Is Annual Credit Report a Scam?

Everyone likes the idea of getting something for nothing, but as the saying goes, “if something is too good to be true, it probably is.”   This is especially true when it comes to financial sites and promises to give you free credit scores and reports.

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life and getting a report of your credit isn’t something that you should take lightly.  That’s why when I see websites and advertisements luring in people with the promise of free credit reports and scores, I cringe.

The only site that should be used to find your absolute FREE credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com.  (Please note that your credit score is different than your credit report.  You will often need to pay to get your credit score unless you use a legitimate site like CreditKarma.com).

AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to request a free credit report once a year from each of the national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Is Annual Credit Report a Scam?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, “AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that’s yours by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit report, and yet couldn’t get it without paying fees or buying other services. TV ads, email offers, or online search results may tout “free” credit reports, but there is only one authorized source for a truly free credit report.”

So we can see that the FTC reports AnnualCreditReport.com as the only legitimate site to obtain your free credit report.

–       It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

–       SSL Encryption secures your information from malicious hackers.

–       It’s the only FTC approved free credit reporting site on the internet.

You can be confident in using AnnualCreditReport.com to check your credit reports for free.  Though, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be advertised to!  Throughout the process of obtaining your free credit report, you’ll be approached with advertisements to get your actual credit score for a small fee.  Each of the three credit reporting agencies listed above can provide a credit score that is used when you apply for loans or lines of credit.  It’s not illegal to charge for your credit score, so they’re not doing anything wrong.  Just realize that if you’re looking to simply review your credit report you don’t have to pay anything if you access it through AnnualCreditReport.com.

Have you checked your credit report lately?  It’s recommended that you do so annually and since you get one from each of the big three agencies, you can run them all at once or one every few months.

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