called “Credit File Disclosure.”
Unlike Equifax, TransUnion allows you to get your credit report online, by mail, in person or by phone.
The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong with either Equifax or TransUnion. Since they both offer free credit reports, you can even use the two to get a better picture of your credit profile.
Free vs Paid Equifax Credit Report: Which to Choose?
With a free Equifax credit report, you get your Equifax credit file information and a summary of the factors affecting your credit score.
But with the paid service, you get additional services such as daily access to credit score and report monitoring, identity theft assistance/restoration and insurance.
The difference is clear! While you can save more with the free service, you won’t have access to other features that will help protect your credit.
As cybercrime continues to increase, it becomes essential you protect your credit against fraudsters. An Equifax paid plan gives you better protection especially if you suspect your personal information (including SIN) may have been compromised or you’re already a victim of identity fraud.
However, if you already have credit protection measures, you can rely on the free Equifax credit report to save costs.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with either the Equifax free or any of the paid plans depending on your situation.
How to Improve Your Equifax Credit Score
Even though different credit bureaus use different models to calculate your score, they usually recommend common factors for credit building.
The following are the factors Equifax recommends for improving your credit score.
- Avoid late payments: Paying your bills on time will impact your credit score positively. The opposite is the case when you make late or skip payments. If you can’t meet the payment date, report to the lender as soon as possible.
- Don’t exceed your credit limit: When your balance exceeds your credit limit, your credit score may be affected negatively. Equifax recommends you keep your balance below your limit at all times.
- Limit how many time you apply for new credit: While having a mix of credits is a good credit-building strategy, applying for many credits within a short period can hurt your credit score.
- Check your credit reports regularly: The credit bureau recommends you check your credit reports regularly to ensure your personal information is accurate and complete. You should contact your creditor/ lender or file a dispute with Equifax when you find inaccurate or incomplete information on your credit report.
Some FAQs on Free Equifax Credit Report Canada
It cost between $0 to $29.95 to get a credit report from Equifax. Equifax offers free credit reports and paid reports under $19.95/month and $29.95/month plans.
Borrowell is a Fintech company while Equifax is a credit bureau. However, both companies offer credit score services based on the Equifax Risk Score 2.0 model.
Your Equifax credit score is likely low because of your credit and loan payment history. However, it could be that your score was wrongly calculated due to inaccurate or incomplete information. In that case, you need to contact your creditor/ lender or file a dispute with Equifax to have your credit score recalculated.
Both TransUnion and Equifax’s credit scores and reports are accurate as per the models they use to derive their scores. Your Equifax credit score may be lower than TransUnion’s because more lenders report to it and due to the different credit scoring models.
Taking advantage of freebies is one of the smart strategies to improve your finances. A free credit report is to your finances what free medical access is to your health.
Equifax gives you the opportunity to track your credit-building journey and identify areas you need improvement for free.
The only thing required of you is to apply the given recommendations effectively in order to stay on top of your score.
Hopefully, now you’re informed about how to get a free Equifax credit report in Canada. If you need further clarifications, kindly let me know in the comment section.