Which Credit Bureau Do Lenders and Banks Check in Canada?

Before approving their loan products, the country’s creditors always check their applicants’ credit scores with one or both of Canada’s credit bureaus—Equifax and TransUnion—to evaluate their ability to manage credit products successfully.

However, while Equifax and TransUnion use the same scale range (300–900), they evaluate your report and calculate your score slightly differently, which may result in different numbers. Naturally, you want to ensure to present a higher score.

Because of that, we’ve prepared a list of the major creditors in Canada and the scores they use so you know where to apply for your next loan!

What Are Credit Bureaus and How Do They Score You?

Credit bureaus are private companies that collect and analyze your credit information released by Canada’s banks and lenders to prepare your credit report and calculate your credit score—a three-digit number that indicates your creditworthiness.

Put plainly, you score points for using your credit responsibly and lose points if you are experiencing issues managing your debts.

Even though Equifax and TransUnion apply a somewhat different formula to calculate your credit score, they still look at more or less the same factors:

  • Your experience handling credit
  • Your current credit card balance
  • Records of missed payments
  • Your current outstanding debts
  • Your credit utilization ratio
  • Your current or recent credit applications
  • Types of loans you are using
  • Records of bankruptcy or insolvency

However, since both bureaus place a different emphasis on the criteria listed above, consumers often get slightly different scores from them, which are further differentiated because these agencies often look at different date ranges as well.

Plus, not every lender reports your activities to both bureaus or submits the same report at the same time, and some may even not file a report with either agency—another major reason why you may get different Equifax and TransUnion scores.

Which Credit Bureau Do Lenders and Banks Check in Canada?

Now that you know how important your credit score is in your everyday life, let’s look at which credit bureau the country’s leading lenders contact for your score:

Equifax TransUnion
  • Bank of Montreal
  • Scotiabank
  • TD Canada Trust
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • National Bank
  • Meridian Credit Union
  • Tangerine
  • HSBC 
  • Desjardins 
  • Bank of Montreal
  • Scotiabank
  • Laurentian Bank
  • Bridgewater Bank
  • Vancity
  • National Bank
  • Tangerine
  • Royal Bank of Canada 

Note: Some of the banks listed above, including BMO, Scotiabank, National Bank, and Tangerine, may even pull both your Equifax and your TransUnion score.

Why Should I Know Which Credit Bureau My Lender Uses?

As we’ve already mentioned, Equifax and TransUnion may produce somewhat different credit scores, and you always want to present as high a score as possible to your lender to boost your eligibility for their products and get better interest rates.

Therefore, after determining which score your bank pulls, you can start working on improving it if necessary. Or you can even find a different lender that considers your higher score.

Also, if you find one score lower than the other, you can ask the corresponding credit bureau why that is so. In most cases, they might not have the most up-to-date data about your recent credit applications and will be able to update your score.

Wrapping Up

Knowing which one of your credit scores is considered for loan applications is very important as you can focus on improving it to access better loans with lower interest rates. That said, you must stay on top of both your Equifax and TransUnion scores to ensure these agencies do not enter incorrect information affecting your score. If you find any, you can simply bring it to the attention of the corresponding credit bureau so they can update your record.