Credit Reporting: How Are Consumers Faring?


Susan Lott


Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)




This report looks at the consumer’s experience of credit reporting. Credit reporting agencies are private companies that collect and organize information about a consumer’s credit history and current transactions and then sell it in the form of a consumer report. The credit-reporting system can have a major impact on all aspects of our lives. It is one of the means by which credit grantors obtain information that they use as a part of the credit decision process to determine our ability to get a bank account, a mortgage, a credit card, and even employment and rental accommodation. Knowledge about the credit reporting system as well as the accuracy and reliability of such reports is therefore critical for consumers. There is little actual data in Canada about how consumers use and understand the credit reporting system. This report is an attempt to go beyond anecdotal evidence by conducting a national survey of consumers. PIAC also undertook in-depth interviews with a range of key stakeholders in the credit reporting system in order to better understand the issues in credit reporting and test assumptions about credit reporting.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

Contact information

Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, ON  K1N 7B7




(613) 562-4002


(613) 562-0007

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database