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Credit Reports For Free

By Faye Mergel
Published: Friday, July 23rd, 2010

200470404-001Everybody knows how credit reports affect credit card holders. The possibility of obtaining future loans, employment and services availed depend on those pieces of information contained in the credit reports. Card holders are also aware that bad credit reports can expose them to higher risks of financial failure or higher debts. But what cardholders are not that knowledgeable about how they can secure themselves to financial crises regarding their credit.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), a law passed by the American congress on 2003, aims to provide credit card holders an opportunity to view their credit reports for free. Credit card holders just have to visit the website called Annual Credit Report and check their reports without paying for anything. There are three credit bureaus who handle credit information and this is why card holders have to check all three reports from the three major credit bureaus to check for inconsistencies.

Card holders must take note that Annual Credit Reports website is the only website authorized by the Federal Government to issue free credit reports. Other websites claim that they issue free credit reports but on the backside, these reports are attached to trial services which must be cancelled. These spoof sites may demand for fees if the card holders fail to cancel the services. Complaints about these kinds of unfair advertisements have grown for quite a while and the government is providing measures to remove the ads.

Another issue that is being resolved by FACTA is the growing concern for people who do not check their credit reports. The government has provided free annual reports to encourage card holders to check their reports at least annually. This will help the holders to check if the credit bureaus have been issuing reliable information to others. Credit bureaus compose of people and machines. The people, who man the machines, are also prone to errors and irregularities. Furthermore, checking the credit reports contribute to discovering identity theft and lessening the chances of furthering the damage of these thefts and errors. It must be noted that credit reports hold the information of the card holders’ credit background. The reports are used to evaluate card holder’s applications for future loans, employment, lease contracts and other services.

Credit card holders must be fully educated about credit reports and the laws governing them. Even though the government and financial experts continue to advise the public about the availability and significance of the free annual reports, many are still confused about where they can find real free credit reports. Lack of financial education is really one of the grave problems in the US credit industry. And even if the government and several websites continue to provide information about credit, it would require efforts to get all card holders to listen or visit them.

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