Free Credit Report Offers Explained

"Are they safe? Is anything really free?"

You’ve probably seen a lot of ads like this one the internet for free credit reports and are wondering if they’re safe.

FreeCreditReport.com Commercial

:33 seconds
An annoying (my opinion) commercial from FreeCreditReport.com
 

We do offer you a free credit report and credit score through TrueCredit – a Trans Union company. It is free and it is safe.

The credit report is from Trans Union and the credit monitoring service is provided by TrueCredit. Based on our reviews, it’s one of the best credit monitoring services out there. With your credit report and score, you also get to try out the TrueCredit credit monitoring service free for 30 days.

So what’s the catch?

The catch is that the credit monitoring is an excellent service, but if you don’t call and cancel in 30 days, you will be billed $11.95 a month for the service. So, you can get your free report and score now, and then call (800) 493-2392 (TrueCredit customer service) within 30 days and cancel. Or if you want the excellent TrueCredit credit monitoring service, don’t cancel.

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Questions about free credit offers? Use our instant chat to get answers to your questions:

 

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Free Credit Report Offers FAQ

Is it safe?
This offer is provided by TrueCredit, a company owned by Trans Union – one of the big three credit bureaus.
Can I get a free credit report without a credit card?

A valid credit card is part of the authentication process – before they show you your credit report, they want to guarantee that you are who you say you are.

Also, TrueCredit gives you the free credit report and credit score when you try the credit monitoring service. Because they are signing you up for a membership in the monitoring service, they need to verify your credit card information before they can process your order. However, your card won’t be billed until the 30-day free trial period has passed.

If you decide that you don’t want the monitoring service, just call (800) 493-2392 and cancel before the end of the 30 days and you won’t pay anything.

Isn’t everyone entitled to one free credit report annually?

Yes, the FACT Act is making an annual free credit report available to all U.S. citizens by September, 2005. In addition, these laws still apply:

By Federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report per year directly from a credit reporting agency only if you certify that:

– you are unemployed and seeking employment in the next 60 days.
– you are receiving public assistance.
– you believe there are inaccuracies in your report due to fraud.

Also, if you are denied credit on the basis of information in a credit report you are entitled to a free copy of your report from the credit bureau that supplied the credit report.

Residents of Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont are entitled by state law to one free report from a credit reporting agency per year. Residents of Georgia are entitled to two.

Won’t ordering a credit report hurt my credit?
No. Consumers have the right to look at their credit report without it affecting their credit or credit score. When you request your credit report it’s called a "consumer pull" and has no affect on your credit. Only when you ask a possible creditor to inquire about your credit can it affect your score. For example, if you go out looking for a new car and you let a dealership request a copy of your credit report. That could affect your credit score because it implies you’re looking to open new lines of credit.
What kind of free report do I get?
The credit report and credit score data is from Trans Union.
Is there anything different about a free report compared to one I would pay for?
Nope. They are exactly the same.
Why does TrueCredit need all the information on the order form?
They need the information to verify your identity. Advanced security screens make sure that your request is valid and that you are who you say you are.
What does the credit monitoring service do for me?
You receive daily monitoring alerts to your email, cell phone, or pager that inform you of important changes to your credit file, including:
– Derogatory information
– Credit Inquiries
– Newly opened accounts
– Several indicators of possible credit fraud

General Credit Report Questions and Answers

If you want to learn more about credit reports in general and how they can help you uncover fraud, go to our credit report explanation page. This page just describes the free aspect of credit reports.

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Author: Dave Nielsen

I started using computers in 1978 on the Apple II and was first online (using my “high-speed” 1200 baud modem) in 1989. I’ve managed web sites for several Fortune 500 companies and for internet start-ups. Working for one of those start-ups is what brought me into the world of credit. I was part of the the executive team that ran QSpace, the first company to offer credit reports over the internet.

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