Everything You Need to Know About Transunion

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Alexandre Desoutter updated on 21 October 2022

Credit in Canada is not always an easy subject to understand. The system is opaque but unquestionably important for Canadian consumers. It informs lenders, employers and landlords whether someone is creditworthy or not.

Credit reporting is dominated in Canada by two companies, TransUnion and Equifax.

This guide shows you how to get a free credit TransUnion credit report. Learn what is in your credit report and how to ensure it is correct and up to date.

How do I get a TransUnion credit report?

Canadians can get a free copy of their TransUnion Consumer Disclosure through the TransUnion website, by mail, phone or in person.

  • English: 1-800-663-9980
  • French: 1-877-713-3393
  • English-speakers in all province except Quebec

TransUnion Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 338, LCD1
Hamilton Ontario L8L 7W2

  • Everyone in Quebec and French-speakers in other provinces

Centre de relations au consommateur
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201
Burlington ON L7N3N8
  • Nova Scotia

C/O Lyle Tilley Davidson Chartered Accountants
1718 Argyle Street, Suite 720
Halifax, NS B3J 3N6

  • Prince Edward Island

Consumer Relations
C/O BDO Canada LLP
155 Belvedere Ave, Suite 200
Charlottetown, PE C1A 8B9

  • Ontario

Consumer Relations
3115 Harvester Road, Suite 201
Burlington, ON L7N 3N8

(In Ontario service is available on an appointment-only basis. Contact [email protected] to request an appointment.)
TransUnion: Where to get a credit report

Watch out!

Be careful when ordering your TransUnion credit report online. When you ask for a TransUnion credit report the website makes it easier to find TransUnion Credit Monitoring, a $19.95 monthly subscription than the free consumer disclosure.

If you're submitting by mail, you will need this form:

Mail you form to:

Consumer Relations Centre

3115 Harvester Road, Suite 201

Burlington, Ontario L7N 3N8

If you don't like your credit score start improving it now with a credit builder loan. Learn more.

Take steps to fix your credit now

Better credit starts here

What is TransUnion?

TransUnion is a credit bureau. Equifax is the other major bureau. It tracks how Canadian consumers use credit and complies into a credit report and credit score. Lenders use that information to decide to whom they are willing to lend, how much and at what rates.

Credit bureaus do not make lending decisions, but they wield a lot of power by being gatekeepers to important information. Lenders refer to reports before approving personal loans, giving mortgages or extending other types of credit. That’s not all! Some employers and landlords also check credit reports. If you have too low a score and negative items on their reports it can be a reason to reject your application.

Good to know

In most of Canada, a business or individual needs to get written consent before checking a credit report. It is usually included during the initial application for credit.

What is the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

A credit report is a snapshot of how you use credit. It includes the amounts you borrowed, your repayment history and credit utilization.

TransUnion takes these data points to create a score between 300 and 900.

An excellent credit score starts at 760 and qualifies you for the best rates. Lenders typically have cutoffs and refuse to extend a product to someone under a specific threshold. When they want to study your credit history, they look deeper into the report to better understand your situation before lending.

Always pay your bills on time? Your score will go up. On the other hand, it hurts your score to miss payments or carry a high credit card balance.

What is in my TransUnion credit report?

Your TransUnion credit report contains information about who you are and your financial situation. It will have your social insurance number, date of birth, employment information and address. If you have a mortgage default or bankruptcy in the public record, expect to see that too.

The bulk of your report will be your history of using and requesting credit. Lenders usually report their customers’ repayment history to one or both credit bureaus. When you inquire about new credit, it is reported to TransUnion and added to your credit report.

Credit reports rate items with letters and numbers. Here is how to decode them:

Letters on a credit report refer to the type of loan. For example:

LetterRefers to Example
Installment credit: You borrow money for a specific period making regular payments until you pay it off.Personal loan
Open status credit: You may borrow up to a specific limit when needed.Line of credit
Revolving or recurring credit: You may borrow money on an ongoing basis up to a specific limit. You make regular payments in varying amounts depending on the outstanding.Credit card
Mortgage: An installment loan on your principal residence.Mortgage
TransUnion credit report: Credit types

Next, the number rates your repayment history for that item from 1 to 9. The lower the number, the better.

NumberRefers to
  • Too new to rate
  • Approved, but not yet used
  • Paid within 30 days of billing
  • Pays as agreed
Late payment: 31 to 59 days late
Late payment: 60 to 89 days late
Late payment: 90 to 119 days late
Late payment: more than 120 days late
Not used
Making regular payments using a debt management option:
  • a consolidation order
  • orderly payment of debts
  • consumer proposal
  • debt management program with a credit counselling agency
  • Written off as a “bad debt”
  • Sent to a collections agency
  • Bankruptcy
TransUnion credit report: number ratings

How are TransUnion’s credit scores calculated?

