Many people with old debts, or debts that have become unmanageable due to constant collection agent harassment may find it difficult to keep track of who is owed what. Fortunately, you can find out who you owe money to relatively quickly.
If you’re unsure how much you owe, who your creditors are, or which collection agencies may hold your current accounts, a good place to start compiling information about your debt is by requesting copies of your credit history reports from both Equifax and TransUnion. These are two separate credit bureaus so it is a good idea to check both sets of records, they may not show the same debts on each.
You can get copies of your credit history reports online, for a fee; or by mail, at no cost. Credit History Request Forms for both Equifax and TransUnion are available here in our Client Resources section.
If creditors or collection agencies are contacting you, it may be helpful to start a list of who you owe, approximately how much, and corresponding account numbers. Ensure all your mail and emails are opened, read and sorted. Because debt accounts are often sold and re-sold to different agencies, if you speak to a collection agency representative over the phone, get as much information as you can. Find out the specific debt and account the agent is collecting on, get the agency’s reference (account) number if you can.
You might not see information about outstanding tax debt on your credit history reports. Just because these balances aren’t on your credit history doesn’t mean they have been written off! To find out your balance owing with Canada Revenue Agency (Revenue Canada) simply request a copy of your Notice of Assessment (or Reassessment) – you can do this online, or by calling CRA directly.