Should I Pay For My Credit Report? - Refresh Financial

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Should I Pay For My Credit Report?

typingAs a Canadian, you are entitled to one free credit report per year from each credit bureau operating in Canada. So, why do both Equifax and TransUnion offer credit reports for a price? Are they just hoping we don’t know we can get them for free?

The answer is no, the credit bureaus are not trying to take advantage of people who may not know we are entitled to a free credit report each year. Instead, they’re offering value-added packages that offer much, much more than just a printed out copy of your credit report. Not only that, the free version does not give you your actual credit score. It only shows you your report.

Here are some of the extras you get when you purchase your credit report online from Equifax or TransUnion:

1. Access to your credit report online

When you order your free copy of your credit report, you have to do so by snail mail. You’re going to get a paper copy that you can lose or destroy by accident. Being able to access your account online keeps the information safe and secure and within reach at any moment of the day.

2. Access to your credit score and reports as often as you request them

With your free copy of your report, you get a snapshot of your credit report at one specific moment in time, and it doesn't contain your credit score. You are unable to watch it change as you make changes to your credit habits and accounts.

3. Credit alerts often come with your purchased credit report

This means that you will get an alert when anything significant changes on your credit report, or if anything that seems suspicious happens in your name. This is a great product for anyone who is concerned about identity theft or who wants to stay on top of their credit growth.

4. Web monitoring

You have the option to enter in your social insurance number, credit card numbers and bank account numbers and the credit bureau will monitor sketchy places on the web for any mention or use of them. This can help you catch identity theft before it even happens.

5. Identity theft insurance

With this service, you are protected up to a certain amount (around $50,000) in the event of identity theft.

6. Assistance with lost wallets

If you’ve lost everything in your wallet, this service will help you get everything cancelled and alerts placed on your accounts in just one step.

7. Graphs that represent your credit score history

Seeing the growth as a visual can often fuel more growth.

As you can see, there are quite a few value added aspects to purchasing your credit report online instead of opting for the free printout once per year. Does it add up though? Is it really worth it?

For someone who is trying to build their credit, I would say yes. Nothing can replace the ability to be able to watch how the different steps you take have an effect on your credit score in real time. You’re going to know which direction to go in, and you’re going to be able to see the whole picture. On top of that, you get an awful lot of protection and security as an added bonus. Being as most of these packages and products do not exceed $30/month, I’d say it’s well worth the expense if you are truly serious about improving your credit.

Check out Equifax’s products: Click here.

Check out TransUnion's products: Click here.

And you can even sign up for credit monitoring with your Refresh program, check it out here.

Have you ever used one of these services? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments!

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