Are you thinking of making a move in the near future? Buying real estate can be a very emotional process with high and lows. But spending a little time upfront to understand what we want and need and also ensuring that our financial house is in order will save you a lot of time and stress. This includes validating in advance that your credit history is in order and accurate. A bad credit score makes buying real estate very difficult.
Are you aware that thousands of Canadians find errors in their credit files every year? How is your credit score?
Credit bureaus are actually private businesses, not public companies. They are loosely regulated and yes they make mistakes. You have to be diligent to ensure you do not fall through the cracks.
Check Your Credit Reports
It is a good practice to periodically check your credit reports and definitely a good idea to check this before you start looking for a property to buy. You should be aware of what your credit report says about you.
Here are some things to check for:
- Make sure that your credit report is actually yours and not someone that has the same name and birthday as you
- Has your current and accurate credit information
The two largest credit bureaus in Canada are Trans Union of Canada Inc. And Equifax Canada Inc. Request your credit reports from both of these companies as companies deal with different credit bureaus. They will send you your file for free.
At a minimum request, a report before you apply for a mortgage preapproval
Make Changes Promptly
Should you find any errors in your credit reports – it is up to you to prove that they are errors. A correction form will be sent to you with your credit report. Fill it out and send it back immediately. Once the change has been made, the credit bureau will send you a new copy of your credit report. Be warned that it can take some time for errors to be corrected on your credit report – sometimes up to a month.
Provide Accurate Information
Often the errors on a credit report are simply human errors; some data entry clerk mistakenly types your address incorrectly and you don’t get your final bill.
Having a strong credit score will be critical in getting pre-approved for a mortgage and getting the best possible interest rate. Doing your due diligence upfront can save you money and stress in the long run.