There's Only ONE Truly Free Credit Report

By
Mortgage and Lending with Universal Funding Partners

You've all been mesmerized by the catchy commercials for companies that offer free credit reports.  Their jingles stay in your head for days.  You may find yourself bobbing your head to the tune hours after you've heard it.  They're clever and downright infectious. But, are they free?

Please.. please..  please don't sign up for this service if you are looking for a free credit report!  Just like way too many good things, it's a gimic.  Here's how it works:

You hear that tune bounce around in your head for 3 days and decide to finally visit the website.  You type it in your browser.  It's something like www.absolutelyfreecreditreport-reallyitdoesn'tcostanythingatall.com.  They promptly ask for your credit card information.

Red flag!!!  Why in the world would they need money to give you something for free?  Eh.  Maybe it's just a formality, so you continue.  You get your "free" credit report and are happy with the service.  Your credit card bill comes and hopefully you've noticed the fact that they have just charged you $30 for a monthly service fee.  They'll continue charging this fee to you as long as it takes for you to notice.

The service that they offer on those websites is NOT a free credit report.  They offer a monthly subscription of fraud prevention service.  If you are looking for a service to alert you to unauthorized credit checks, then go ahead and apply.  But, if your only intention was to get a peak at your credit report, don't do it!  There's a better way.

The only place that really gives you your credit report for free and no gimics is:  www.annualcreditreport.com

This website was a joint collaboration of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.  You can get each report once per year.  This setup gives you the option of pulling all three reports at once or pulling one at a time at regular intervals.  This strategy of timing your credit pulls is an effective way of monitoring your credit report over time. 

This website allows you to get your credit report for free.  It's a great way to verify that everything on it is correct.  However, you will have to pay a small fee if you decide that you'd like to see your credit scores.

If you are working towards getting approved for a home mortgage, I would hold off.  Checking your credit yourself does not effect your score in any way.  However, your Mortgage Professional should be able to provide you with a copy of your credit report and your score.  See if you can get it from your Mortgage Professional before you waste one of your annual credit pulls. 

I hope this post encourages you to continually monitor your credit.  Fraud can ruin your credit in a heartbeat.  Besides that, you will find that credit bureaus often make mistakes.  You may find your credit is intertwined with one of your family members, or worse yet, a complete stranger.  Be vigilent and keep those credit bureaus honest.  It's your right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

NEPA / Scranton Mortgage Website

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Rainmaker
210,308
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD
Hey Kevin, you know what amazes me is that it is MY credit report and it so darn hard to get.  I hear lenders tell people they are not allowed to give them the report either?  Crazy.  Thanks for the info!
Apr 22, 2008 03:13 PM #1
Rainer
18,951
Universal Funding Partners
Universal Funding Partners - Scranton, PA

Hey Audrey!  You are QUICK!  It took you three minutes to comment.

You're right.  I can't believe it took them until recently to finally make the reports easily accessible.  The next step is to make it easier to dispute items.  That is the next public awareness piece that needs to be put out there.  Most people think that you need a lawyer to fix your credit, buy you can easily do it yourself through the mail.

I should add that if you go to the website, they give you a way to get your reports by mail and phone.  So, if you have clients that don't fancy computers, they can still get their reports.

The reason lenders say that they can't give away reports is simple.  They are afraid of competition.  They worry that if they give you the credit report, it makes it easy for you to go shopping around for another loan.  There's some credence to that, but I believe that if you are worried about losing your client, then you didn't do enough to keep him.

Glad to help and it's good to hear from you!

Apr 22, 2008 03:24 PM #2
Rainmaker
210,308
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

Kevin, that makes sense about the credit report, never thought of it that way?  I do think that it should be easier to fix mistakes on credit, especially fraud for consumers.  I also think that fines and punishment should be more severe for identity theft.  Like tar and feathering :)

 

Apr 22, 2008 03:38 PM #3
Rainer
18,951
Universal Funding Partners
Universal Funding Partners - Scranton, PA

The bureaus are drastically understaffed for the amount of corrections they have to do.  The whole system of credit repair is automated and often fails because nobody takes time to read your letter or do actual research to find answers.  They just rely on the computer systems that put the information there in the first place.

Tar and feathering should just be the start...

Apr 22, 2008 03:46 PM #4
Rainer
225,444
Dave Sullivan
Real Estate One - Birmingham, MI
Michigan Realtor with an investor viewpoint


Good info if you would like to watch me order my free credit report and find out how to get your real FICO score for free watch this http://www.thecreditguy.tv/get-your-credit-report-real-fico-score-for-free/

Jan 26, 2012 12:16 AM #5
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Rainer
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Universal Funding Partners

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