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(Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
(Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

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Get your credit report Add to ...

When I wrote recently on the importance of , a friend asked me how she could find out more about her own credit profile and rating.

I had to admit that I had never ordered my credit report, but I quickly learned that not only is it very simple to obtain, it's free.

I also discovered that financial institutions and recommend that everyone order and review their credit reports regularly. There may be outdated or wrong information you need to correct. If you find your credit score is on the low side, you'll know why you were denied a credit card or turned down for a mortgage.

There are two main sources for credit reports in Canada: and . The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada ordering your report from both agencies once a year, as the two may not be sharing their information. Both should be checked for inaccuracies.

When you order your credit report by mail or over the phone, it's free of charge. If you simply cannot wait to receive your report, you can order it online and get it within a few minutes, but there is a fee. will cost $15.95, while charges $14.95.

There is also a cost for getting your credit score, and you can only access that online. Equifax Canada offers a package online that includes both your credit report and score for $23.95. TransUnion charges an extra $7.95 for credit scores when you order the online credit report.

Your credit score is a key piece of information that lenders will use to decide whether or not to approve a loan. The higher your score, the better it is - a higher score may even lead to more favourable loan rates.

My friend has ordered her report by mail and is anxiously awaiting its arrival. I'm less patient and want to find out my score too, so am planning to order it online. We both hope there are no surprises.

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