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How to get a truly free credit report

April 7, 2008 3:25:16 PM PDT
There are some 13 million errors in credit reports every year, so it's smart to get yours once a year and check for any mistakes.You're entitled to one free credit report from each of the big credit agencies, but you have to know where to go because plenty of companies may that say free can end up costing you plenty.

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You would think with a name like Freecreditreport.com, you would get free credit reports, but if you're not careful, free will end up costing you.

"If you click on freecreditreport.com's Web site to order your credit report, you're automatically billed $14.95 a month for a credit monitoring service after a free trial, so essentially your free credit report costs you about 180 dollars a year," said Amanda Walker, Consumer Reports.

The site is just one of many credit report Web sites with "free" in their name to entice consumers. Consumer Reports Shopsmart advises avoiding them.

"It's money you don't have to spend. You're already entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year," Walker said.

To get a free credit report, go to annualcreditreport.com. It's the only Web site where each year you can get free credit reports, no strings attached, from all the three major agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

"It's a good idea to stagger your requests. You can order one of your reports about every four months, and that way it gives you an opportunity to check up on your credit throughout the year," Walker said.

While the song in the Freecreditreport.com commercial is catchy, make sure that credit report you order really is free.

Once you have your credit report, make sure you check it for accuracy and possible fraud. If you find errors on your credit reports, visit www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/credit-loan/credit-reports-6-07/overview/0706_credit_reports_ov.htm

For a truly free credit report visit www.annualcreditreport.com

 

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