AnnualCreditReport.com is an authorized online source, governed under federal law, to obtain free credit reports. It was created by the three credit bureau agencies so the public could safely and reliably have a route to request a report without paying unnecessary fees, often required by other untrustworthy credit report sites. You can download all three reports at once or space them out throughout the year for an update on your current credit status. The great aspect about this site as that your report is available right away; you often have to wait two weeks if you submit the request directly through the agencies.
Consumers are allowed to obtain one free credit report, during a 12 month period, from each agency, under Federal law and the laws of various states. “In the United States, key credit bureau consumer protections and general rules or governing guidelines for both the credit bureaus and data furnishers are the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)”
Your credit report displays extended credit that is associated to your name. The report shows you the information in your credit file maintained by consumer reporting companies. It also includes a record of everyone who has received a consumer report about you within a specified time frame, such as a lender.
There is an option to purchase your credit score through the site however it is not necessary to view a report. Your credit score simply tells you and lenders how credit-worthy you are. You will always have to pay for a credit score no matter what. You can request credit scores after receiving your credit reports, for further review, if you wish to do so.
It is beneficial for consumers to take advantage of the ability to view their credit reports periodically to make sure there is no unusual activity. Sometimes identity theft can be discovered through a credit report and it is imperative to notify the credit agencies to place an alert on your file. By routinely checking your report you can save yourself the agony of dealing with it after it has completely tainted your credit and hinders your ability to obtain a loan.
New credit report companies that charge you a membership and offer free trial periods have been surfacing all over the web. These companies are referred to as “Credit Clinics” and are considered to be fraudulent by The Federal Trade Commission. Some of the “Credit Clinic” sites offer "free" credit reports, but may charge you for another product if you accept the "free" report.
Be wary of an organization that charges a lot of money to repair your credit by removing late payments, bankruptcies, or negative marks from your credit history. If they ask you write to the credit agencies regarding the same account every month or offer to create an identity and credit file for you, they are conducting an illegal service. The Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general have been filing actions against these companies and warns to steer clear of these services.
Many of these credit report websites offering to provide you information that you can easily obtain on your own have been deemed to be a scam They charge individuals for services they can do for themselves for little or no cost.