What is a credit lock?
A credit lock is a new tool that became available for Quebec residents on Feb. 1, 2023.
A credit lock helps prevent access to your credit reports with certain exceptions. It restricts access to your credit reports by lenders and other businesses to help prevent new or additional credit obligations from being established in your name. These could include credit cards, loans, mortgages, car leases, telecom contracts, etc.
If the request for your credit reports is unrelated to new or additional credit obligations, they will continue to be delivered to third parties in accordance with applicable legislation, even if your credit lock is activated. This includes when insurers, employers, landlords, debt collectors, and fraud investigators request your credit reports.
Companies that you have existing credit accounts with may also continue to review your credit reports in accordance with your account terms and conditions when the review is not related to extending new or additional credit. This could result in a soft inquiry on your credit report, which is only visible to you and not potential lenders or creditors (unlike hard inquiries).
It’s important to remember that when your credit reports are locked, it can also affect renewals and other credit uses that you’ve authorized. You’ll need to unlock your credit reports to apply for new loans, financing, or increased credit limits. You may also need to unlock your credit reports to renew your mortgage.
When your Equifax credit report is unlocked, Equifax will deliver your credit report to lenders and other credit grantors upon request in accordance with applicable legislation.
Remember, you may have multiple credit reports — including one with Equifax and one with TransUnion. To lock and unlock your TransUnion credit report, contact TransUnion directly.
To lock your Equifax credit report, you must be a resident of Quebec. You can manage your credit lock online with your user name and password after creating a myEquifax account. Check out our FAQs for instructions. You can also fill out this form and mail it to Equifax, or call the Consumer Services Customer Care Team at 1-800-465-7166. There is no charge for locking and unlocking your Equifax credit report.
If you have more questions, please check out our FAQ section.