I’ve blogged in the past about FreeCreditReport.com and the fact that I think it ought to be shut down. This is one of the rather obnoxious attempts by the credit reporting agencies to exploit people’s fears of identity theft as a tool to generate money.
FreeCreditReport.com is not free. You can get your free credit report at the official site, AnnualCreditReport.com.
Suppose a company engages in an unfair and deceptive trade practice. It makes about $1 billion. The FTC investigates. A settlement is reached for a fine of $1 million and refunds to only some customers — yielding a net penalty of several million dollars — just a fraction of the spoils. That’s deterrence . . . FTC style!
Under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, the credit reporting agencies must provide a yearly free credit report to individuals who request it. This was one of the benefits given to consumers by the law in return for extending the federal preemption of certain state law regulations.
This year, pursuant to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003, credit reporting agencies must provide people with one free credit report per year. This is gradually being phased in this year. People can obtain their reports from this website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp.