A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the
nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to provide you with a
free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. But there’s only one online
source authorized to do so. That’s annualcreditreport.com. Beware of other sites that may look and sound
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises consumers
who order their free annual credit reports online to be sure to correctly spell
or link to it
from the FTC’s website to avoid being misdirected to other
websites that offer supposedly free reports,but only with the purchase of other products.
While consumers may be offered additional products or services while on the authorized website,
they are not
required to make a purchase to receive their free annual credit reports.
The FTC has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit
report online. Some consumers responded to TV ads, email offers, or simply searched online.
The FTC recently settled a lawsuit against Consumerinfo.com – which did business as
Experian Consumer Direct – over the “free credit report” promotion it advertised on television, radio
and the Internet, including its websites freecreditreport.com and consumerinfo.com.
If you ordered a free credit report from Consumerinfo between November 1, 2000 and September 15, 2003,
and were enrolled in its credit monitoring program, you may be eligible for a refund under the FTC’s settlement.