Did you know that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country? Well it is! The Better Business Bureau of Canada reported that it costs consumers, banks, retailers and other businesses $2.5 billion a year and this number is continuing to grow. It’s vital that you check your credit report. It’s recommended by Equifax that you check your credit report at least twice a year or every few months if you’ve ever been a victim of identity theft. This will allow you to catch any inaccuracies sooner than later. You can obtain one free credit report per year.
When you check your credit report, look for the following things:
Inquiries are when a bank or a business checks your credit report to see if you are credit worthy. Often this happens if you go into a bank and apply for credit, or a landlord may check your credit if you are trying to rent an apartment.
There are hard inquiries and soft inquiries. A hard inquiry is when you have applied for some form of credit or you have applied to rent an apartment. A hard inquiry affects your beacon score. A soft inquiry on the other hand does not affect your beacon score. It’s when a bank or an insurance company checks your credit report to see if you qualify for a pre-approved credit card or line of credit. You may also see a soft inquiry from Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation, Genworth or Canada Guranty. These are mortgage insurance companies that check your credit report if you’ve ever applied for a mortgage and put less than 20% down payment.