Having a good credit score is one thing, knowing how to read your file is another! Here’s how to read the details of your Equifax file.
You can request your credit report free of charge, once a year. You will then obtain a paper or electronic copy. However, you will not get your credit score.
Equifax offers a monthly subscription to access your score and real-time details of your credit file. This subscription is without commitment so you can stop it at any time by calling customer service at 1-800-465-7166.
You must first go to the myEquifax page to log in.
Once you have opened your account with Equifax, you will access your scorecard displaying your score as well as essential information about your credit file such as alerts and account counts.
You can update your credit score up to once a day. But the credit score usually changes every month.
You will receive an email when a new history request is made. A request can be created when your credit card statement is first issued and the financial institution reports it to Equifax.
Finally, a closed account can also trigger an update. To see the most recent alerts, click on the bell at the top right of the screen.
You can see the details of current and archived alerts. Generally, an alert will influence your score up or down.
Account analysis and utilization rates
It can’t be repeated enough, but the points & miles hunter doesn’t go into debt to play the points game. So, pay your credit cards in full before the due date!
This section will allow you to see your credit card and line of credit usage by selecting each account.
The”Temperament” type is special, in my case: it displays my mortgage, which is linked to a mortgage line of credit. But it could also include your car lease, for example.
The”Other” type represents notably the service providers (Videotron, Bell, Rogers…)
As a reminder: your credit score is made up of various components. The use is an important part (about 30%).
Here is a simple calculation:
- Mr. Miles has a credit card with a $5,000 limit. He carries $2,500 in expenses on it each month. Its use in relation to the credit bureau is therefore 50%.
- Mrs. Points has 2 credit cards with a limit of $5,000 each ($10,000). Each month, she charges $2,500 to one of these two cards. Its use in relation to the credit bureau is therefore only 25%.
It is therefore better to have several credit cards with several credit limits… even if you leave them in a drawer: your use of credit will be reduced accordingly!
Your credit report requests
This is where requests for your credit record history appear. Some banks like American Express use TransUnion and others like CIBC or TD / MBNA Equifax. Please note, however, that institutions will declare account over once it is opened at both offices.
Here is the definition of a“hard hit” and a”soft hit“. Here are the differences:
- A Hard Hit is caused by a new credit application: card application, mortgage application, request for overdraft authorization on your checking account, etc. This Hard Hit will impact your score and will remain on your record for 3 years.
- A soft hitis a regular query by a lender. It will not impact your score.
Note: Please note that American Express hard hits are displayed on the Transunion file, not Equifax.
Here you can see all the accounts that have been reported to the credit bureau, whether they are open or closed. We strongly encourage you to verify the accuracy of all accounts and to submit a claim if an account does not belong to you!
Also, make sure that the accounts closed were “at your request” and were paid.
Here is a typical example of a “churner”: an American Express card kept for 11 months. Closed at my request and of course acquitted.
Less important than the other sections, but attention should be paid if any of the information is wrong. Previous addresses and employers are information used to identify you when you apply for a new credit card.
The Equifax interface has just been updated.
It is important to request the details of your credit report once a year, in paper or electronic format. But if you’re curious to see what’s behind the scenes, your file is just a mouse click away.