Government of Saskatchewan
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Monday, February 08, 2016
Saskatchewan Justice

Your ability to get a loan or credit card depends on your ability to repay the debt and on having a good credit history. This is called your "credit rating".

When you apply for credit, lenders will want to know about your employment history, income, marital status, debt payment history and assets. Lenders get this information from your application and from credit reporting agencies.

Credit reporting agencies are private businesses that keep information on people who apply for credit. The information is available on request to employers, banks, landlords, businesses and others.

The Credit Reporting Act sets out what information credit reporting agencies are allowed to collect, who can provide that information to them, who can use credit reports, and what the reports can be used for.

The Act also protects your privacy by placing limits on the kinds of information that a credit reporting agency can include in a credit report and by limiting who can receive and use that information. For example, a credit report cannot include the following information:

  • information about any bankruptcy if at least 6 years have passed since the date you were discharged from bankruptcy, unless you have declared bankruptcy more than once;
  • information about a court judgment against you if at least 6 years have passed since the date the judgment was given, unless the lender confirms that the debt has not been paid;
  • information about any conviction for a crime or about a summary conviction if at least 6 years have passed since the date of your conviction or, if you were imprisoned, since the date of your release or parole. If you were convicted but were granted a full pardon, no information about the conviction can be reported;
  • information about any debt if at least 6 years have passed since the date you last made a payment on that debt or, if no payment has been made on that debt, since the date the debt was incurred;
  • information about any court action or proceeding begun against you in the last year, unless the credit report includes the current status of the action or proceeding; and
  • information about a court judgment against you, unless the name of the lender and the amount of the judgment are included.

There is also a federal Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, that protects you by setting out what all of the credit reporting agencies operating in Saskatchewan are allowed to do with information about you.

Under Saskatchewan's legislation, no one can get your credit report without:

  • a purpose that is allowed by the Act; and
  • either first receiving your consent or giving you written notice that they will be getting a credit report about you.

Any lender who uses your credit reports must notify you if they are going to deny you credit, or if they are going to offer you credit only if you will accept less advantageous terms than you would have received if the lender did not have the information in the credit report.

A credit reporting agency is allowed to release or reveal the information in your file or give a credit report only:

  • to you;
  • to the person the application is made to when you apply for credit, insurance, employment, tenancy or other eligibility under Canadian law;
  • to collect a debt you owe;
  • for other legitimate business purposes, as authorized by the Act;
  • to update information in a credit report about you that that person already has;
  • to any Canadian law enforcement agency for an investigation or prosecution;
  • to a person a court has ordered the information be given to;
  • to a person you have identified in writing to the credit reporting agency; or
  • to any person the Act orders or directs must receive a credit report.

You have the right to review your files and to be told whether the information has been given to anyone. You also have the right to have the information contained in your credit report explained to you and to make copies of that information. A credit reporting agency is not allowed to require you to sign a waiver or release before you can see your file.

You can contact one of the two major national credit reporting agencies, at no cost, to request a copy of your credit report:

If you disagree with the accuracy or completeness of any information in your credit report, the credit reporting agency must investigate. If the agency finds that the information is incorrect or can not be confirmed, it must update or remove the information, and notify you and every person who has been given your credit report in the previous 12 months of the changes, unless you request that notification not be given.

If the credit reporting agency determines that the file information is correct, you can file a statement of dispute, and the agency must then add this statement to your file. The statement will be shown every time someone requests information from your credit file. In addition, the credit reporting agency must provide a copy of the statement to any one who received your credit report in the past 6 months, unless you request that a copy of the statement not be provided.

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