Like Equifax, TransUnion assigns a score from 300 to 900. 300 is the worst possible score. 900 is the best. The higher the score, the easier it is to be approved for credit, get lower interest rates and enjoy higher credit limits.

TransUnion breaks down and weighs information from your credit report to determine your score. This includes

  • If you repay your loans and credit card balances on time
  • How much you owe on existing loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc
  • The age of your accounts
  • Your credit mix: the types of credit you have
  • Credit utilization ratio: the amount of credit you use vs the total available
  • Inquiries for new lines of credit

A credit score is not set in stone. You can change it over time by paying down high balances and not missing payments. Lenders use a credit score to get an impartial perspective on your reliability and creditworthiness. If you use credit responsibly over a long period, your score should go up.

If you need to improve your credit score quickly, you can take a proactive approach and use a credit builder loan:

Get a loan to rebuild your credit

Get a loan now

How do I dispute an item on my TransUnion credit report?

You might notice something on your credit report that shouldn’t be there. You can and should dispute anything inaccurate with TransUnion.

File a free dispute with TransUnion online, by telephone or by mail.

  • English: 1-800-663-9980
  • French: 1-877-713-3393
  • English-speakers outside of Quebec

TransUnion Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 338, LCD1
Hamilton Ontario
L8L 7W2

  • Everyone in Quebec and French-speakers in other provinces

Centre de relations au consommateur
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON
TransUnion disputes: contact info

However you choose to dispute a negative item, make sure that you have the following information accessible when you reach out:

  • Full name
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Date of birth
  • Current address
  • Previous address (if at current address fewer than two years)
  • Company name of the disputed item appearing on your credit report)
  • Information that backs up why you’re disputing the item.

Once you submit your dispute, TransUnion will open an investigation into the potential inaccuracy. They will contact the creditor in question for verification. Once this process is complete, they will either change or delete the information in your credit report if it is deemed inaccurate. If the creditor verifies that the items are accurate, they will remain on your credit report.

Regardless of the outcome, TransUnion will send you a detailed summary of its investigation.

Good to know

It isn’t possible to dispute your credit score, but correcting errors on your report can improve your score.

What is a credit inquiry?

A credit inquiry is a request for credit report information. Credit inquiries may be made by lending institutions, landlords, employers, and individuals. In most of Canada, the subject of the credit inquiry had to give written permission for it to be performed. This is commonly part of a credit application.

An inquiry is classified as either a hard inquiry or a soft inquiry. Only hard inquiries affect your credit score.

  • Hard inquiries are the type requested when you complete a new credit or loan application. A hard inquiry will provide a creditor with a copy of your full credit report including your credit score and details on your credit history. Multiple hard checks within a short time frame may be counted as a single inquiry.
  • A soft request is the type performed by a prospective employer or landlord or when you check your credit report yourself. It contains less information than the hard inquiry.

How can I cancel my TransUnion account?

You may cancel TransUnion credit monitoring by calling 1-800-508-2597. Note the following hours.

  • English assistance: 8:00 am to 9:00 pm ET Mondays through Fridays, and 8:00 am to 5:00 pm ET on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • French assistance: 3:00 am to 5:00 pm ET Mondays through Fridays.

How can I contact TransUnion?

There are several phone numbers to use to reach TransUnion depending on your inquiry. Here are the most requested contact numbers.

General inquiries
  • English: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • French: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm ET

(Monday to Friday)
Credit monitoring subscription
  • 8 am to 9 pm ET (Monday through Friday)
  • 8 am to 5 pm ET ( Saturday through Sunday)
  • French: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm ET
Disputes, fraud alert and consumer disclosures
  • 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
TransUnion phone numbers

TransUnion vs Equifax

TransUnion and Equifax both provide lenders with information about a consumer's creditworthiness. As a Canadian borrower, there isn’t much difference between the two.

If you pull up both reports, you may see different numbers because each company has its own formula for calculating a credit score. Don’t expect a large difference. One report may have some information that isn’t yet on the other because institutions do not always report to both bureaus.

Both TransUnion and Equifax are widely used. Lenders may check either. As a consumer, you should too.

What is a good TransUnion credit score?

Lenders generally consider a good credit score to be one that's 660 or higher. A credit score is not the only factor that impacts lenders' decisions to extend credit. They look at your credit debt ratio, indebtedness and income too.

TransUnion credit scores break down into these rankings:

CategoryCredit Score
Very Good
TransUnion credit scores

These are general guidelines and each lender has its own standards. It is more difficult to get lender approval below 660. A score above that means easier access to favourable terms and interest rates.

Credit score not what you want it to be? You can improve your score.

Take steps to fix your credit now

Better credit starts here
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Alexandre Desoutter

Alexandre Desoutter has been working as editor-in-chief and head of press relations at HelloSafe since June 2020. A graduate of Sciences Po Grenoble, he worked as a journalist for several years in French media, and continues to collaborate as a as a contributor to several publications.

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