The only place to get a free credit report is from the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, once per year. While there are many companies that promise free credit reports, all of them come with strings attached and additional hidden charges. Without exception, all but one of the ‘free credit report’ sites actually sell you their additional services in the fine print of the agreements and disclosures, that you check and click through the process of obtaining your credit report. Some sites are selling credit monitoring, credit updating, credit fraud protection, and many other ‘services’ that you really don’t need.
For example, most of us have seen the advertisements for freecreditreport.com. We all fall in love with the poor guy, who is singing in a pirate suit because he could not get a good job because someone stole his identity and ruined his credit. Then we are stuck with the stupid commercial jingle in our head for hours after the commercial ends.
The commercial misleads the consumer into believing that they can obtain their credit reports for free, when in fact, this is not the case. In order to obtain your credit report from freecreditreport.com, you must input your credit card number. What happens is that you get a copy of your credit report and then 30 days later are hit with a monthly service fee for freecreditreport.com to monitor your credit files. Freecreditreport.com also leads the consumer to believe that monitoring their credit reports, using their service, will ensure that their identities will be safe from identity thieves, but that is information for another article. Freecreditreport.com is actually owned by Experian, one of the credit reporting agencies. So many consumers were misled that the FTC fined freecreditreport.com for misleading advertising. Now, the commercials have the terms of the offer in fine print, listed for a few seconds during the commercial.
There also exist many sites that are located in places like Nigeria and exist solely to steal your identity. They wait for you in input all of your personal information and history and then steal your identity. They advertise that their credit reports are totally free as they do not ask for a credit card so they have no way to bill you for any services you do not want. Once you give them all of your information, they can open up as many credit cards in your name as they want to.
Freecreditreport.com is only one example of the thousands of free credit report scams that exist on the TV and Internet. The only legitimate free credit report site is www.annualcreditreport.com. This site is approved by the FTC and will enable you to get a free credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.