Looking for your credit report (not your credit score)? Doing an annual check-up on your credit history? Ensuring you haven’t been the victim of identity theft?

Did you know you can check your credit report for free? A government mandate on privacy means you can check your credit score for FREE by following a few steps. To get a free copy you will have to mail in a form and some ID or fax it in. You can also phone in and have jump through the hoops that way.

There are two primary credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax and TransUnion. You will want to inquire with both to get copies of your report.

Here are the steps to get a free credit report :

For Equifax:

Download their Credit report request form and fill in the details.

From Equifax Canada on additional details required when filling in the form:

* You must provide copies of 2 pieces of government-issued identification (such as a driver’s license, health card, birth certificate or passport). If neither piece of government-issued identification shows your current home address, you must also submit a copy of an additional document that shows your address (such as a recent telephone or utilities bill, or a bank or credit card statement). You may black out transaction details on a bill or statement, as long the copy clearly shows the date of the document, the sender, your name and address, and your account number.

** Equifax will use the information you provide to confirm your identity and current home address. We will cross-reference the information you provide with our own records. If any part of your name, date of birth or address in our records is different from the information you provide, we will update our records to reflect the correct information. The information you provide to confirm your identity will not be used to update or change your financial or credit history information.

You can, although it’s not necessary, to provide your SIN #.

We will keep a copy of the information you provide to demonstrate that we complied with our obligation to obtain reasonable identification from you.

Mail or fax in your information to:

Mail: National Consumer Relations
P. O. Box 190, Station Jean-Talon
Montreal, Quebec H1S 2Z2

Fax: 514-355-8502

Equifax will send a copy of your credit report by mail to your confirmed home address. You should receive it within 5 to 10 days.

Credit Report from TransUnion Canada:

Visit their Consumer Disclosure page and follow the instructions. You can attempt to acquire your report online for free by filling in their form. That doesn’t appear to work all of the time, so just like Equifax, you’ll need to download a form and and send it back.

Make sure the following info is included:

Make sure all of the following information is filled out:

* Name*
* Current address*
*Previous address (*if less than two years at current address)
*Date of birth*
* Social Insurance Number (optional, don’t include it but it may help identify you if you have a common name)
* Employment information (optional)
* Telephone number (optional)
* Signature*

*Required information

Further details on the Transunion page. Mail your request to them:

All provinces except Quebec:

TransUnion Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 338, LCD1
Hamilton, ON, L8L 7W2

Quebec residents
Centre De Relations Aux Consommateurs TransUnion
1 Place Laval Ouest
Suite 370
Laval, Quebec
H7N 1A1

Wait 1-2 weeks and check your report in the mail. Your score is not included, that is a paid option that’s usually around 10 bucks.

There you have it, easy steps on how to browse your credit score and ensure things are up-to-date.