Don’t Fall Prey to the Free Credit Report Lure

Ludwig E. Parker asked:

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act has been amended, requiring each of the national consumer reporting companies, to provide you  with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once a year. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax are the three companies required to do so. Don’t pay for your credit report, or get lured into joining a paid program, when you can get it free. Freeannualcreditreport.com is the only website used by the three credit reporting agencies. Beware of so called free reports.  This is the only FTC recognised source. Take advantage of the website in order to submit the proper forms, or, if you prefer, the process can be expedited over the telephone, or by the U.S. postal service.

  The FTC has received many complaints about companies offering free credit reports. Thousands of people were lured by deceptive marketing into paying for services related to obtaining a free credit report. These people were offered a free report, only to be enroled in paid programs which were difficult to remove oneself from. These manipulative practices put people with bad credit at even greater risk for financial trouble. If you ordered a credit report between November 1, 2000 and September 15, 2003 you may be entitled to participate in the FTC settlement. More information can be found at MyCreditBusiness

Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually, they are only providing free annual credit reports through one outlet. Contacting them directly will only get you redirected to the combined contact resource. There is a required form to fill out in order to request your free credit report. Do not use forms found on websites other than freeannualcreditreport.com. These forms will most likely result in you being enrolled in a “free trial” program, which will cost you money in the long run. Be sure to steer clear of these dubious offers.

You will need your name, address, SS#, and birth date, plus you will be asked to answer a question only you would know the answer to  (for security purposes). In the past, people were not entitled to view their credit information,  they had to pay, or qualify based on certain activity within the credit report. Today the nationwide free annual credit report is mandated by the FTC.  Don’t miss out on the chance to see what is in your credit report, and head off any trouble before it can effect your financial future. 

 

Zachary