Most of us have seen the catchy commercials on television or come in contact with the intrusive online Ads for freecreditreport.com. The thing is, regardless of how many times they say free, it really isn’t free. You actually have to purchase an expensive membership in their associated program in order to get your free credit reports.
Instead of paying $14.95 a month for those “free” credit reports, click over to https://www.annualcreditreport.com, which was set up under the Federal law that says that Americans have the right to access their personal credit reports for free 1 time per year.
The catch is that each individual is able to access EACH of the 3 top credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, once per year.
In order to really take advantage of the Federal law, I suggest accessing one of the 3 credit reporting agencies every four months instead of accessing all 3 reports at once every year.
Each of these credit reporting agencies usually carry the same information on you, although not always, so you can reasonably keep up with your credit report by accessing an alternating copy every four months. Just keep a record of which report you pull and when so that you will know which one to pull next.
https://www.annualcreditreport.com will allow you to access your credit report online or in print, whichever you are most comfortable with.
There is also a pretty extensive FAQ section that will tell you things like how to request a “fraud alert” on your accounts. This is something that companies charge people to do in order to secure your identity from being stolen. You can actually do this yourself by calling the listed numbers every 90 days. Save your dollars and put up a calendar instead so you can call yourself.
Basically, there are REAL FREE tools out there for us to keep up with and protect our credit and identities if we know where to look. https://www.annualcreditreport.com is a good place to start.