A Critical Look At “Free” Credit Reports

We’ve all seen the commercials for companies offering free credit reports. They have the singers talking about the sad/funny stories of how their credit was ruined, and how they could have prevented that heartache had they just logged on and ordered a free copy of their credit reports… but instead now they’re stuck in a dead-end job, living in their parents’ basement, driving a beater of a car. You know the commercials. You’ve seen them, you’ve made fun of them, you’ve secretly danced to their music when no one was watching. And you’ve found yourself thinking, “Wait… should I log on and order a free copy?”

Well before you hit the submit button, here is something you should understand about these companies offering you a “free” copy of your credit reports:

Your card won’t be charged… unless…

Here’s a question you might have found yourself asking: “How is this company making their money if they aren’t charging for the credit reports?” Well, that is a very legitimate question. And the answer is, they are making their money (and a whole lot of it might I add) with their other services. Don’t be mistaken, these companies are definitely for-profit companies. So why are they willing to give you your credit report for free if they are trying to make money? Well, if you’ve ever applied for your free credit report, you will probably have noticed one very important thing: most companies will make you give them your credit card information when you order your free copies of your credit reports.

So I’m assuming that leads you to the next obvious question… “Why do they need my credit card number if the credit report is free?” And that is where the catch is. You see, most of these free credit report companies are offering you this free copy of your credit report for one major purpose: they want to get you signed up for their other, charged, services. You are under no obligation to keep their services once you’ve gotten your free copy of your credit report. But again, here comes the catch: you are automatically signed up for these services when you order your free credit reports, and it is up to you to remember to cancel whatever service they made you sign up for. If you don’t remember to cancel this service, your card will begin to be charged. Now this “free” credit report you thought you were getting ends up costing you a whole lot more money than you had anticipated.

Keep in mind that not all of these services are bad services, nor are they necessarily unrealistically expensive. You may actually even be interested in signing up for these services. Just make sure that, if you are paying for these extra services, that they are services that you actually want and can benefit from.

Some companies are actually free

There are one or two companies that will actually give you copies of your credit reports for free, with no strings attached. So definitely don’t think that the only way for you to access copies of your credit reports is to have to sign up for other costly services in the process. Just understand that, if a company makes you give them your credit card information to access your credit reports, know that they are making you give it to them for a reason: because they plan on charging it. So just make sure that you read all of the fine print when you are ordering your copies. And if you are working with a company that makes you give them your credit card information, make sure that you know what you are signing up for. And if you want to find a company that will give you access to your credit reports truly for free, understand that you won’t find that with a company that asks for your credit card info.

Nicole is a writer for BestCreditRepairCompanys.com. See who their top rated credit repair companies are, and read their Lexington Law reviews.