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A good time to review your credit reports is in the month of january

By Faye Mergel
Published: Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Reviewing the annual reports on credit cards is free and does not require any signing up or any such formalities as one is entitled to one free report from any of the three credit reporting agencies per year.  Hence, one must make this a part of their tasks in the New Year.

Many years ago Congress had passed a law that required the 3 credit reporting agencies Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax to provide a copy of the credit report for free once a year to consumers who make a request.

But consumers also need to know that there is only one source that provides the annual review for free.  Consumers can go online and just follow some simple directions.  One can either type the URL to find their report.  This cannot be done in the search engine by typing ‘free credit report.’

There are also some who claim that they will provide a free credit report for free.  However, most often they come with strings attached.  Here consumers will have to enroll in their credit monitoring services for which they would be charged a monthly fee.  If it is canceled in time, then the fee can be avoided but that is not the case always.

Julie of Marlborough told about her experience where she went to one of the commercial websites assuming  that she was getting a free credit report, but was charged $25 for the same.  Julie had not realized that until she saw another charge from them on her bank for $14.95 and when she called up to enquire, she was told that she had checked the wrong box inadvertently and had unknowingly signed up for their monthly service of which she had absolutely no idea.  Here it is evident that Julie was on the wrong website where she had thought she could avail a free credit report with no strings attached.

Beginning in April FTC (Federal Trade Commission) required the as well as other competitors include disclaimers as part of their advertising in order to help consumers as well as avoid confusion.  The advertisements by that are aired on TV claims ‘enrolment in Triple Advantage required’ but the disclaimer just passes off very quickly and consumers fail to notice the same and end up making mistakes like Julie which is pardonable.  Now disclaimers will appear on the top.

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