If you're looking for a free credit report, you might have considered visiting freecreditreport.com, since it does have "free" in the title. Several years ago, you could have gotten a free credit report through this site, but consumer credit laws have changed.
The U.S. government's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has sanctioned only one website, AnnualCreditReport.com, as the "official" site to offer a free credit report once each year to U.S. citizens. Consequently, the freecreditreport.com site and many other free credit report websites began offering credit reports for the nominal price of $1.
"Almost Free" Credit Report
If you choose to get your credit report including a FICO score from the site, freecreditreport.com will charge your credit card with a $1 fee. Both the report and score come from your data reported to Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus.
The report has an easy-to-read layout, with each of the credit report sections on a separate tab. If you sign up for the site, review your credit report for accuracy, and check for anything out of the ordinary. Your FICO score will help you gauge your creditworthiness.
The freecreditreport.com site provides you with detailed information on your payment history, amount of debt, length of credit history and any recent credit inquiries. Each category shows what's impacting your credit score.
There's a Catch
To receive your $1 credit report and credit score from freecreditreport.com, you have to sign up for a seven-day trial subscription to Experian CreditWorks Premium, a monitoring service offered by Experian. To subscribe to the service and pay for your credit report, you're required to enter your credit card information into freecreditreport.com.
If you forget to cancel during the trial, your credit card will be automatically charged $24.99 each month of the service. Per the freecreditreport.com FAQs, there's no refund or partial credit if you cancel once you've been charged.
Freecreditreport.com gives you fair notice that your credit card will be charged if you don't cancel your trial subscription. There's a disclosure about the trial printed plainly on the first page of the website and another one on the order submission form.
Freecreditreport.com also says you can only order a $1 credit report from them one time. If you've already received your $1 credit report, you won't get another one, ever.
Cancelling Is a Minor Headache
To cancel the freecreditreport.com service you have two options: contact the company by phone, or send your cancellation request by mail. The company's website doesn't offer the ability to cancel online. If you cancel over the phone, expect the customer service representative to read through some scripts in an attempt to convince you to continue your service.
Call with your mind set on canceling the service and stick to your "no," regardless of what they offer you. The phone rep may offer you a large discount on your next month's payment if you keep the account, which could make sense if you want to keep the account open for credit monitoring. If you choose to cancel, you'll receive an email confirming your freecreditreport.com cancellation after you make the call.