Free Credit Reports Are Not Always Free

Christopher Luck asked:

According to an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can obtain a free credit report on yourself for free one time every year. However, just like with any new law or service, there are people out there looking to take advantage of you. So be aware of what you see when looking for your credit report; not every service claiming to offer you a free credit report is actually offering one.

To get your free credit report, you really only need to go to the annual credit report website. If you go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website, you will find all the information you really need to get your free credit report. You only need your name, social security number, date of birth, and address to get the free report. As easy as it is, there are still many companies out there who want to get the business of people like you who are seeking their free credit report.

One way these companies take advantage of people is by establishing a web address that is very similar to the legitimate government websites for obtaining a free credit report. They will harvest your social security number, address, and other personal information under the claim that you will get a free credit report. Remember, you can get one by going through the Federal Trade Commission. Be aware that you should never have to supply a credit card number or telephone number to obtain your free credit report. Your address, name, social security number, and date of birth are all you need.

You should never respond to an email to get your free credit report. Remember that that getting the report is a right you have. Some companies, in an effort to get your personal information, will send spam emails advertising access to your free credit report. These companies are usually just Phishing for your personal information. Never respond to emails to get your credit report. Instead, the information is easy to obtain through the proper government channels that are readily available to you.

Congress has given you the right to obtain a free credit report on yourself once every year. The government has given you access to the free report through the Federal Trade Commission website so that you do not have to worry. You will get emails, see on line advertising, and even get pop up ads that advertise free credit reports. Keep in mind, though, that many of these companies are not interested in getting you your report as much as they are getting a hold of your information. There is no reason to use these companies, legitimate or not, to obtain your free credit report when you can do it through the Federal Trade Commission. Your information is vital to your financial well being and in the wrong hands could do a lot of damage to your credit. In order to avoid these pitfalls, the best thing to do to get your free credit report is to go through the government.


Free Credit Score Report – Government Mandates Free Credit Reports For All Consumers

Hector Milla asked:

The federal government is currently offering all consumers the option of obtaining a free credit report once every year. This free credit report allows consumers the chance to become aware of their credit history, possible identity thefts, and areas to improve in, once every twelve months. While this is a great resource for all consumers, many will find that viewing only one credit report per year does not give consumers ample information to stay up-to-date on their financial standing.

Three Reasons Why Receiving One Credit Report A Year Is Simply Not Enough:

1. While receiving one free credit report a year is better than never viewing one’s report at all, it is almost impossible to improve one’s financial standing without viewing more than one credit report per year. Most people should consider using this free report as a starting point in repairing their financial history. Even those that have a good score may still benefit from making a few simple changes. This free report may be used to view any negative aspects in one’s financial history, whether those may be a debt in collections or credit cards that are nearing their limit. Once the negative factors influencing one’s score has been determined, one can then begin to work towards fixing any imperfections.

2. A person that regularly checks their report is at a much reduced risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. While those that regularly check their credit report may also become victims of identity theft, they are at a much greater advantage of catching a theft early and rectifying the situation before it spirals out of control. A great deal of damage can be done to one’s financial standing within the span of a year. In fact, someone that has a good score can easily find themselves with several fraudulent credit cards and/or loans that total thousands of dollars. However, someone that frequently checks their report will be able to spot a fraudulent debt and notify the proper authorities before their situation becomes dire.

3. People that frequently check their report tend to be more financially responsible. In terms of financial standing, ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance, many times, leads to one not being aware of how their debts, occasional late payments, and credit cards are truly affecting their financial history and credibility. As most people would agree, it is much easier to be aware of one’s standing and make efforts to improve their score over time, than to find yourself in a difficult situation when attempting to obtain a home or other important loan.


Free Government Credit Report

Thomas Morva asked:

The fair credit-reporting act makes it mandatory for the three organizations (Equifax, Trans Union and Experian) to submit a credit report at least once a year to anyone who requests for the same. Typing ?annual credit report? in a search engine, which provides credit reports online and at free of cost, can give access to the appropriate online site.

A free government credit report is also available by phone or by mail and reaches the concerned person within fifteen days of requesting. The government agency that provides free credit reports is located in Atlanta (Georgia) and can be contacted via mail or telephone.

The prerequisites that are required for obtaining a free credit report are ? the person?s name, address, social security number, and date of birth. There are some other ?imposter? credit reporting companies that try to mimic the actual agency?s website by deliberately misspelling it. This is a common tactic used by companies who try to extract money from unsuspecting credit report mongers.

Under the federal law, a person is permitted to obtain a free credit report if a company takes unfavorable action against him, such as rejecting his application for credit, insurance, or employment then the person can demand a free credit report within sixty days of receiving the notice. The notice will give the name, address, and telephone number of the consumer reporting company. A person is also entitled to one free report a year if he is unemployed and plans to search for a job within 60 days if he is on welfare or if his report is inaccurate as a result of swindling, including identity theft.

A credit report can make or break a company or a person because all the financial data and history of the report holder is clearly mentioned in this report. The most important fact to be noted about a credit report is that any negative comment or remark on the report will literally leave an indelible mark on the person?s financial record. This is because a bad credit remark is not removed from a credit report for at least ten years.


Obtain Your Absolutely Free Credit Report, No Trial!

