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FreeCreditReport.com is NOT Free

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Have you heard of FreeCreditReport.com before?  If you watch television at all, you probably came across their free credit report commercials more than once.  And if you do a Google search for “Free Credit Report”, they will actually come up as the #2 result.  Don’t believe their commercials or their extremely misleading name even for a minute! I fell for it a while back and wasted a lot of money because I didn’t notice their monthly fee on my credit card statement for a few months.

What Is FreeCreditReport.com?

FreeCreditReport.com is a web site that supposedly offers you free credit report and score. When you sign up to get your free credit report, FreeCreditReport.com will also ask you for your credit card information, however, they don’t make it clear why they need the information. In fact, when you go through the sign up process, they will automatically enroll you in their credit monitoring service that charges you monthly fee. If you don’t cancel the service, they will start charging you — and they don’t make this obvious either. Back then, it was $12 per month, but I am not sure what it is now.

Here’s one of their TV commercials:

In short, do not use FreeCreditReport.com — they are using a very misleading web site name to attract unsuspecting customers in an unethical manner.

How to Get Your Free Credit Report

You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the credit rating agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) per year.  The best site for free credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com.  This web site is legitimate — and it is absolutely free. The best way to stay on top of your credit history is to get one report every 4 months.  For example, you can get Equifax credit report in January, Experian credit report in May, and TransUnion credit report in September.  And you can do all of this through AnnualCreditReport.com.

How to Get Your Free Credit Scores

Unfortunately, AnnualCreditReport.com only gives you free credit report, but not free credit score. You could pay to get your scores, but there are other webs site that gives you your scores. Check out my article, Get Your Free Credit Score Online, to learn how to get your free scores.

Have you use FreeCreditReport.com before?  What was your experience?

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Abigail
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Actually, the commercials are pretty upfront as far as I can tell. They always say at the end, “Offer applies with enrollment in Triple Advantage.” Triple Advantage is a credit monitoring service. When you sign up, you get a free trial period, after which you have to pay a charge. I think the *much* bigger worry is that Triple Advantage is only one of the companies owned by the same parent company. And when I was doing free trials for places like Inbox Dollars, I nearly signed up for the not-Triple-Advantage. I just miraculously noticed the parent company was the… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Great minds think alike! I just wrote up a post about the same topic that will publish tomorrow. It is very important that consumers are aware of the differences between all these credit report sites. For the amount of advertising FreeCreditReport.com does, you would think they were the official site maintained by all three bureaus (FCR is by Experian)!

the weakonomist
Guest
the weakonomist

It’s not up-front when they slide it in at the very end of the commercial. That’s like the pharma commercials that talk about side effects at the last second of the ad. It’s a scam. The first time I got my credit report I used freecreditreport.com, but I was ready for their “free trial.” I canceled as soon as I got my report printed.

The biggest scam of all is the implication in commercials that simply knowing the substance of your credit report will improve your ability to obtain financing.

Nevertheless, I like their songs… sigh.

Chiko
Guest
Chiko

You can check your credit score as many times as you like on Creditkarma.com. That is the website that I use, it also compares different interest rate for you and shows you the best place to get your next loan for your car, house, business, etc.

Atlantic
Guest

I was just thinking about this the other day after having seen their commercials air so frequently. I figured it was a sign of the times and everyone must be trying to better thier scores to improve their situations, etc. I was wondering how they made their money, and how they could afford such airtime. Good to know, thanks for sharing the info!

poor boomer
Guest
poor boomer

Thank you for posting this. They have been advertising for years and they are one of my top Pet Peeves, although I’m also peeved by the broadcasters who air the commercials.

The disclaimer (“Offer applies with enrollment in Triple Advantage”) was added as part of the settlement of some (FTC?) complaint or lawsuit.

While technically you CAN get a free credit report by canceling Triple Advantage before the free trial period expires, consumers generally have a LOT of inertia plus short memories and busy lives, and often fail to cancel in time to avoid getting charged, which is what they’re hoping for.

Dawn
Guest

Good post! It is good to let people know about the potential costs involved. I have free credit monitoring through my mortgage company (who lost a bunch of their customers’ personal information…sigh) but if I didn’t I would have been tempted to use this company when I wanted my credit score.

