Not So Free Credit Reports

Not So Free Credit Reports

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“Free Credit Report” … but there may be a catch. 

But read on - there really is 1 out there that is free and without a catch!

As you prepare to begin your home search, one of your first steps should be to review your credit status.

  • Your credit history is a key factor in loan approval and in your rate. Try to do this six months in advance of a home purchase.Mistakes are not uncommon. You have the right to have mistakes on your reports corrected; but, in order to know there are mistakes, you have to review your credit reports. 

  • Review all three credit agencies reports as each presents a slightly different picture of you. 

They want your business - or your identity

Why unfortunately? Because these companies are in the business of making a profit which is, of course, what companies are in the business to do. They do this by attaching strings to their offers. There is one way to receive a free report – totally free with zero strings attached – from each of the three reporting agencies.

But first, let’s look at the other “free” offers.

  • In every case that I’ve been able to discover, ordering a free report from one of these impostor websites will result in you opening yourself up to charges. Why else would they ask for your credit card number? 

  • The most common way of sticking you with a charge is to offer you a free, time limited access to your credit report (free trial of their services) after which you are charged, automatically, a recurring fee if you do not cancel. And, as you might expect, canceling can be a hassle. These are the “good” free sites. 

  • The not so good sites are also there. These attempt to collect your personal information for illegitimate purposes, such as identity theft, or at a minimum, to collect your information to be sold to marketing companies . 

Only one site is authorized by the Federal Trade Commission to provide a free report from all three agencies once a year. Any other site is questionable and should be avoided. 

Of course, you can always go to the reporting agency directly to request a report but the most convenient way to do it is through the Federal Trade Commission authorize single source site.

The one legitimate site is:

If you prefer to request a record through snail mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

NOTE: 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 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 [email protected] (Caution – there are sites that misspell the legitimate URL in an attempt to miss direct you).

If you need to reach the credit reporting companies directly:

  •     Equifax  P.O. Box 105139  Atlanta, GA 30348-5139

  •      Experian P.O. Box 2002 Allen, TX 75013

  •      TransUnion P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016

Call me if you have any questions.

Chris DeLoach     843-270-1272     [email protected]

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Chris DeLoach Headshot
Phone: 843-270-1272
Dated: May 29th 2018
Views: 32
About Chris: Serving Charleston buyers and sellers since 2001 Buying a home – or selling a home – can be o...

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