Ann Born asked:

You have an abundance of alternatives when looking for an absolutely free credit report, no trial. Within the United States, Americans have the ability to receive one absolutely free credit report, no trial from each of the three major reporting companies, yearly. Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian all provide you one free credit report on a yearly basis. The only requirement from you is that you contact any one of them and request your absolutely free credit report, no trial.

You will be required to provide them with proof of identification and current address. This is a necessary step to prove that you are the person shown on the credit report. After you have requested the absolutely free credit report, no trial, you will find your credit report sitting in your mailbox in as little as two weeks. If you are not willing to write these companies to request your free credit report, you can contact them by telephone as well. Depending upon the company you are going with, you may be able to find your credit rating right over the phone. However, you will still need to provide them with some identifying information.

Receiving an absolutely free credit report, no trial, is suitable for most people. There is really no reason you need to have constant review of your credit report. It does not generally change overnight, unless you have many different credit issues to deal with. The internet provides you with a multitude of methods in obtaining a free credit report; however, this will not be an absolutely free credit report, no trial. You will be required to provide credit card information and have to go through a 30-day free trial. There is no reason to risk your money or information online, when you can get a yearly, absolutely free credit report, no trial.


The Advantages To Obtaining A Free Credit Report And Score – Verify Your Credit Score For Free

Tim Gorman asked:

A credit report provides information in regards to your credit worthiness by giving the nitty gritty details of your credit transactions. These reports are sold by the credit bureaus to lenders like banks, insurance companies, credit card companies and many other financially related institutions who use your report to evaluate you and decide whether to transact with you. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to your very own free credit report from each of the three top credit bureaus Equifax, Experian ad TransUnion, every 12 months, on request. This is to ensure that you know what picture is projected about you to the various potential lenders and businesses in the market and to protect yourself from any form of identity theft that seems to be prevelant in today’s society.

In order to cater to the free annual credit report program, the three credit reporting companies have set up a website, a toll free telephone and a mailing address as avenues through which anyone can order their free credit information. The website is , the toll free number is 1-877-322-8228 and mailing address is Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281, to which you need to send in the Annual credit report request form. Additionally, you have the option to order free report and score (the score is optional and comes at a small cost) from all three companies at the same time or each at a different time, depending on your purposes.

Consumers that choose to search the Internet and go online in order to obtain a copy of their free credit report and score need to be wary on one point – There are companies that have their web site names very close in spelling to the one mentioned above. So, if a consumer makes a typo error while typing the website address, they will be redirected to different unintended pages, which may collect some information and offer some services, at a cost.

When you order your information online, you will get it instantly. Whereas if you order using the toll free number or through the mail, it is likely to take a minimum of 15 days or more, depending on the volumes being processed by the credit bureaus. You are also eligible for a free credit report, when a company has refused to transact with you; if you do not have a job currently and plan to take up one in the next sixty days; if you are on welfare or if your report has any errors that you have reported with evidence.

If you wonder what you will do with a credit report, think again. Before applying for a loan or insurance or credit card or a job, it is a good idea to verify your financial information and ensure that all the details provided there are accurate and current. Else, the report might throw an unpleasant surprise at you. Verifying your credit report periodically is a way to avoid identity theft, where a person lifts your identity details and uses it for credit purposes like getting a loan or a credit card and defaults on it. By checking your credit report, you can catch such thefts and report them on time, before it gives you ‘bad credit’.

Now that you know the advantages of tracking your credit report and score, you could choose the best way to get it free and enjoy the benefits.


All About Free Credit Reports

S. Michael Windsor asked:

All About Free Credit Reports

Obtaining a free credit report is not a daunting task. However, finding the right way that best suits you can save you a lot of time and money when looking into your credit score. There are several ways to get a free credit report. One of the ways is simply visiting one of the three credit reporting companies and simply following their directions at their website. In many cases the free credit report will be provided in exchange for a free trial on your part or something very similar. While this is not necessarily a problem as it has a 30 day money back guarantee period or similar, it can be a slight drawback since there is a bit more responsibility on your part. But, realize that during these 30 days you can really look into your credit report and utilize the additional services these companies can provide at no cost! Now that is a great deal. Better than just a free report with nothing else.

Other ways of obtaining just a free annual credit report can be through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you go to the FTC website and follow the necessary links, you will end up at a form which you must fill out and submit to the FTC. The information the commission wants from you is your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth mainly. After filling out the form, you can send it over to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 and wait for a credit reporting company to respond as opposed to instantly through the credit reporting companies directly.

For individuals who have been denied credit or similar, they are provided a free credit report through the inquiry on the part of the lender, insurance company or even employer. After receiving this notice, the person inquired upon has the opportunity to receive a free credit report from the company who provided the organization with your credit report. In addition, if a person is currently unemployed and planning on getting a new job within 60 days or are on welfare, they are eligible for a free credit report as well.

Having a good FICO credit score and clean credit report is very necessary in order to obtain quality loans, jobs, insurance, even places to live and it is very important to look at your credit more than just once a year. Monitoring your credit regularly will allow you to find any negative marks and/or errors due to such things as identity theft immediately. It can be quite astonishing how fast unnecessary items can appear and quickly lower your credit score. Many people don’t even notice this until either they get an annual report, if they do, or apply for a loan and discover the problem. Take advantage of the no cost trials consumer credit reporting companies provide and see how easy monitoring your credit can actually be.


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. 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 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.