Knowing your credit score is an important part of being financially independent and responsible. Your credit score is the key to unlocking personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, and is often required by a landlord in order to rent property. So how can you actually check your credit score? There are a couple of different ways depending on your needs.
If you don’t need your full credit report and just need to know what your actual credit score is (or how many accounts are being reported to the credit bureau), then the easiest option is to use a verified site like Credit Karma. Be aware that Credit Karma only pulls data from TransUnion and not Equifax and that the data generated is not as detailed as the credit report you would get from Equifax or TransUnion.
Sites like Credit Karma are best for Canadians who need to prove their credit score to a landlord or employer.
Contact the Credit Bureaus Directly
For anything more serious/requiring a detailed credit report, your best bet to check your credit score is to order a credit report from both Equifax and TransUnion directly. You can get one free credit report pulled every year and the information included in it chronicles your financial history in detail.
It’s important to look through the credit reports generated to ensure the information is as complete and accurate as possible. Errors can happen and, in the case of your credit report, even one misplaced comma or omitted figure can have a huge impact on your score.
Equifax and TransUnion report separately and don’t share data with each other so it’s important to make sure you request a copy of your report from both of them and review them both independently. It’s not unusual for one credit bureaus’ report to differ from the other credit bureau. You want them both to reflect the same information so that you know your credit score is accurate and up to date across the board.
This is why it’s important not to rely solely on sites like Credit Karma to check your credit score; if Credit Karma only pulls their data from TransUnion and TransUnion has an error in your file, then the score you’re shown is going to inaccurate too.
Remember that your credit score and your credit report are two different things; your score may be a reflection of the information on your report but it’s ultimately still just a three digit number. Your report, on the other hand, is a detailed account breaking down all of your accounts and your financial activity (including slow, delinquent, or missed payments).
Together, your credit score and your credit report work hand in hand to give lenders an accurate idea of your financial standing and your trustworthiness with their money.