Knowing the Score: Canadian Consumers’ Knowledge and Understanding of Credit


Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC), Manitoba Branch




In April 2010, the Manitoba branch of the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC Manitoba) undertook research into consumers' level of knowledge and understanding regarding all aspects of credit scores, including:

• a review of related literature and research,
• a nationally representative survey of 800 Canadians across the country,
• interviews with key stakeholders (credit counsellors and educators, organizations representing vulnerable consumers, industry), and
• focus groups in three Canadian cities to explore questions arising from the survey, and those that could not be addressed in the survey.

Their objective was to raise awareness of consumers' level of knowledge regarding this important aspect of credit management, and to develop recommendations to improve consumer awareness.

Based on the research findings and the information gathered from existing literature and stakeholder advisors, CAC Manitoba offers the following recommendations:

1. CAC Manitoba urges government and industry in Canada to allocate resources toward enhanced consumer education regarding credit reporting and credit scores.
2. CAC Manitoba urges the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the credit reporting industry and other stakeholders to work together to develop an information campaign that will inform consumers about why this information is important to them, and empower them to access it.
3. CAC Manitoba urges provinces and territories, working in conjunction with the Consumer Measures Committee, to harmonize provincial and territorial regulations for consent to the highest standard.
4. CAC Manitoba urges government, the credit reporting industry, and other stakeholders to work together to consider ways in which this important aspect of credit management information could be brought to the attention of consumers, and made more accessible.
5. CAC Manitoba urges the credit reporting industry to make on-line credit reports available annually to consumers free of charge.

This document is available in the following language(s):

Third-Party Information Liability Disclaimer

Some of the information on this Web page has been provided by external sources. The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the information supplied by external sources. Users wishing to rely upon this information should consult directly with the source of the information. Content provided by external sources is not subject to official languages, privacy and accessibility requirements.

English and French

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

Contact information

Consumer Association of Canada, Manitoba Branch
17-222 Osborne Street South
Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3L 1Z3
(204) 452-2572
(204) 284-1876

Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

Date Modified: