Free Credit Report
Everyone’s heard of FreeCreditReport.com, right? But go to this page, and you’ll have the option of paying $39.95 for credit reports from the three major reporting companies or $14.95 for a single report from Experian. What happened to free? Well, there is a place to click for a free report. But read the fine print, “When you order your free report here, you will begin your free trial membership …” Whoa! What free membership? All I wanted was a free credit report! Worse, the “free” membership starts costing $14.95 a month if you forget to cancel during the 30-day trial period. For a FREE credit report, go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Granted, you won’t get your credit score for free. But you will get all the other credit information that is being reported about you. This is what you’ll need for doing a periodic check of your credit report, to make sure there are no erroneous negative entries. For more about credit reports and your rights to dispute erroneous entries, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s page about credit and loans.
Active Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring
To benefit from the free services, you have to manually request your credit report. Generally you are limited to one free credit report per year. If you suspect there might be a problem, or just want the peace of mind of knowing that your privacy and credit information are being monitored 24/7, there are affordable commercial services available. LegalShield, a well known provider of legal services membership plans, also offers identity theft protection that actively monitors your information, and offers basic and advanced service levels to assist you in getting erroneous information corrected. In short, one membership can monitor your credit and privacy information; assist you in credit repair; and provide attorney consultation when necessary. Visit LegalShield for full information about their various membership plans.
Additional Resources at Legal.com
To learn more about your rights and legal options, browse the Legal.com Bookstore for titles on Bankruptcy and Credit Reporting. You can also browse questions already answered in our Legal Q&A area, or add your own question. For additional reading about your rights under federal and state credit reporting and debt collection laws, click Legal Research and type in your own search terms. Here are some examples: Credit reporting, [name of state] debt collection practices or FDCPA (acronym for the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).