How to Check Your Credit Report Truly for Free

January 21st, 2012

In this age of identity theft and business scams, it is important to check your credit reports regularly.  The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 gives Americans the right to review their credit reports – free of charge – from each of the three major reporting credit companies annually.  Sounds great.  Where do you go to get one?

If you believe Experian‘s hilarious advertising campaign feautring a trio of twenty-something slacker musicians singing catchy tunes about credit reports, the answer would be FreeCreditReport.com:

Unfortunately, the sites promoted by Experian in the commercials – FreeCreditReport.com and FreeCreditScore.com – don’t really give you a totally “free” credit report.  Rather, the whole ad campaign was a cleverly designed negative-option offer used to promote the company’s credit monitoring service.  People who went to the site to get their credit report were automatically signed up for the service and were charged up to $79.95 annually if they didn’t cancel it within 30 days.  The FTC took action against Experian for deceptive marketing practices and got them to pay $950,000 for their ill-gotten gains. The company spends  $72 million on its advertising budget.

In order to review your credit reports each year free of charge – truly free of charge –  go to AnnualCreditReport.com (the site created by the three major credit agencies in coordination with the FTC to comply with FACTA guidlelines) and request your reports.

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The legal basis for every American’s right to review their credit report from each of the three leading credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year for free. You can visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request your reports

One of the primary consumer credit reporting agencies, Equifax and TransUnion being the other two.

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