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Every Canadian consumer has the right to check their credit by pulling their credit report from one of the major credit bureaus. But as a consumer, you’re not the only one who is privy to this important information. 

There are other people who may have seen your credit report and know what your credit is aside from yourself. Want to know who they are? Keep reading.

Who Can Check Your Credit In Canada?

There are a variety of entities that can check your credit in Canada. While some credit checks will result in a hard inquiry, others may be a soft one. The type of inquiry made depends on whether or not they have requested your permission for a credit check.  

Can Lenders And Creditors Check Your Credit? 

It should come as no surprise that consumer credit reports are requested by lenders when people apply for loans, such as auto loans, mortgages, or credit cards. These individuals want to know what your payment and credit history is like. The data included in your credit report can provide them with valuable information they need before deciding whether or not to approve you for a loan, such as your likelihood to repay debt and how you’ve handled previous debts before.

Can Landlords Check Your Credit? 

An increasing number of landlords are using credit information to screen their rent applicants before handing over the keys to their properties. Much like lenders, landlords want to know that the tenant they sign a lease with is financially responsible to pay their rent every month on time and in full. By pulling your credit report, they’ll have an idea of what your payment history is like and how you’ve handled your credit in the past. 

If you’ve had a history of late or missed payments, such information will show on your credit report, and your landlord may use that information to reject your application. Landlords will usually request permission from you to check your credit, which may affect your credit. 

Do Cell Phone Companies Check Your Credit? 

Many cell phone companies in Canada do check your credit, some will perform a soft credit check while others may perform a hard inquiry. Cell phone companies usually will check your credit because they are offering you a service and often a phone, that you must pay for on a month-to-month basis. To ensure, you’re not a risky client and will comply with the signed contract, they’ll use your credit report to see your payment history and how you’ve managed your debts in the past.

Do Insurance Companies Check Your Credit? 

When you apply for a new insurance policy – whether for your house or car – the insurance agent may request to see your credit information. They often require it as it is a great indication of what you would be like as a customer. It allows them to assess your financial risk and what kind of insurance premiums and coverage they are willing to offer you. 

A high credit score is a good indication that you’ll make your payments on time every month, while a low credit score may indicate that’ll you’ll have trouble keeping up with payments. Your insurance provider might also ask for your credit information before giving you any discounts on your policy.

Can An Employer Check Your Credit? 

Some employers may request access to your credit information when you apply for a job. Typically, employers in the financial industry are the ones who may ask to check your credit before you are offered a job. Often employers want to ensure that the employee is financially responsible as they may be managing the company’s finances or something in relation to money. 

If your credit is poor and your report shows a lot of neglected payments, that could be a sign that you are financially irresponsible and may be unreliable as an employee. Moreover, if your report indicates you have a lot of debt or financial problems such as a high debt load, missed payments, or bankruptcy,  you may be more likely to mishandle or misuse company funds. 

Can Government Agencies Check Your Credit?

Some government agencies may also check out your credit report for any number of reasons. For instance, if you apply for some form of government benefits or assistance programs, the government will want to check your credit score to see if you’re eligible. Or, perhaps the government needs your credit score as part of an investigation on you for whatever reason. Or maybe the government is looking for you and is using your credit report as part of its overall strategy to locate you. Whatever their reason, the government can ask to access your credit information whenever they feel they need to.

Can A Collection Agency Check Your Credit? 

If you are in arrears with your creditors, they may take measures to get the money back that is owed to them. While they may go through a series of steps to do so, creditors may eventually resort to hiring a collection agency to hound you until they get their money back.  During this process, collection agencies might check your credit to help find you once they’ve taken over the debts that you are in default of.

Credit Checks FAQs

Can people with a court order against you check your credit?

It doesn’t happen every day, but court orders can be issued to pull someone’s credit report. That said, the case needs to be a pretty strong one in order for someone’s credit information to be obtained in this manner.

Will a credit check affect my credit scores?

A credit check can impact your credit scores, however, it depends on whether it was a hard or soft inquiry. Generally, hard inquiries can impact your credit, while soft inquiries have no impact on your credit. 

Do lenders and other entities require permission to check my credit? 

Yes, lenders and other entities must get your explicit consent to perform a hard credit check legally. However, they do not require your permission for soft credit checks. 

Final Thoughts

Other than lenders and creditors, there are a number of other entities who may want to get a hold of your credit information. Considering the fact that so many eyes may be on your credit report for various reasons, it is important that your credit score is in tip-top shape. If it isn’t, now would be a good time to take measures to improve it.

Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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