I saw an ad for Freecreditsreport.com (catchy jingle) and I decided against my better judgment to check it out (I thought at first that I should already know whether I have bad credit). Of course they wanted a credit card number and would give your report to you for free, but if you don't cancel within 30 days, you will then pay 10 bucks a month.
My questions are thus: Has anyone here used an online site to see their credit status? Do you recommend it? Are there any sites that will never charge you for this information?
I'm conflicted on doing this, so any help is appreciated.
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I have never used them, but in my job at a bank I know a decent bit about credit reports.
It's a good idea to see your credit report, but I wouldn't bother with these services for two reasons. Under current law if you are denied a loan for reasons contained in a credit report you are entitled to a free copy of that credit report from the credit reporting agency that supplied the report to the lender. The lender is required to send you an "Adverse Action" notice if your request is denied and that is supposed to contain contact information for the credit report provider.
Another issue is the somewhat recent passage of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act). Provisions of the FACT Act give all consumers the right to request one free copy of their credit report every 12 months. At the same time, since your "bio" says you live in New Jersey, the credit reporting agencies are only required to make that available to you on or before September 1, 2005. Experian explains their take on that here.
If you're a victim of identity theft, you will be entitled to a copy of the report more often than once per 12 month period (I doubt it will be limited to a calendar year).
A "free credit report" doesn't give you your credit score, so you gotta wade through some crap to see, in English, if you have good credit or not (they give you a credit score, which is a number). That's how they get you, because the report has a bunch of stuff that may or may not be readable, depending on how smart you are and what company is doing it. For the whole number thing that tells you if you have good or bad credit, you need to pay like 10 bucks or something with almost all of the companies.
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Originally posted by ZeruelI have a related question. When one requests a copy of ones credit report, aren't there like three reporting agencies? Do you get a combined report or just a report from one of them?
The only one I remember offhand is Equifax. There's two others, though, and it's generally recommended that if you get it from one, you get your reports from all three.
Having never requested a copy of my report, I couldn't tell you the answer to this, but I've heard to just get each agency's.
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