How Free Is Your Credit Report?

The Internet is full with free credit report offers. So, you decide to join one since you’ve heard that they really are free. However, you find that it was free for only a week or so! These websites offer credit report monitoring to help see the way your credit score varies in time, which is a great service for monitoring the way your debt balance influences your credit score, but it is not at all free!

According to the Federal Trade Commission there is only one website that provides a free credit report and under government law you can obtain it once a year, the website is AnnualCreditReport.com. This is a central website that was set up by the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you want, you can get one merged report or 3 separate ones over the period of 12 months.

Getting a Free Credit Report More than Once a Year

In some cases you are entitled to get a free credit report even if you’ve gotten one within the time period of one year. The FTC states:

Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a consumer reporting company may charge you up to $10.50 for another copy of your report within a
12-month period.”

For more information visit the FTC and find Your Access to Free Credit Reports