Free Credit Report Isn’t Really Free After All

I bet  you have either watched the Free Credit Report commercial on TV or heard it on radio, not just once, but many times.

It’s a nice commercial, but do you really get what is advertised?

While it’s true that you can indeed get a free credit report, which is the center piece of this commercial, you will also get something extra, something that’s not mentioned in the commercial, at the same time. And the price for that extra isn’t too light to ignore if you are not careful.

According to the Free Credit Report website, at the time when you order your free Experian credit report, you will also automatically “begin your free trial membership in Triple Advantage Credit Monitoring” service. The service is offered by Experian which lets you monitor all three credit files from Expeiran, Equifax, and TransUnion everyday, and receive email alert on any suspicious activity on your accounts. The price for this service? $14.95 a month.

The worst part actually isn’t the monthly membership fee. Unlike most other free trails that usually let you enjoy the programs for free for 20 or 30 days, the free trial of Triple Advantage only gives you 7 days to cancel your trail membership. If you forget to cancel it, then you will be automatically billed $14.95/month until you actually cancel it, unless you decide to keep it. I wonder whether they intentionally set the trail period to only 7 days so people will easily forget to call to cancel, ending up paying a high price for a free credit report they are entitled to by law.

Recent developments in the financial system underscore the importance of one’s credit worthiness. Without a good credit, you will find it’s becoming increasingly difficult and costly to get a loan or apply for a credit card. In addition to using credit responsibly, you also need to stay on top of your credit information. Getting and examining your credit report periodically is one way to make sure your information is current and correct. If a free credit report is all you want, then there’s a better place for to get it for free with no strings attached. In fact, you can get a free credit report from one of the three credit reporting bureaus in any 12-month period. So you are eligible for a total of 3 free reports every year. And you don’t have to go to to get your credit reports free!

BTW, there are occasionally free credit report and credit score offers that you can take advantage of. Free services like Credit Karma are an option to obtain free credit information.

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