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How to Update Personal Information on Your Credit Report

Sandra MacGregor

Dec 03, 2022 6 min read

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Your credit report can have an enormous impact on your life, including getting an apartment and finding a job. Though your personal details — like your address and name— may not impact your credit score and credit report, it’s important to ensure that all information in your file is accurate.

Luckily, Canada’s two credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, have processes that allow you to update anything, from a factual error on your account information like your address, to more vital details like creditor or payment information. The process can be as simple as filling out a form online or sending it through the mail. Here’s what you need to know about updating personal information on your credit report.

Updating Personal Information

Updating personal details or providing new information on a credit report is fairly straightforward. Equifax and TransUnion both allow you to report any inaccurate information for free. You just have to follow the steps set out on their respective websites.

Address Updates

To change your address on a credit report, both Equifax and TransUnion require that you fill out a form, which you can download from their sites and submit electronically or via the post.

TransUnion also lets you call in to update your information. Note that you may be required to provide official proof of a new address.

Changing your Name

To update your name (because of an official name change or marriage, for example) on a credit report, Equifax and TransUnion provide a form on their website, which you can download and submit electronically or mail in. With TransUnion, you can also call a toll-free number to find out how to change your name.

Generally, if you want to update your name, you’ll be expected to provide official identification documentation, such as a change of name certificate and/or marriage certificate.

Changing Social Security Number

If you want to update your social security number, you would need to go to Equifax or TransUnion’s website and download a form that you can then submit via mail or electronically. You can also contact TransUnion via a toll-free number to learn more about what steps you need to take to change your SIN on your credit report.

Information reported

Why is it Important to Keep your Information Updated on Your Credit Report?

Your credit report offers great insight into your credit health so it’s essential to prioritize ensuring that it’s accurate at regular intervals like once a month.

Checking your credit report regularly lets you stay on top of any changes that occur — especially ones that may seem suspicious. If you notice that a new credit card or loan account has been created that you didn’t authorize, it could be a sign that you’re a victim of fraud or identity theft.

By monitoring your report regularly, you’ll be able to quickly contact one of Canada’s credit bureaus and alert them to the inaccurate or fraudulent accounts, and close any accounts you think might be compromised.

Sometimes, it may not even be something as serious as fraud or identify theft. It could just be that your credit card company made a mistake and reported that you skipped a payment when you didn’t. You’d then be able to quickly contact the credit card provider to point out the error and then get it fixed on your credit report so that it doesn’t harm your score and overall credit health.

Can Outdated Information Affect Your Credit?

Outdated information on a credit report can indeed affect your credit score and overall credit health but it really depends on the type of information. Though it’s wise to ensure your report has the most up-to-date personal details available, creditors don’t generally care about the accuracy of your name spelling or if your address is up to date. They do, however, care about your credit score and any history you have of missed payments with other creditors.

If there is outdated information on your credit report about things like a bankruptcy, missed payments or charged off accounts, that could cause a potential creditor to see you as not creditworthy and they could therefore decide not to give you a loan or credit card. The negative information could also impact your credit score.

Keep in mind, however, that in terms of your credit data, “outdated” doesn’t just mean something accurate that happened a year or two ago. Things like bankruptcies and missed payments can stay on your report for as long as seven years, depending on the policy of the credit bureaus, and in those cases there’s nothing much you can do but wait. It’s only inaccurate information that you can report and have corrected or removed from your credit report.

Credit reporting agencies

What Can You Do If You Have Found Incorrect Information on Your Credit Report?

You can correct personal or credit information on your credit report for free with each of Canada’s two credit bureaus.

For Equifax

Equifax offers two options to submit a dispute: via mail or online. For both options you can go to their website and start a dispute by clicking on the “Start Your Dispute” button. You’ll then be asked to select what part of your Equifax credit report you want to update or dispute. Your choices include things like:

  • Personal Information: updating your name, address, date of birth, SIN and/or phone number

  • Employment: You could add a new job or update an employer

  • Accounts: include things like a credit card balance or date paid

  • Public Records: Dispute things on your credit report like bankruptcy, consumer proposals, an account in collection or judgments

Once you’ve selected the nature of your dispute you can indicate whether you want to submit the dispute electronically, in which case Equifax will send you a form via email with instructions on how to send the required information and documents electronically. Or you can print and mail in a completed dispute form with the required documents at the address provided on the website. 

Once you've filed your dispute electronically or by mail, Equifax will investigate the dispute (and may contact the creditor that reported the disputed information) and will update your credit report as required if your dispute is successful.

It can take anywhere from 10 to 20 business days for Equifax to process a dispute. Once the investigation is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation letter or email setting out the results of the investigation. If your dispute involves a creditor and it is not resolved in your favour, you can add a statement to your credit file explaining your dispute with your credit information. It must be 400 words or less and will be seen by anyone who accesses your credit report.

Correcting errors

For TransUnion

You can update personal details or credit information on your credit report in two ways. You can do it online by filling out a form and providing the necessary documents. You can call a toll-free number (1-800-663-9980 For English speakers and 1-877-713-3393 for French speakers) and give the operator the details of your claim.

It can take up to 30 days for TransUnion to conduct an investigation. When it’s complete, they will contact you with the results and will correct any errors if your dispute is successful. If your dispute is not resolved to your liking, you can include a 100-word explanatory statement (200 words in Saskatchewan) explaining your side of the issue.

The Bottom Line

Credit scores and reports are important documents that potential creditors — and possibly landlords and employers — use to gauge your credit worthiness, which is why it’s important to ensure the information is as accurate as possible. A credit report update can be easy if you just follow the steps outlined on the credit bureau’s website.

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor
Personal Finance Writer
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Sandra MacGregor is a professional writer who specializes in topics such as finance, travel, health, and lifestyle. Her work has been featured in the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette, and the New York Times. She is a regular contributor to the Borrowell blog.

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