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Your credit score provides a snapshot of your financial health and plays a key role in your ability to access a variety of financial products and programs, including personal loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Your credit score can also affect your ability to get certain types of jobs, secure a rental unit, and even get a cell phone contract.
That’s why it’s important to know what your credit score is, which you can find out by requesting a copy of your credit report from one of the two credit bureaus in Canada: TransUnion, or Equifax. Not only will reviewing your credit report help you find out what your credit score is, but it will also give you a chance to look for any errors or spot any suspicious items that may mean your identity is at risk.
TransUnion allows you to access your credit report in a few different ways, which all require you to provide certain pieces of information to verify your identity. The information provided will help ensure that no one else is trying to unlawfully try to access your information and potentially steal your identity.
But what if TransUnion cannot verify your identity when you request your credit report? Why would this happen? Let’s take a look at what’s required to obtain your credit report and potential reasons why your identity may fail to be verified by TransUnion.
Where Can You Get Your Credit Report?
You can obtain a copy of your credit report from the credit bureaus in Canada or from third-party providers.
A copy of your credit report can be ordered from Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada by mail, fax, telephone, or online for free. If you choose to obtain your report online, you may need to pay a fee to see it right away.
Some companies are available that provide credit scores for free, while others may require a sign-up process for a paid service for you to see your credit score. These companies include Credit Karma, Borrowell, and Credit Verify, to name a few.
How Do You Get Your Credit Report With TransUnion?
To get your credit report through TransUnion, follow these steps:
- Provide your personal information. You’ll need to fill out your personal profile and provide details such as your name, address, phone number, email address, and date of birth. You also have the option to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
- Create an account. Once you’ve filled out all your personal information, you’ll be asked to create an account with a username and password.
- Verify your identity. You’ll be required to verify your identity to prevent anyone else from impersonating you and attempting to access your information. You may be asked for more information, including your SIN, driver’s license number, or bank account information. You’ll also be sent an email to verify your identity and complete your enrollment.
Once you’ve completed the process, your account will be created and you’ll be able to log in and access your account.
What Happens If TransUnion Is Unable To Verify Your Identity?
There are a handful of reasons why TransUnion may not have been able to verify your identity:
You May Have Answered An Identity Confirmation Question Incorrectly
TransUnion will block users that do not answer the identity authentication questions correctly for security purposes. That way, anyone who has nefarious intentions will be prevented from repeatedly returning until they can guess the right answers.
The Lender Name May Be Different From The One You Know
You may be asked about a mortgage you don’t have or a loan from a lender that you don’t recognize. These questions are asked so that the likelihood of an unauthorized user guessing the answers is significantly reduced for your own security. These questions might not be taken from your TransUnion credit report. When a question like this is asked, the authentication application is looking for an answer of “None of the above.”
You’re Not The Primary Owner
Perhaps you’re only a co-signer on an account or own the account jointly with someone else. If you don’t make payments on the account, you may not be familiar with it and may not have the information available to answer questions about the account correctly.
Your Information Is Tied With Another Person
It’s possible that your credit information may be linked with the information of someone else whose identification information is similar to yours. This is more likely to happen between family members who share the same name and address, but it may also happen with two unrelated individuals who have very similar names and Social Insurance Numbers.
You Made A Mistake On Your Profile
Failure to fill out your profile accurately will likely result in TransUnion being unable to verify your identity. For instance, you might make a mistake filling out your name, address, or birth date.
You Placed A Credit Alert
A third-party provider may not be able to verify your identity if you placed an alert on your TransUnion account. This will prevent the credit bureau from verifying your identity.
You Have A Thin Credit Profile
If you only have a few short months’ worth of credit information, this might not be enough for the credit bureau to accurately identify you.
What Should I Do If Transunion Is Unable To Verify My Identity?
If TransUnion is unable to verify your identity, a security block will be applied for 7 days, though this only applies to online delivery of your credit report. Once the 7 days pass, you’ll be able to order your credit report online again. If you so choose, you can always request a paper copy of your credit report through mail, telephone, or online.
If you decide to order your credit report by mail, you’ll need to supply the following information:
- Full name
- Current and previous addresses in the past two years
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Social Insurance Number
- Current employer
You’ll also need to supply the applicable fee.
Will my credit score be affected if I check my credit report?
Can I get my credit report for free?
How often should I check my credit report?
Getting a hold of your credit report on a regular basis is a great way to make sure all information is accurate, to spot any potential signs of your identity being at risk, and to find out what your credit score is. But your identity will first need to be verified. If TransUnion is unable to verify your identity, do some investigating to find out why, and rectify it.
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