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Annual Credit Report Vs Other Free Misleading Promotional Advertisements

By Faye Mergel
Published: Friday, April 9th, 2010

CULTRM-00000024-001Free credit reports” many credit bureaus through ads and promotions promise to provide and have the customer pay for something that is free. As the banners claim the report to be free, in reality not so.

Consumers pay for this report as they use the promotional ads they see. Some consumers are also misled into paying for various services or products in exchange for their credit report.

As per the Federal US laws it is mandatory for this credit report to be free and easily available to every individual. Abiding to this law a regulation was passed earlier last week, asking credit bureaus and other such companies promising free credit reports to no longer mislead consumers to believe that these have any connection to the actual free reports.

It is a wise option to look for one’s credit report as it is free and governed by the laws of the US government. It is also important for consumers to be aware; that one can legally view this information once every year, may be at the beginning of the year to see how one’s credit rating is and to work towards improving the scores or even maintaining it, even at the end of the year to see how well one has done on the credit scores received on the credit report.

Consumers are also aware of the three major legal and reliable credit bureaus namely TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. One must also know that not all credit reports are taken from these bureaus, or have any connection with these major legal credit bureaus. It is vital to know if the details about one’s credit report are fictional or facts being reported to consumers who are made to pay for this inaccurate rating.

Federal Trade Commission has passed a rule expecting all credit bureaus that advertise and promise such “free credit reports” to carry a disclaimer on their website stating – “This notice is required by law. Read more at FTC.GOV. You have the right to a free credit report from authorized source under federal law.”

This disclaimer must be clearly visible to the consumer on the website to eliminate any form of legal suits in the future. The disclaimer is also expected to include a link that a consumer can click.

Consumers may find a few promising and bright promotions for free credit reports however must make note that the free credit report has no hidden fees or clauses attached.

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