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Free Credit Reports End Up Charging A Fee

By Faye Mergel
Published: Monday, May 3rd, 2010

SOIMRF-00010770-001A federal disclosure is being skirted on as a compulsory requirement by those companies that offer credit reports for free. This disclosure is to bring down the advertisements that mislead customers into believing false information.

This requirement states that the companies that sell monitoring of credit tagging along a free credit report must clearly inform customers about the authorized government website called annualcreditreport.com which gives an absolutely free credit report to the customers.

This requirement was made compulsory from February. The actual effect of this disclosure took place on Friday for advertising on the web, direct mail, print and telemarketing.

Several companies changed their marketing strategies instead of making a new disclosure. The companies that claim to provide free credit reports are actually promoting in a different way, the free credit scores or charging a fee. The rule does not cover up these points, because of which it is followed.

On the other hand, the most talked about website i.e. freecreditreport.com is touching both sides. The websites asks customers to check their report for a dollar and also get their credit score for free. They also say that the one dollar that is paid will directly go to charity.

The owner of the company, Experian is also one of the agencies that are needed to provide its customers with a free report at least one time in a year. The details of the customers report is supposed to be posted at annualcreditreport.com.

The pores in the law is taken advantage of by the company says the consumer education president, John ulzheimer. Keeping a charge of $1 is strongly criticized as it claims to be a free report. But by donating the dollar to charity, it leaves critics with no words to say about the free report advertising.

The company blames the government for not being able to provide free Experian credit reports due to the federal restrictions and it requires the government to stop these reports.

A spokesman, frank Dorman says that there exists no such restriction that prohibits the company from providing its consumers with free reports. The rule just requires disclosures given by these companies that do claim to give out free reports.

‘freecreditreport.com’ will have to be changed to ‘freecreditscore.com’ says experian for advertising or promoting the offer.

Experian has also changed its signs in venues (sports) from free credit reports to free credit scores.

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