Can You Really Receive A Free Credit Report?

Every has noticed the ads for “free credit reports” in our email and on various websites and in those pesky pop-ups.

But are most free credit report offers real?

Sorry to say, most are not really free. Actually, a lot of them involve a monthly “credit monitoring” or miscellaneous charge – one that a majority of individuals in actuality don’t have to have.

In accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) consumers can demand and get a free credit report once per year from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Various websites that state they offer “free credit scores,” “free credit reports,” or “free credit monitoring” aren’t part of the legally mandated free yearly credit report program.

So don’t get taken by these deceptive offers.

What should you do if you encounter any erroneous or harmful records on your credit report?

Contact the credit agency that supplied the report in writing (it is also possible to file a claim online.) Be detailed regarding what you think should be taken out, and give a reason. By law, the credit reporting agencies are forced to research your claim within 30 days, and inform you in writing – if the information cannot be proven as correct, it must be taken off.

One strategy to stay on top of your own credit throughout the year is to request one credit report at a time, wait a couple months, then order the next. While not each creditor reports to each of the 3 major credit bureaus, this will give you a good idea regarding any changes with your credit.

And what about your credit score?

Sadly, your credit score is not considered a part of your free credit report, and must be bought on its own. In a lot of cases you do not need to request your credit score a lot, although it is a smart idea to know your score before you apply for any large credit purchases.

How Can I improve my credit score and Report?

Credit fixing does work. The credit reporting agencies must remove all items that are incorrect. And there is nothing that prevents you from arguing any item on your credit report that you consider to be damaging. Even though the credit reporting agencies have no requirement to take off any items solely because it hurts your credit, numerous individuals are allowed to get detrimental items taken off from their credit report, and fix their credit score, simply by asking for the item to be verified.

But be careful – there are many agencies that will charge you a fee, simply to do what you could do on your own. And beware of any company that advertises to make a new identity or credit file for you, as this is fraud, and will get YOU in a mess.

The smartest way to guard your credit is to be an informed customer!

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