My first post in getting caught up is to answer a reader's question on how/where Jordan and I accessed our credit reports. I should probably remind readers that this is written from the Canadian perspective.
There are currently two credit reporting agencies - Equifax and Trans Union. Governed by provincial legislation they collect and disseminate information that pertains to Canadian's credit. Keep in mind, that lenders are not required to report to these bureaus/agencies - they do so of their own volition; in part, I assume, because they believe it's in their and other creditors best interests to do so. On that same thread however; not all creditors/lenders report to both agencies - some just report to one.
So the information that the two reporting agencies collect; comes from the lenders/credit giving companies that we interact with - like cell phone companies, banks, and even the government when you apply for student loans. The information they collect also comes from us! When we request our credit reports we have to supply personal identifying information; if we give them anything new - they will add it to the file for the next requester.
Now, speaking of requests - companies can't just go requesting your credit history or your score without your consent, so you should always know when it's happening (identity theft aside).
You can request your report, at no cost, by filling out their applications and mailing them in. You can request a combination of your report and your score by filling out their online application and paying a fee. The fee's vary, and change overtime; so I won't mention them here.
Speaking of the scores - there is no one; no company; other than the two reporting agencies, that know the magic algorithm that used to calculate it. There are many people who guess; and I'm sure many educated people who are close to getting it right - but the fact is, it's not public information.
So - Jordan and I ordered our reports; not our scores. We have no immediate or even short-term need to access new credit; so no desire to know what our scores are (other then curiosity, and we're not paying for that....you know what it did to the cat).
I've linked to the two sites above, and through navigating their sites you can find links to the printable application forms - it can take 3-6 weeks; longer if you have a very common name but when it arrives it's absolutely imperative that you make sure there are no discrepancies and fix them if they exist.
Fixing errors can take time; and if you don't take it when you don't need credit - it will be sure to come back and bite you when you do need credit.