‘Free’ Credit Report Sites: Worth the Real Costs? Review of 24 Sites Shows Potential for Consumer Confusion, Unnecessary Services (35 pages, PDF): “This report examines Web sites that offer consumers paid access to their credit reports in combination with credit scores, credit monitoring, and/or identity theft insurance. These sites are alternatives to annualcreditreport.com, created as a result of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA), which entitles consumers to obtain, once a year, a free copy of their credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus–Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. The “alternative” sites to annualcreditreport.com market themselves aggressively to consumers. Consumers who knowingly use the alternative sites as an adjunct to annualcreditreport.com may find their services valuable. However, consumers using the alternative sites because of confusion about annualcreditreport.com and its alternatives may end up paying needlessly for something they are entitled by law to receive for free, or paying more than necessary for credit scores.”
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