Consumers and potential clients should proceed carefully when seeking out their credit reports. Many consumers, having heard the extensive advertisements for “Free Credit Report .Com” are lured to that site.
One must ask his/her self – if the site is spending over fifty million dollars ($50,000,000.00) per year to advertise, are they really giving away their credit reports for free- just to help you out?
Much of the confusion arises because the federal government (the F.T.C.) has mandated that consumers be allowed to access their credit report for free at least once every 12 months. As there are three major credit reporting agencies, a smart consumer can get a free credit report from one of the major credit reporting agencies every four months.
The government’s website for a truly free credit report is: www.annualcreditreport.com. For more information regarding the battle between the F.T.C. and sites that mislead consumers about a free credit report, see the New York Times article from November 2, 2009, by Ron Lieber, entitled: “A Free Credit Score Followed by a Monthly Bill” at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/your-money/credit-scores/03scores.html?th&emc=th.