7. How long can a CRA retain my credit data? If I settle my loan account, will my credit data held by a CRA be deleted from its database?
A CRA can retain your personal particulars and account general data for credit reporting purposes as long as you have a borrowing relationship with a credit provider.
The general rule on data retention is that account repayment data may be retained for 5 years from the date of the creation of such data, or until the expiry of a period of 5 years from the date of the termination of the account. However, there are certain exceptions. For example, if you have defaulted on repayment for a period in excess of 60 days, then account data relating to the default may be retained for a period of 5 years following the date on which the amount in default was fully settled.
(Note: "Account general data" include the loan amount/credit limit, identity of the credit provider, and the dates on which the account was opened & closed. "Account repayment data" include the amount of payment made during the last reporting period, the outstanding balance, and any amount past due (overdue amount). For more details, please refer to schedule 2 of the Code issued by the PCO.)
When you settle your loan account, you have the right to instruct your credit provider to make a request to the CRA to delete the closed account data from its database. Your credit provider should have informed you of this right at the time when you applied for the loan. Alternatively, you should receive a written reminder from that company upon your settlement of the account.
However, you should note that the right to request deletion of the data is conditional upon there having been, within the 5 years immediately before the termination of the account, no default in repayment lasting for a period of more than 60 days, AND the account having been settled by full repayment. You should also note that your credit provider may at its own discretion retain your closed account data in its own system for internal accounting purposes even though you have requested deletion of the data from the CRA's database.