Don’t click on that link! Here’s how to get your REAL free credit reports

Now that we are all fairly certain that credit card companies have been screwing with our credit by cranking up our rates, freezing cards, jacking up fees,  and doing other dishonest things that can affect the credit of even the most reliable person, it’s time for all of you to take advantage of the free credit reports to which you are entitled by law.  It is important that you know what credit reporting agencies have in their records about you.

credit-reportThe Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles every American to a free full credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies.

The problem is, all kinds of enterprising thieves places have utilized your entitlement to these free reports by “offering” up “free credit reports” that come with memberships and other financial commitments that you do not have to put up with. That’s because you are being duped. They are counting on you to click on their link or go to that website so that you won’t, as the commercial says, “have to sell fish to tourists”. They, of course, all operate by instilling  Fear.

The fact is, there is a special site provided by the FCC that really IS free, with absolutely NO strings attached. No pitch. No “Membership Trials,” just your free credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies. The site is the ONLY site approved by the FCC. You can visit that site here. Ignore ALL other “free credit report” sites. They are not free lunches, as many have found out.

Once again, I wish to point out that this site and only this site is the place to go for a free credit report with no strings attached. Did I mention that this is the only FCC authorized site? Yes? Well let me mention it again. This site is the only authorized site to visit to get your free credit reports without getting pitched to buy something else.

The following information comes directly from the FCC page on Free Credit Reports.  You can get your free reports via mail, using the FCC’s ONLY approved website, or via telephone.

One more thing: These credit reports do not include your FICO score. If you want a FICO score, you should go to My Fico. You will have to pay a fee for your FICO score AKA “credit score,” because our Congress has its collective head up its ass and didn’t include FICO in the law. I’m SURE there’s a lobbyist story in there somewhere.

Follow the instructions and there will be no strings attached. I can attest that this is very easy to do, as I have received my free credit reports yearly for the past several years. I have used the phone system and it’s quite easy–and I request my free report from all three agencies to make sure they are all accurate and…… sympatico.

GO DO IT!

Your Access to Free Credit Reports

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requireseach of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s consumer reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to consumer reporting companies.

A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.

Here are the details about your rights under the FCRA and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, which established the free annual credit report program.

Q: How do I order my free report?

A: The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.

To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form is on the back of this brochure; or you can print it from ftc.gov/credit. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time. The law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies every 12 months.

A Warning About “Imposter” Websites

Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law — annualcreditreport.com. Other websites that claim to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores,” or “free credit monitoring” are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. In some cases, the “free” product comes with strings attached. For example, some sites sign you up for a supposedly “free” service that converts to one you have to pay for after a trial period. If you don’t cancel during the trial period, you may be unwittingly agreeing to let the company start charging fees to your credit card.

Some “imposter” sites use terms like “free report” in their names; others have URLs that purposely misspell annualcreditreport.com in the hope that you will mistype the name of the official site. Some of these “imposter” sites direct you to other sites that try to sell you something or collect your personal information.

Annualcreditreport.com and the nationwide consumer reporting companies will not send you an email asking for your personal information. If you get an email, see a pop-up ad, or get a phone call from someone claiming to be from annualcreditreport.com or any of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies, do not reply or click on any link in the message. It’s probably a scam. Forward any such email to the FTC at spam@uce.gov.

Q: What information do I need to provide to get my free report?

A: You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide consumer reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.

Q: Why do I want a copy of my credit report?

A: Your credit report has information that affects whether you can get a loan — and how much you will have to pay to borrow money. You want a copy of your credit report to:

  • make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a loan for a major purchase like a house or car, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
  • help guard against identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal information — like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number — to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.

Q: How long does it take to get my report after I order it?

A: If you request your report online at annualcreditreport.com, you should be able to access it immediately. If you order your report by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, your report will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days. If you order your report by mail using the Annual Credit Report Request Form, your request will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days of receipt.

Whether you order your report online, by phone, or by mail, it may take longer to receive your report if the nationwide consumer reporting company needs more information to verify your identity.

There also may be times when the nationwide consumer reporting companies receive a high volume of requests for credit reports. If that happens, you may be asked to re-submit your request. Or, you may be told that your report will be mailed to you sometime after 15 days from your request. If either of these events occurs, the nationwide consumer reporting companies will let you know.

Q: Are there any other situations where I might be eligible for a free report?

A: Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a consumer reporting company may charge you up to $10.50 for another copy of your report within a
12-month period.

To buy a copy of your report, contact:

Under state law, consumers in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont already have free access to their credit reports.

Q: Should I order a report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies?

A: It’s up to you. Because nationwide consumer reporting companies get their information from different sources, the information in your report from one company may not reflect all, or the same, information in your reports from the other two companies. That’s not to say that the information in any of your reports is necessarily inaccurate; it just may be different.

Q: Should I order my reports from all three of the nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time?

