05 Mar 2014

EQUIFAX REMINDS CANADIANS TO SPRING FORWARD BY CHECKING THEIR CREDIT SCORE

TORONTO, March 5, 2014 – Call it ‘spring cleaning’ for your personal finances.  When you change your clocks this weekend to begin Daylight Savings Time, Equifax Canada is encouraging consumers to take a few minutes to check their credit report and score – it’s simple, and more importantly, vital to protecting their identities.

“Changing our clocks is easy enough, but changing and understanding the relationship we have with credit is critical in getting the best rates and in proactively protecting our identities,” says Tim Ashby, Vice President of Personal Solutions, Equifax Canada.  “It starts with knowing both your credit file and credit score, which can mean the difference between being able to purchase a home with a mortgage and renting.  It can also impact the rate of interest you pay on any type of loan, including car loans.”

A credit score is a three-digit number between 300 and 900, serving as an indicator of credit worthiness. Whether getting a loan, buying a home or car, or applying for a credit card, it’s important to know where you stand.  

Obtaining your credit score is fast and easy via the Equifax Canada website or by dropping in at one of our consumer walk-in centres across the country.

“Everyone changes their clocks, but sadly only about one in ten Canadians find the time to check their credit report and score,” adds Ashby. ”Simply knowing and maintaining your credit score can save you from paying higher interest rates each month and overall.”

Ashby offers these tips to help maintain a healthy credit score:
1.    Check your credit report and score at least once per year.
2.    Pay your bills on time.
3.    If you find incorrect information on your credit report, contact Equifax Canada to begin a Dispute Resolution process.
4.    Borrow only what you can repay.
5.    Read and understand your credit card contract(s).
6.    Notify your creditor if you cannot pay your bills on time.
7.    Make the minimum payment, even if you cannot pay the full amount.
8.    Avoid impulse buying.
9.    Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
10.    Never give your credit card over the phone unless you are certain of the caller’s identity.