Help & Tips

You can and should order your credit report at least once per year. You can correct any errors, check for identity fraud, and know what your creditors know about you. There are two separate credit reporting agencies in Canada, Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada, and each may have different information about you in their files, so we recommend you order your credit report from both agencies at least once per year (ordering your own report will not reduce your credit score or affect your report). A good idea is to order from one agency first and the second six months later in order to space your reports out and allow you to detect any problems sooner.

Your credit report is free if you request it by mail, fax, telephone, or in person and receive it by mail or in person. If you prefer to access it quickly online you will have to pay a fee. Your free report will not include your credit score, a 3-digit number that is calculated from your credit activity however, you can purchase your credit score if you prefer. See the credit agency websites for contact information and request your credit report today: TransUnion Canada and Equifax Canada

  At least one of Canada’s Chartered Banks has inserted a provision in their personal banking agreements which reads: "(Bank) may apply for funds in any of your accounts (including joint accounts) against any liability owed to (bank) or its affiliates without prior notice." This provision is perhaps legally questionable, as if one party to a joint account owes money to the bank, and the other party makes deposits to the joint bank account; one would query the right of the bank to in effect attach the funds of one for the debt of another. The ethics of this provision, of course, is a whole other question.

Remember: You have all the control in your debtor negotiations.

Debt limit calculations

The monthly disposable income guideline says that spending more than 20% of disposable (net) monthly income on consumer debt repayment is a sign of financial difficulty.  If the family is larger than average, or the income is smaller than average, or the family wants are quite high, the 20% guideline is a sign of grave financial difficulty.

It is a common challenge for people who share economic resources but do not always share the same financial goals. One partner may want to save as much money as possible to purchase a large ticket item, while the other has a strong need to pursue a hobby or other recreation. Without an endless supply of money, this couple will have difficulty in reaching both of their goals. It is likely they will experience problems in their relationship until they are able to settle their differences.

1. Plan

for the future, major purchases, and irregular expenses.

2. Set financial goals

Set short, mid and long term financial goals.

3. Know your financial situation

Determine your monthly living expenses, irregular expenses and monthly debt payments.

1. Goals must be identified before they can be achieved.

For most of us, it is usual to have more goals than money; priorities must be attached to goals to reflect their importance in our lives. 

2. Evaluation and understanding of present financial resources is basic to future planning.

Assemble all records of income and expenses for the past year, as well as a list of your assets and debts.