So many websites offer free credit scores and reports, but are they really free? It’s very important that you read and be sure not to give any credit or debit card information just to receive a so-called free credit score or report. These sites often offer credit monitoring services. For some that’s great, but for others, that’s not what they looking for. They are simply looking for a truly free credit report. Be on the lookout for these sites that claim to have free credit score and reports.
This site states that you will receive a free credit score when you purchase your credit report for $1.00. Kind of strange. I have to pay $1.00 for my “free” credit report and I receive my credit score for free. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Or why am I pay for it in the first place? Wait, the fees don’t stop there. Once you have completed that step, it starts your free 7-day trial membership. If you don’t cancel, you will be charged $17.99 for each month of membership.
FreeCreditScore says, when you order your free credit score, you begin a 7-day trial membership. After the free trial you will be bill $12.99 for every month that you continue the service.
This site gives you access to all three scores free for seven days. Once the trial period ends, you will be billed $29.95 for each additional month of membership.
What to Look for When Trying to Find a Truly Free Credit Score or Report
When hunting for your free credit score and report. There are several things to look for when doing your research.
- Anything that offers a free trial – If there is a trial offer, chances are there is a membership fee attached after a certain amount of time.
- Credit or debit card to complete the transaction – Some site charge you a $1.00 or more to sign up to review scores and reports. Steer clear of these companies. Often times, these companies offer products that you can learn how to do on your own for free.
- If it says, it is free, it’s probably not. Most sites that boast free credit scores or reports often have hidden fees attached to them. Be aware of this before you agree to anything or sign up for a membership
- Always read the fine print. Some sites list “Free Score” in big, bold print but it may have a star (*) next to it. This star normal indicates that there is some fine print somewhere on the screen. Normally, this fine print is in near the bottom of the screen or the bottom of the ad.
Sites Offering Free Credit Scores and Reports
CreditKarma.com – this is a site that I use and I can honestly say this site is free. Not only is it a site for viewing your credit score, but you can keep track of all your information in one secured place. Information such as credit cards, loans, mortgages, bank accounts and more. This is at no extra charge. Credit Karma also sends alerts when there is something going on with your credit score. If your information is out of date, you will receive an email notifying you to update your information. The more accurate this information is, the better the chances are for receiving an accurate credit score. No credit card is required to access this site and take advantage of the benefits they have to offer. They offer free credit monitoring and other financial tools to help you stay on track.
AnnualCreditReport.com – According to law, we are allow access to a free credit report each year. Annual Credit Report gives you access to all 3 credit reporting bureaus. From hear you will fill out your personal information. Then you will be asked some questions that only you would know that answers to. This is just a precaution to make sure that you are the right person accessing your reports. After the process is complete, you can access your reports by going to each site. From here, you can print them out and go over the information or just review it online.
Obtaining access to your own free credit score and report is something you should never have to pay for. Why should we have to pay for something that belongs to us in the first place? Always be aware of the fine print when searching for free credit scores and reports. As with any kind of online information, always do your research. Scammers are all over the internet these day. People are always trying to make a quick buck whenever they can, leaving you ask the victim. So be careful, always take your time and choose the right company wisely.
If you’ve come across a scam site or feel that you’ve been wrongfully charged for something, stop by the Federal Trade Commission website. They also have information about legitimate companies that will provide you with the information that will point you in the right direction.