What is a credit lock?
As of Feb. 1, 2023, all Quebec residents will have the right to lock or unlock their Equifax credit reports. A credit lock is a feature that helps Quebec residents prevent lenders and other businesses from opening new or additional credit accounts in your name.
When you lock your Equifax credit report, Equifax will not deliver it or any derivative products (e.g. scores, information from your credit report, etc.) to lenders or other businesses that Equifax knows will use that information to establish new or additional credit obligations in your name. You will need to unlock your credit report to apply for new loans, increased credit limits, and other credit-related uses like contracts for a long-term lease of goods (e.g. car lease) or sequential services performed at a distance (e.g. cell phone contract). You may also need to unlock your credit report to renew your mortgage.
Equifax can only communicate a locked status when a lender or other business requests access to your credit report after you have locked it and when required by law to deliver the locked status. Equifax is required to inform a lender or other business that your credit report is locked when they request it for the following purposes:
- entering into a credit contract (e.g. new credit card, mortgage)
- extending or increasing credit (e.g. increasing the credit limit on an existing credit card or line of credit)
- entering into a long-term lease for goods (e.g. car lease)
- entering into a contract for sequential services performed at a distance (e.g. cell phone agreement)
Please note that lenders and other businesses may make credit decisions about you without requesting information from Equifax (e.g. requesting it from TransUnion or relying on previously obtained information before your Equifax credit report was locked).