5 on Your Side

Get a FREE Credit Report that's REALLY FREE!

Posted September 2, 2009

WRAL 5 On Your Side

As if the name of the site isn't convincing enough, the T-V ads for FREECREDITREPORT.COM use a cute little jingle that makes it seem certain you can get a FREE credit report by visiting the site.  But the truth is-- go there and you'll PAY plenty for a "credit monitoring service."  None of us needs to pay for something we don't need-- ESPECIALLY in this tough economy!

Here’s the deal: by law, you can get one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting agencies.   BUT, the only "official" FREE site is www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Again, the ONLY OFFICIAL FREE site where you can get a FREE report is www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

The best thing to do is stagger your requests so that you get one every four months.  But keep in mind, getting your credit SCORE, is NOT free. You have to pay for that-- but you can get it at the same time you get your credit report.


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  • martian Sep 3, 2009

    This is another example of how the credit industry has lobbied legislators to make this process of obtaining free credit reports as difficult as possible. The law states that you can get a free credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus once per 12-month period. This means that if you get your free report on Jan 15, for example, you cannot get it again until Jan 15 or later next year. Which means that if you miss Jan 15 next year, and say you get it Feb 1 instead, you now have re-locked yourself into a new 12-month period starting Feb 1. You can only lose here because for most people, this means that you keep pushing your yearly dates, meaning you are really not able to get a free credit report once a year but AT MOST once in a 12-month period (if you're lucky).

    The law should be changed so that you can get a free credit report once per calendar year, as most people would expect.

    Write your congressman/senator and complain.

  • AuntySocial Sep 3, 2009

    Thanks Monica and amurphy. I wonder if Clark Howard has heard of these, so he can stop tooting freecreditreport.com

  • scarletindurham Sep 3, 2009

    Oh, for readers of the comments, if you use Quizzle.com, They are using the Experian PLUS score which has a range of 300-900. So it inflates your score by approximately 50 points, just to keep in mind.

  • scarletindurham Sep 3, 2009

    Thanks amurphy13, I went to that site and it was so easy to get my credit report and score with no strings attached. It's pretty awesome! Thanks!

  • amurphy13 Sep 2, 2009

    If you want to get a free credit report AND free credit score, check out the only website that gives you both for free, no catches, no subscriptions, no credit card required: Quizzle.com.

About this Blog:

In addition to the stories you see on TV, Monica is always looking for ways to help consumers find deals and avoid fraud. She'll blog about what you need to know here.