A:You may order one, two, or all three reports at the same time, or you may stagger your requests. It’s your choice. Some financial advisors say staggering your requests during a 12-month period may be a good way to keep an eye on the accuracy and completeness of the information in your reports.

Q: What if I find errors — either inaccuracies or incomplete information — in my credit report?

A: Under the FCRA, both the consumer report­ing company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take full advantage of your rights under this law, contact the consumer reporting company and the information provider.

  1. Tell the consumer reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate.Consumer reporting companies must investigate the items in question — usually within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the consumer reporting company, it must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the consumer reporting company. If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide consumer reporting companies so they can correct the information in your file.When the investigation is complete, the consumer reporting company must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. (This free report does not count as your annual free report under the FACT Act.) If an item is changed or deleted, the consumer reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. The consumer reporting company also must send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.
  2. Tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute an item. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider reports the item to a consumer reporting company, it must include a notice of your dispute. And if you are correct — that is, if the information is found to be inaccurate — the information provider may not report it again.

Q: What can I do if the consumer reporting company or information provider won’t correct the information I dispute?

A: If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the consumer reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You also can ask the consumer reporting company to provide your state­ment to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You can expect to pay a fee for this service.

If you tell the information provider that you dispute an item, a notice of your dispute must be included any time the information provider reports the item to a consumer reporting company.

Q: How long can a consumer reporting company report negative information?

A: A consumer reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years. There is no time limit on reporting information about crimi­nal convictions; information reported in response to your application for a job that pays more than $75,000 a year; and information reported because you’ve applied for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance. Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, which­ever is longer.

Q: Can anyone else can get a copy of my credit report?

A:The FCRA specifies who can access your credit report. Creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use the information in your report to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, em­ployment, or renting a home are among those that have a legal right to access your report.

54 Responses

  1. Can Bammy’s mommy get one too? I know she’s dead, but if the Mormons can pothumously baptize her, why not a free credit report?
    How does that work? She was already baptized as a Catholic. Enquiring minds want to know and well, UW you pretty much know just about everything.
    Thanks for the report link.

  2. Thanks Uppity! I’ve been meaning to get a credit report for us and for my Dad for months. You just made it easy. You’re the best!

  3. mcnorman, I saw that earlier (barry’s mom getting baptized posthumously)…have no idea what to make of it.

  4. socalannie, can you believe it? Jeez, is this because she spawned 0?

  5. I have no idea…this is too odd to be true. I would assume it wasn’t true except they (Mormons) seem to be admitting it and saying they’re looking into it:

    “Mormon Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said that “the offering of baptism to our deceased ancestors is a sacred practice to us and it is counter to Church policy for a Church member to submit names for baptism for persons to whom they are not related. The Church is looking into the circumstances of how this happened and does not yet have all the facts. However, this is a serious matter and we are treating it as such.”

    This is yet another classic “wtf?” moment in the weird affairs of prez barry.

  6. What’s next? I vote for a Wiccan baptismal if there is such an event. Because we all know he is the prez of the world. I think I may have swallowed my tongue on that one.

  7. What does this mean.
    Although Gov. Brad Henry vetoed similar legislation 10 days earlier, House members Monday again approved a resolution claiming Oklahoma’s sovereignty.
    Unlike House Joint Resolution 1003, House Concurrent Resolution 1028 does not need the governor’s approval.
    The House passed the measure 73-22. It now goes to the Senate.
    We’re going to get it done one way or the other,” said the resolutions’ author, Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City.
    “I think our governor is out of step.”
    House Democrats objected, saying the issue already had been taken up and had been vetoed, but House Speaker Pro Tempore Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, ruled the veto is not final action.
    Key said he expects HCR 1028 will pass in the Senate. HJR 1003 earlier passed the House 83-18 and won approval in the Senate 29-18.
    Henry vetoed HJR 1003 because he said it suggested, among other things, that Oklahoma should return federal tax dollars.

  8. Jews are pretty much not into the Mormon baptize everybody deal.

  9. Thanks for the helpful info. The most important points of checking your reports and avoiding fraudulent sites are critical. Thieves lurk ready to swipe personal data. Be cautious.

    OT, for a great laugh, http://tinyurl.com/dg6x2q

  10. thetowncrier, that was hilarious! Thanks!

  11. Marion Barry: D.C. risks “civil war” by legalizing gay marriage
    Via JWF, a tough call here for the forces of tolerance. On the one hand, he’s a Democrat and a minority and therefore presumptively possessed of Absolute Moral Authority. Attack him at your peril. On the other hand, he’s a tax cheat and an ex-crackhead. No need to impeach his credibility; there’s none left to impeach. Really, about the only thing that can be said in his favor is that, warts and all, he’s still more appealing than Perez Hilton.

    Why aren’t gays pissed off at the AA community for voting against gay marriage in CA?

