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AnnualCreditReport.com is the only official site explicitly directed by Federal law to provide free credit reports to consumers. Thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) Credit Reporting Act consumers are entitled to request a free copy of their credit report every 12 months from the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
The website is operated by Central Source LLC, a corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia that was created as a joint venture by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion with the sole purpose of ensuring compliance with FACTA's provisions. Currently, AnnualCreditReport.com has an F rating with the BBB due to 112 complaints in the last 3 years. AnnualCreditReport.com failed to respond to three of those complaints.
What Services Does AnnualCreditReport.com Offer?
As far as credit reporting services is concerned, AnnualCreditReport.com is as basic as they come. Then again you can't beat the price. Free. The only service provided is an annual credit report from Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. The report provides a list of the companies that have given you credit or loans, your credit limit, and your payment history. It may also include a list of the companies who have asked to see your credit report, your address and that of your employers, and other credit related details of public record.
The credit report offered by AnnualCreditReport.com does not include credit scores or any type of credit monitoring or identity theft insurance. The website only includes basic information and a few links to government websites on the subject of identity protection and credit reporting.
How Does AnnualCreditReport.com Work?
To request your free annual credit reports you must fill out a form requesting personal information, such as your name, date of birth, Social Security Number and address. This is to ensure the identity of the person requesting the report. Once consumers fill out the form they are forwarded to the website of the credit reporting agency from which they requested a credit report. . In some cases, consumers don't have enough of credit trail to confirm their identity and must receive their credit report by mail. Generally though, consumers can read their report online after a few minutes of requesting it.
How Much Does It Cost?
It's free. Unlike other “free” credit reporting companies, AnnualCreditReport.com comes with no strings attached. No advertising, no trial period or any other marketing gimmicks.
How is AnnualCreditReport.com Better/Worse Than Other Credit Reporting Companies?
AnnualCreditReport.com is operated by a corporation owned by the three main credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. There is no fee for requesting the credit reports and there is no catch or loops to jump through to receive your free credit reports.
However AnnualCreditReport.com only provides a bare bones service and you can only use it once a year or after you have been the victim of identity theft. The website often crashes and has difficulties confirming the identity of consumers. It also does not include any of the additional services offered by many credit reporting companies, such as credit monitoring, identity theft protection, dispute resolution, credit scores, mobile apps or black market surveillance.