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Credit Reports Online

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The ONLY True Source of Authorized
Credit Reports Online
by: Gene Pimentel

You see the ads everywhere. On the web. On TV. On the radio. In newspapers. There are dozens, if not hundreds of companies competing for your attention offering "free credit reports". While most are legitimate offers, there is almost always a hook to get you to purchase additional services.

Is it any wonder consumers are overwhelmed and confused? Why can't I just get my free credit reports? The truth is, of course, these companies are in business to make money and have no real interest in giving away something for free. So how can a consumer really know who to trust in researching their credit information?

There is Only ONE Legitimate Source

We all know the Federal Trade Commission is an agency created to protect the best interests of consumers. But few know that the FTC is the ONLY place on the internet that makes credit reports available to the public for free, through the three major sources: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. In fact, consumers are entitled to receive their free credit reports every 12 months with no other purchase or obligation attached. Many people don't realize that they don't have to go through one of the commonly advertised commercial services to get their reports.

Avoid the Common Pitfalls

Just because the advertising makes it seem free and easy, don't make the mistake of taking what seems to be the path of least resistance when trying to obtain your information. You'll almost always find yourself being enticed into ordering other related services before you get access to your "free" credit report. That's not always such a bad thing if you are interested in the additional services offered, but more often than not, consumers just want access to their credit information.

It's no wonder the FTC receives complaints on a regular basis from consumers who have been misled into thinking they must enroll into an unrelated service, only to find out they are being charged a monthly fee that they find very difficult to back out of. Naturally, the FTC encourages consumers to report abusive situations involving false or misleading advertising. The bottom line is that there is no need to fall into the credit report trap. Go directly to the source.

Here's What You Need to Know to Get Your Free Credit Report

Understand that according to the FTC, consumers cannot get free credit reports directly through Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. These firms must be contacted through the official website of the FTC. All you need to do is go to your favorite search engine and type in "FTC annual credit report". Be careful to look for the official FTC website which ends with .gov. You will find many third-party websites that have a name similar to the official site, so make sure you're on the correct website before taking action. The FTC site will guide you step by step and show you what you need to do in order to receive your free credit report.

When you conduct your search, avoid using terms like such as "free credit report," "free credit score," "free credit history," or any other similar phrases that will likely land you on a website that wants to sell you something you don't need.

Your credit report is indeed, free every 12 months. With the current world climate, it is vital that you review your credit history annually to be sure your information is accurate and that you are not a victim of identity theft. The truth is, you just have to know where to go to get the information you need. Now you have it.
 

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