So what is a TransUnion Consumer Disclosure?

Simply put, a Consumer Disclosure is your complete credit report that only you can request access to.

It lists additional information that only you can see, such as account management inquiries, non-credit-related inquiries and personal inquiries. These types of inquiries are not visible to companies when you apply for credit.

Every Canadian has the right to obtain a free copy of their Consumer Disclosure online, by mail or in person. If you choose to receive it by mail, it’ll take 3-5 working days to arrive.

A Consumer Disclosure doesn’t update in real-time; an updated version is available once a month.

You won’t see your credit score in a Consumer Disclosure, but there are other ways to check your credit score.

If you see incorrect information in your Consumer Disclosure, you can use the supplied Investigation Request Form to file a dispute.

After you’ve looked at your TransUnion Consumer Disclosure, you’ll want to review your Equifax credit report. That’s the other major credit bureau in Canada, and each one can hold different information about you.

A TransUnion Consumer Disclosure will help you understand how your financial behaviour affects your credit, enabling you to make better financial decisions, improve your credit and guard against identity theft and fraud.

How to read a TransUnion Consumer Disclosure

On the first page of a TransUnion Consumer Disclosure, you’ll find a list of frequently asked questions, including information about credit bureaus and how credit reports work. There’s a simple key for credit ratings to explain what the codes mean on each credit account.

From there, you’ll see the date that information was first reported to TransUnion and the last review date.

The information in your Consumer Disclosure is accurate as of the review date, but it can change at any time. To see an updated version, you’ll need to wait a month.

A TransUnion Consumer Disclosure contains:

  • Personal information
  • Addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Employers
  • Credit accounts
  • Public records
  • Inquiries
  • Other items such as banking or collection information
  • Ways to dispute information
TransUnion Consumer Disclosure - Free credit report

Personal information

The personal information section typically includes your surname, given names, middle name, birth date and Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Addresses and telephone numbers

These sections list all of your addresses and telephone numbers on file. Your most current address displays first.

Employers

Your current and previous employers can also appear on a Consumer Disclosure.

Accounts

This section lists all the accounts reported by companies with which you’ve established a credit relationship. This is your credit history with creditors such as banks, credit card companies and other lenders.

This section can display up to 24 months of payment history information.

Each account reports information such as:

  • The date the account was opened.
  • The date information was last reported.
  • Last payment date.
  • The terms of the account.
  • The account type.
  • Monthly payment history.

Public records

The public records section displays information that may affect your creditworthiness. This information is also on file with the government and accessible to the general public.

Public records appear for items like:

Inquiries

Credit-related inquiries (hard inquiries)

When you apply for credit, companies ask for consent to review your credit report so they can decide whether to accept or reject your application.

Each time this happens, an inquiry is added to the credit-related inquiries section of your credit report.

This is known as a hard inquiry. Other companies can see hard inquiries when they access your credit report, and they may also impact your credit score.

They remain on your credit report for three years from the inquiry date.

Too many hard inquiries on your credit report can act as a red flag for lenders because it can indicate that you are desperate to obtain credit.

Non-credit-related inquiries and account review inquiries (soft inquiries)

This section lists inquiries that do not affect your credit score, known as soft inquiries.

If they have your consent or if they are allowed to by law, a company can access your credit information before completing a transaction or entering into a relationship with you for purposes other than credit (non-credit-related inquiries) or to periodically review your credit file after establishing a relationship with you (account review inquiries).

Some examples include:

  • Existing lenders to add or renew a service, qualify for a promotion, or approve a credit limit increase.
  • Identity verification.
  • Collecting on a debt.
  • Insurance underwriting.
  • Employment or tenancy screening.
  • Fraud detection and regulation purposes.
  • Credit bureaus (credit reporting agencies).

Soft inquiries are not visible to anyone but you, and they can occur without your permission.

Ways to dispute information

There’s information on how to dispute credit information and update personal data on your Consumer Disclosure.

You can do so online or by phone, and if you received your Consumer Disclosure by mail, there’s an Investigation Request Form supplied.

To submit a dispute online, you’ll need the following information:

  • Full name
  • Social Insurance Number (optional)
  • Date of birth
  • Current address
  • Previous address (if at current address less than two years)
  • Name of the disputed item (from your credit report)
  • Reason for your dispute

Source: TransUnion Canada: Credit Report Disputes

Check your Consumer Disclosure for errors

When you receive your TransUnion Consumer Disclosure, you’ll want to review all the information on it to ensure it’s correct.

Pay particular attention to things like:

  • Incorrect personal information.
  • Misspellings.
  • An incorrect middle initial.
  • Accounts that don’t belong to you.
  • Unfamiliar accounts.
  • Credit inquiries you didn’t make.
  • Payments made on time but recorded as late.
  • Inaccurate credit limits.
  • Accounts attached to debt collection agencies.
  • Closed accounts reported as open.
  • Negative information that hasn’t fallen off on time.

Fixing errors can result in an improvement to your credit score.

Consumer Disclosure vs credit report: what’s the difference?

A Consumer Disclosure is the same as a regular TransUnion credit report except for one difference; it includes additional information that only you are allowed to see, such as account management inquiries, non-credit-related inquiries and personal inquiries.

These types of inquiries are not visible to companies when you apply for credit.

However, a Consumer Disclosure is only updated once a month. For real-time updates, you may need to signup for their paid service, TransUnion Credit Monitoring.

See also: Check your credit report.

Can I get an online Consumer Disclosure?

You can download your free monthly Consumer Disclosure by visiting secure-ocs.transunion.ca

Conclusion

By reading this guide, you should understand what a TransUnion Consumer Disclosure is and how to read the information it contains.

By learning how a credit report works, you can improve your credit score, which helps you access better credit products with attractive rates and rewards.

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