  12. This is what it’s all leading to……

    The Obama administration is considering an unprecedented fall vaccination campaign that could entail giving Americans three flu shots — one to combat annual seasonal influenza and two targeted at the new swine flu virus spreading across the globe.

    http://tinyurl.com/dh7mmu

  13. Isn’t it?

  14. And what if you don’t want to get vaccinated?

  15. They will drag you in for your rabies swine flu anti polio/ tuberculosis vaccination. There will be no foaming!

  16. WIll the gestapO come after you? WIll this look like those horrendously long lines of kids in the 50’s standing around waiting for the polio vaccine? Will Dr. Salk be there too?

  17. Yes, all in white lab coats!

  18. That’s scary.

  19. Scary but very close to the truth. Most people will be terrorized into going willingly. Ob will probably get on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and give his worshippers instructions for going to the nearest POST OFFICE, WALMART, or FEMA CAMP to get free vaccinations.

    Unfortunately for them it will be like going to a roach motel….roaches check in….you know the rest…..

  20. OMG, roach motel. I’m dying here.

  21. surfergirl, no I don’t know the rest. Tell me what happens.

  22. I just want to know if there will be a number machine like the one at Baskin Robbins.

  23. With paper tickets or those tacky electronic number signs? Paper is more fun.

  24. No numbers. Microchips…..

  25. Here’s an article about baptism for the dead…
    http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/mormon/baptism/
    it’s something the “momo’s” practice and are very serious about….some call it their “work”, others refer to it as a “calling.” In any event, their temple work is right up there w/the secret handshake and secret names.

  26. shots i don’t need no stinking shots………

  27. Do they do shots these days without needles?

  28. Geez, I’m gone for a couple of hours and come back to tin foil all over the blog. Nobody is going to force anybody into a flu shot. They have had flu shots available every year for a lonnnnnnnng time. Now they just want to add another. They will do what they always do…..recommend who should take one.

  29. Love the roach motel remark though! LOL!

  30. Crier, in the 50s, they gave the polio shots right in the classroom. Using the same needle. lol.

  31. Funny how that happens when there is no one around minding the store…

  32. I’m gone for a couple of hours and come back to tin foil all over the blog.

    It happens.

  33. Same needles?!?!? Yikes. Oh well. That’s why those kids probably grew up all brilliant. They passed their intelligence microscopically.

  34. They won’t need to force anyone…everyone will be so scared they’ll be running down there to be first in line…

  35. Well then, we will have to run to the Uppity line.

  36. MCNORMAN…LOL!!!

  37. Pretty outrageous, huh?

  38. deadenders, on May 6th, 2009 at 3:56 PM Said:

    What does this mean.

    DE,
    It means I’m moving to Oklahoma!

  39. Total insanity….that’s what we get for letting a bunch of sociopaths run our lives while we sit on our asses watching American Idol and eating Doritos…

  40. Anyone mention how Alren Specter got bitchslapped by his “fellow” Democrats? He now has the least seniority in the Senate, excpet for maybe Al Franken.

  41. Yeah LOL P4! Arlen got PWNED. I am looking for a link to a good story if you have one

  42. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/06/specter.seniority/index.html

    Here’s one…..pretty funny. Poooooooooor Arlen.

  43. Stuff like this gives me hope that more people will realize that What They Have Been Promised just ain’t gonna happen….

  44. and oh what surprises will be waiting instead!

  45. Christmas in May for Arlen. What did he think? He obviously is under the enchanted spell and can’t see 2″ in front of him.

  46. Maaaarrryyy! Go nuts girl!
    The 57th meeting of representatives from Western European and North American countries known as Bilderberg Group will be held next week at a five-star hotel in Greece, reports Daniel Estulin, an investigative author who has written a defining book on the secretive annual gathering.
    This year, according to Estulin’s sources, the meeting’s talking points will focus on finances, namely the future of the U.S. dollar, the economy and unemployment levels.

  47. Thats so funny about Arlen Spectacle. Hopefully, more of the crooks in DC will start turning on each other. I’m so sick of our reps…in both parties.

  48. towncrier…

    roaches check in but they don’t check out……

  49. They are eating their own. How delightful.

  50. Re: Arlen’s demise…Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins say: “Hmmmmm?”

  51. oh

  52. DE,

    Thanks. When I read about the meeting of the Bilderbergs, I wondered if GG knows.

    I wonder what they’ll be saying to each other about Howdy Doody. He’s pushing through their economic agenda okay, but do they regard him as a liability in other ways?

  53. surfergirl,

    I’m with you. I wouldn’t take any vaccine mandated, pushed, or even just plain offered by the obarfo administration. I can think of better things to die of

    Microchips? The computer-age version of the Mark of the Beast.

  54. Doesn’t baptism involve the application of holy water, or immersion? This seems not easy to do to someone who’s dead and buried.

    Star, on May 6th, 2009 at 4:23 PM Said:
    “Jews are pretty much not into the Mormon baptize everybody deal.”

    Since baptism is a Christian sacrament, you would be correct not only about Jewish people, but Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and other non-Christian religions.

    Actually, I guess I just don’t get how someone long gone can be the subject of any religious ritual that is meant for the living.

Comments are closed.