FCAA is Saskatchewan’s financial and consumer marketplace regulator.
Your credit report plays an important role in your financial life. The report may contain loan repayment history, amount of credit cards owned, outstanding debt, court judgments, places or residence, health history (in some cases), and other personal information such as marital status, number of dependants, age, education, and places of employment . These reports are often used by lenders, insurers, employers, businesses, landlords, and voluntary non-profit organizations to assess one’s credit, health or behavioral worthiness and/or to set premiums or fees for services.
Making sure it is accurate is vital for long-term financial health. Inaccurate or incomplete information on your report might block you from doing important things like getting a mortgage for a new home or buying a vehicle.
Credit reporting agencies track your credit history and use it to determine your credit rating. You play an important role in ensuring your report is accurate and you should regularly check your report to safeguard against risks like identity theft.
For informaiton about your credit report select from the options below.
You have the right to review your files and to be told whether the information has been given to anyone. You also have the right to have the information contained in your credit report explained to you and to make copies of that information. A credit reporting agency is not allowed to require you to sign a waiver or release before you can see your file.
You can contact any credit reporting agency, at no cost, to request a copy of your credit report. Two major agencies in Canada are:
If you think your credit report includes inaccurate or incomplete information:
Applications for employment, insurance, credit, loans, rental accommodation and contractual arrangements that are based on periodic payments (such as on-going monthly product purchases, gym memberships, apartment rentals, home alarm contracts, cell phone contracts, etc.) often include a clause in the contract or application authorizing a credit report to be obtained. Agreeing to such clauses means credit and personal information is acquired from and uploaded to credit reporting agencies without further notice to the individual. Carefully read forms or applications before signing them.
The Act places limits on the kinds of information that a credit reporting agency can include in a credit report and who can receive and use that information. A credit report cannot include the following information:
Under Saskatchewan's legislation, no one can get your credit report without:
A credit reporting agency is allowed to release or reveal the information in your file or give a credit report but only:
The Registrar of Credit Reporting may order that inaccurate records be deleted or corrected, and that anyone who received an inaccurate report be notified of the errors. The Registrar may also restrict or prohibit credit reporting agencies from using certain information on your file.
There are other pieces of legislation that offer personal information protection. These include the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and the provincial acts: The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and The Health Information Protection Act. Visit the Government of Saskatchewan website for further information on your personal health information and privacy.
The Cost of Credit Disclosure Act protects consumers against unfair credit practices.
The Act applies to virtually all lending by provincially-regulated lenders, including credit unions and retailers who offer credit to individuals - for mortgages, credit cards, leases, and lines of credit, for example. The disclosure requirements in The Act also apply to lending to individuals for farm, ranch, and feedlot operations. The Act does not apply to credit obtained through chartered banks.
The lender is responsible for providing detailed information, including about how annual percentage rates are to be calculated and reported. In some instances, the interest rate may be re-calculated, provided that the terms of the agreement allow or, as with credit cards, prior written notice is given.
Consumers may repay all non-mortgage and non-farm loans without penalty and have a right to be refunded for certain finance charges when early repayment is made. Consumers may cancel credit agreements by contacting the lenders, provided they have not obtained or used the funds.
If you have questions regarding financing agreements, contact the FCAA.
The Credit Counselling Society is a non-profit agency that provides free credit counselling and debt consolidation services. Call their office, toll free: 1-888-527-8999.
1. Where can I find a credit reporting agency?
Credit reporting agencies must be licensed with the Consumer Protection Division. They are privately-operated companies and may be listed online or in the yellow pages of the phone book. A consumer is entitled to request and receive a copy of their own personal credit report at no charge, usually by phone or mail. Making a request online could result in a request for payment.
You will need to provide the credit reporting agency with your name, current and previous address, along with other identifying information such as date of birth, social insurance number, credit card information, or copies of utility bills. The credit reporting agency must ensure they are sending the credit report to the correct individual.
2. Who can ask for and receive a copy of my credit report?
Several people and organizations may request and obtain a copy of a consumer's credit report, including creditors, collection agencies, landlords, potential employers, insurance companies (where required under Canadian law for a direct business purpose or other credit transaction), law enforcement agencies, the courts, other parties with written instructions from the consumer, or as required by the Registrar by law. A consumer will be given notice in writing when a credit report is required.
The following information CANNOT be included in a credit report:
information where the name and address of the source is not recorded or cannot be easily determined;
information not based on the most reliable evidence reasonably available;
unfavourable personal information, unless the source has made reasonable efforts to corroborate the evidence on which the personal information is based;
information on a bankruptcy six years, or longer, after the date of discharge. In the case of multiple bankruptcies, all information may remain on the credit report for an indefinite period of time;
information about any judgment against a consumer six years, or longer, from the date given, unless the judgement remains unpaid and confirmation is on file;
information regarding any debt six years, or longer, after the last payment was made. If no payment was made, information about a debt cannot remain on file six years, or longer, after the debt was incurred;
information about a court action, or other court proceeding, more than 12 months after the date of issue (unless the current status of the action or proceeding has been ascertained and is included in the report);
information about a conviction for a crime or summary conviction six years after the date of conviction, release, or parole. No information about a conviction will appear if a pardon has been granted;
information related to criminal charges, unless the charges have resulted in conviction;
information about a judgment, unless it includes the name and address of the creditor or creditor's agent, the date of the judgment entry, and amount.
information about fines, six years, or longer, after the fine was imposed;
any information given orally, unless the content of the oral report is recorded in writing and included in the file;
information about the race, creed, colour, ancestry, ethnic origin, or political affiliation of a consumer;
any other unfavourable information that is six or more years old, unless the consumer has voluntarily supplied the information to the credit reporting agency; and
any information that cannot be produced and delivered to the consumer;
3. What should I do if there is information on my credit report that is not accurate?
According to law, a consumer has a right to dispute any information they believe to be incorrect or inaccurate. Disputing inaccurate information needs to be done in writing to the credit reporting agency, which will investigate within a reasonable period of time. When disputing information on your report, provide copies of your supporting documents.
If the information on your report is found to be incorrect or inaccurate, it must be removed or revised. Anyone that received credit information in the previous six months must be notified of the change. If the credit reporting agency finds the information to be accurate, complete, and verified, the agency will advise the consumer and the information will remain on file. A consumer statement setting out the nature of the dispute may remain on file, however, and become part of the credit report. The Registrar may also intervene, review the circumstances of a dispute, and, if necessary, require the inaccurate or incomplete data to be corrected or updated.