ChristianPF
Guest

Pinyo,
I am glad you are talking about this – I have been saying the same thing as well on my site. How deceptive can the name be?

K.
Guest
K.

I was scammed by Triple Advantage. By nature, I’m very suspicious person, and I distinctly remember NOT giving them my credit card number. I really had no reason to think I would be charged for anything, especially since they include an up-sell offer, which I declined. What really betrays TripleAdvantage as a scam is their willingness to give full refunds. After three calls to their customer service hotline (the first of which ended with the line “disconnecting”), I was given a full refund, even though they say that’s against their policy. I think their customer service reps are so deluged… Read more »

W
Guest
W

Yeah, 9 days… only 9 days free and they start to charge you!!!! What a scam… they are NOT up front, Abigail… they just brainwash you with their stupid commercials so that you believe it…. just mute the sound button, and you’ll be FREE……

Allan
Guest
Allan

Oh, it’s change to 9 days! I though it’s 14 days. So far they said after 14 days they start to charge you. I just check on their web site again, now is 7 days!!!!

Alex
Guest
Alex

Those FreeCreditReport.com commercials annoy me to no end! I actually just visited AnnualCreditReport.com and got my report (through Experian, incidentally).

Martin
Guest

Well, the other think is they offer a FACO score instead of FICO, so the score you get from them is far different. When you receive your first credit score plus, or whatever the name is, and you see, let’s say 740 as your credit score, your FICO will actually be around 680 (which is what your lenders will see when they pull your report, not the FACO you get).

Jay Smith
Guest
Jay Smith

Very informative post. Thank you. I have always mainted a Credit Score of 700 and above. And if I can give any advice to anyone out there struggling is be patient. It takes sometime to buid your score back up. Just make sure you plan out everything, write out how much you make each month and how much you can spend. That is the best way to maintain a positive credit score. I hope that was beneficial to some people!

Olivia Westbrook
Guest
Olivia Westbrook

This service is a rip off! I was a member for several months and my credit score was 762. When I canceled my membership and later started the refinance process on my house, guess what? My credit score suddenly dropped about 60 points for stuff that had been monitored for 3 years AND I had paid off several of the bills all satisfactorily!

Victoria Swan
Guest
Victoria Swan

Bottom line, it’s a scam. It’s not free. It’s never free. There are always small little fees that will come back to bite you in the *ss. It’s a matter of being mindful that nothing in this life is free no matter how good it sounds. People are always using a lure to get you to spend money, NOTHING IS FREE!!!

Paul
Guest

Just goes to show what the right domain name will do for bringing in the traffic, misleading as it is.

Tim
Guest
Tim

I agree with most people here that freecreditreport.comm is a scam. just last night i had went to the site and paid my $1 fee and viewed my score and looked at the report and decided to cancel within business hours. before i called i checked my banking account and they had charged an additional $31.95! WTF! so i had proceeded to give them a call to cancel and inquire about the extra $31.95. They had agreed to cancel my membership and send a confirmation email and a confirmation number just in case they had charged me again later by… Read more »

Melissa Wilson
Guest
Melissa Wilson

YES, they are totally misleading. They begin charging you after seven days. You think you are giving your debit card for the $1, and next thing you know you are charged just under $17. They do not respond to emails requesting cancellation and their phone people quote their policy of no refunds on memberships — even thought you contacted them immediately and have not used the membership. VERY MISLEADING! OBVIOUSLY TRYING TO TRICK CUSTOMERS!

charles
Guest
charles

I tried to get a free credit report and it said that they could not identify me so no $1.00 was taken from my checking account. I did it again and it said the same thing. I was so furious when I checked my bank account and this scam took two $1.00s! Be careful, guys.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Check your Transunion at CreditKarma.com they actually are free..and one of the best credit report sites I’ve used..They don’t ask for your card or anything. Truly a good website..

Yes, freecreditreport.com is very misleading.. That website drives me nuts. (Although the credit monitoring system and website is very well layed out they can be honest about their signup).

FreeCreditReport.com is NOT Free

by Pinyo time to read: 2 min
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