Credit Check

Your landlord has asked you for proof of your ability to pay previous rents; you know that asking for bank statements, employment records, and your social insurance number (SIN) are all illegal, so what are your options?  One option is to conduct a credit check on yourself and print out a copy of the report to give to your landlord. This record details your financial accountability for as long as you have borrowed money through a credit card and paid bills online. Banks or other lenders will send information about your accounts to credit reporting agencies. Your credit report also includes personal information that is available in public records, such as a bankruptcy, default, or other financial information.

Instructions:

  1. Access your credit history in one of three ways; either online, by the post, or by fax. Online is by far the quickest and easiest but unfortunately there is a cost ranging from twenty to thirty dollars depending on the agency.
  2. Fill out the required forms that will ask you for your SIN number, address, and other personal information and proof of identity. This is one of the few instances when giving your SIN number is required to access your records.
  3. Pay the fees if applicable.
  4. If done online, you should receive your report immediately and you can print out a copy of the report to give to the landlord. If done by mail or fax, you may have to wait up to two weeks.
  5. Photocopy your report if you are looking at multiple apartments.

FAQ

I just moved to Canada, will I have credit?

You may; depending on how long you have been in the country for and if you have opened a credit card account, certain cell phone plans, or rented before.

None of the above apply to me, will I have credit?

Again you may; you could for example bring a credit report from a credit bureau from your home country.

What if I still don’t have any credit, or my credit is really bad, and I don’t want to show my landlord?

You could have your bank prepare a letter for you showing your ability to meet previous debts such as tuition, a car, or other purchases. Alternatively or in addition to the credit report, you could be asked to submit a letter from a guarantor.