Free Credit Reports Now Required to be…Free?

06 Apr Free Credit Reports Now Required to be…Free?


I know, it’s confusing. As of April 1st, the government is requiring FREE credit reports to be, well, FREE. Why do they have to do that?

Actually it’s quite simple. For several years you’ve been bombarded by commercials promoting “free” credit reports that were really just trial versions of a credit monitoring system. Websites like freecreditreport.com would lure you in with catchy advertising and a free credit report but you had to sign up for a trial period of their other services. It’s now illegal for these sites to do this, which is the government’s way to protect you from harming yourself.

I have always recommended www.annualcreditreport.com, which is a truly free service that allows you to access your credit report once per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. This site has also been endorsed by the government for years. I still recommend this site and will continue to do so.

You may have heard me say in the past that your credit score isn’t very important if you stop borrowing money, and that’s true. But it is still important to monitor your credit report for evidence of fraud and wrong information. Bad information can impact job search efforts and insurance premiums. annualcreditreport.com allows you to monitor these things and dispute any erroneous information for free. They won’t give you your credit score for free, but remember we are concerned about the report, not the score.

Matt Wegner is a personal finance, small business and leadership coach focused on teaching his clients the tools for L.I.F.E. (Living In Financial Excellence). Learn how to live without a credit score (and debt free) by requesting a free planning session today or visit financialexcellence.net.
4 Comments
  • Mahalia Ropers
    Posted at 07:36h, 10 April

    Fantastic post, many interesting points. I believe 6 of days ago, I have saw a similar blog. Does anyone know how to track future posts?

    • Matt.Wegner
      Posted at 10:40h, 10 April

      It’s easy to track future posts – all you have to do is subscribe via the RSS links at the top right of the blog page.

  • Brad Sedotal
    Posted at 23:32h, 21 April

    I have so many mixed emotions when it comes to credit. In a lot of ways we need it. But I think the companies that run the credit abuse it and trick and take advantage of their customers. Too many people are in debt to have be all one big coincidence. I think the credit industry needs more regulation.

    • Matt.Wegner
      Posted at 09:36h, 22 April

      I’m not sure it’s the government’s responsibility to regulate the credit industry, especially when Congress thinks the solution to a huge debt problem is to go deeper in debt. I think there’s more power in educating consumers so we can regulate the industry by not borrowing money anymore. It’s a novel concept but it works!