Each year, consumers are deluged with commercials and songs about free credit reports. I have a contact at the Better Business Bureau who wanted me to help spread the word about this. This article is absolutely in no way a commercial article, and I’ve received no funding for posting it. The information contained in it really is the only way to get a real, free credit report, and there really is ONLY ONE website that has been authorized by the US Federal Trade Commission.
I’m sure you’re very busy with your taxes (you remembered, right?), and you might have been too busy to remember that each year, you are entitled to a free credit report.
You might be thinking “I’ve seen those catchy commercials” but would you be surprised to find out that only one website is authorized by the United States Federal Trade Commission to provide you with a free credit report each year?
Indeed, that is the truth, and the Better Business Bureau was kind enough to send out the reminder. I have a contact at the Better Business Bureau who wanted me to help inform people.
Don’t be tricked by clever wording, and asterisks. Each year, the Federal Trade Commission gets numerous complaints about paying fees to get these supposedly “free” credit reports, so they wanted to get the word out.
Free Credit Report History
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted in 1970 and required banks to collect and report information about consumers to Consumer Reporting Agencies. In turn, those CRAs would collect, organize, and disseminate the information so banks could make better financial decisions such as if they’ll give you a mortgage or how high of a credit limit they might give you on credit cards.
Naturally, consumers didn’t like having these records being sealed up. After all, it isn’t very fair of them to blindly keep score, how do you know the records are even accurate? So, they Amended the act to allow consumers to get 1 free credit report each year.
This would allow for consumers to review their reports, and dispute any inaccuracies. This also had the added benefit of allowing consumers to stop potentially fraudulent activity such as identity theft.
What Are All of Those Free Credit Report Commercials?
As I’m sure you’ve seen, there are plenty of commercials for companies offering “free credit reports” and while many of them do (in some senses of the phrase), most of them are just traps to trick you into purchasing something. Often, you’ll get a free credit report, but you’ll also end up with an expensive credit monitoring service that you may not have wanted.
Recognizing that this was a huge problem, a law was passed that requires these websites to inform you about the free credit report you are owed by law, and they are required to provide the proper website as well. Obviously, websites will get really good at hiding this information which is why you need to be educated about it.
How To Get A Free Credit Report
The real, free credit report can be obtained from only one website authorized by the United States Federal Trade Commission and that website is http://AnnualCreditReport.com. All you have to do is follow the prompts, fill in the information, and you’ll receive your actual free credit report without being tricked into purchasing services that you don’t want or need.
There are a lot of companies out there with catchy songs, and huge marketing budgets, but unless you want to pay for something that you can get free, don’t be fooled. Get your real, free credit report from the only website authorized by the United States Federal Trade Commission: AnnualCreditReport.com.