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To be Free or Not Free – The Deal on Free Credit Reports and Credit Scores

November 4, 2009
With the holiday season almost in full swing, many people will see a major spike in their credit card spending.  And the damage can be done to their credit before you can stop singing Auld Lang Syne.  This article serves as your quick medicine before getting the hangover – know thy credit score and get a credit report (twice a year).  You have no excuse because you can get your credit report and score for FREE!

But, keep in mind that everyone website that claims its free is not.  Case in point –  They have great catchy commercials, but this is NOT a FREE report.  This company is trying to sell you a credit monitoring system. It’s a “for profit” site that allows people to sign up for a subscription to access your credit reports.  See this Nov 2, 2009, New York Times article for more this “free” service “A Free Credit Score Followed by a Monthly Bill” –

There is a FREE credit bureau site mandated by the Federal Trade Commission: and can be found at   You can also go to, or for a free credit score.

Here’s more on the various websites dealing with credit reports and scores –


  • , a site, jointly-sponsored by TransUnion, Equifax and Experian (the three major credit bureaus), that offers a free annual credit report (the listing of all the information in your credit history).

  •, Get what they call a  Credit Report Card  for free which shows of you a snapshot of your credit reports and estimated scores.  This is also an educational site with a wealth of information on scores, reports,  credit cards, loans, debts and much more.    The site will try to up-sell you on credit monitoring services too.

  • –  Get a free credit score with no credit card to obtain it,  but they will try and sell you other things based on your profile. The site also analyzes your score and gives you a grade/summary or a credit report card.  This site gets right to the point and is fairly easy to navigate.  Note – the actual credit score given is not a FICO score used by most lenders.  But its a pretty good approximate score and it comes from TransUnion, one of the three major credit .

  • Get a free credit report from Experian and a free credit score.  No credit card is needed (they don’t even need your social security number).  And you can get these every 6 months.  This site is also fairly easy to navigate.  Note – the actual score given is not a FICO score used by most lenders.  But its a pretty good approximate score and it comes from Experian, one of the three major credit


  • www.freecreditreportcom –  It’s not FREE!!!!  Yes, you can get your credit report and score but unless you opt out of the 7-day trial period, you will be billed $14.95 a month for a credit monitoring package to get your credit reports.

  •, allows you to purchase your credit score (the number used by lenders to determine if they will extend you credit) from all three credit agencies.



4 Comments leave one →
  1. Diamond Emory permalink
    November 4, 2009 6:06 pm

    This in invaluable information. In this day and age it’s crucial to not only know what is on your credit report for accuracy, but also for your financial literacy. I recently obtained my free credit report from I paid $4.95 or receive my score. Thanks to you, in the next 3 months I’ll go to and get my score for free!

    Because you are permitted to get one free credit report per year from each agency, I get one every 4 months one from each agency. So say in January I’ll get Experian, in May or so I’ll grab my free report from TransUnion, then maybe October or November I’ll grab my free one from Equifax. Thanks for the great advice!

  2. November 4, 2009 8:46 pm

    Hi Shannon,

    Thanks for this tip! I think it’s really important to utilize free services that provide valuable information. I was just checking my credit card statements the other day (the holiday shopping has begun!) and thought about my annual credit report.

    I do have one question – since you recommend getting your report twice a year – what times during the year should we do this? I’ve only done this in the beginning of each year.

    Thanks again for the advice! Looking forward to reading more.


  3. @flyingdutch808 permalink
    November 5, 2009 1:25 am

    More and more I am concerned about false negative information on my credit report. It seems there is a wilderness of ‘free’ credit sites. Glad some of the good ones are being highlighted and the dishonest ones being outed. thanks!

  4. February 5, 2010 11:34 pm

    I bet I’m boosting your alexa ranking, haha. I like reading at your site. Thanks for the hard work!

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