Credit Basics 101 – Equifax and TransUnion
Credit Basics 101 – Equifax and TransUnion

Credit Basics 101 – Equifax and TransUnion

Equifax is the dominant reporting agency in the western region of Canada and most banks rely on Equifax in making their credit decision. Equifax reports all the credit that you have and how it is paid on a monthly basis. These are called trade lines. Equifax will show payment history on each account for six years.

They will also show collections and foreclosures for six years from the date they were last active. Bankruptcies will report for six years from the date they were discharged and consumer proposals will report for three years from the date they were satisfied. They will retain credit inquires for the last three years but will also retain a minimum of five inquires on each credit file. They retain both good credit and bad credit on file for six years. All of this information will be calculated to generate an overall score.

Equifax calls this score a “beacon score”. This beacon score will change on a monthly basis depending on what information is applicable at the time.

Transunion is the competing reporting agency to Equifax but just as important. It is more dominant in Eastern Canada but some banks in the West do use it.

Transunion also reports credit with the same parameters as Equifax. The major difference with Transunion is that good credit history will not disappear after six years as it does with Equifax. Transunion will delete poor credit after six years but will retain good credit for twenty years.

They also will generate a score based on all information on file called a “fico score”. Fico scores will also change monthly based on the information currently on file that month. Based on the scoring system of Transunion and the fact that good credit is retained longer, a fico score will normally be higher than a beacon score for the same file.

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