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Getting A True Free Credit Report

Updated on April 9, 2014

Banks and other financial institutions rely heavily on accurate data submitted by lenders in order to gauge a person’s credit history. Recently, the importance of credit reports has gone as far as to influence individuals. Many people are more and more interested in viewing their own credit reports in order to see how they can improve and make their financial situations much healthier. No one want to borrow money when they are in need for example in the case of timely investments or medical emergencies, only to find that their credit report does not support what they would have thought to be their financial income and base. In all countries and states, even when applying for a new credit card, it is important to know your credit report, to ensure that you do not surpass your income or be denied a card owing to past credits. If you are a business owner, a financial lender, an investor in the finance industry or even just an interested individual, credit reports may have become part of your life.

Contrary to what many people believe such credit reports are quite costly to acquire especially if you are going for accuracy and time relevant data. Remember that the data is collected from various organizations (which can be quite a number) such as banks and private financial institutions, the data is then compiled and calculated carefully to ensure that the information presented is accurate. The tasks are time and energy consuming thereby making credit reports quite costly.

Recently, there has been an increase in the demand for what is termed as “free credit reports”. If you take a look at the internet and other research components you will find that there are companies that are offering the free credit reports. However, the question from companies, private businesses and other financial institutions is, are these reports really free? The first thing to note is that the government require all licensed reporting companies such as TransUnion and Equifax, to provide a comprehensive credit report to all consumers who request one for free. However, such as report can only be accessed once a year for free, if you require another copy you are required to pay the complete fees charged by the company. The annual report is paid for by the government, but you are required to pay for any other credit report should you require one. This means that for the companies that offer free credit reports there may be some hidden costs. Once you note the effort that goes into creating an accurate report coupled with the ever changing and dynamic nature of the data involved in creating a credit report, one realizes that companies could not go into such lengths only to hand the information for free. notable credit report companies charge a small fee for the data they give, therefore it follows that smaller companies should in fact charge more since they lack the resources to diversify and outsource their credited research in order to lessen the cost of preparing a credit report.


The first and most notable cost or piece that you pay is for incentives and services that would otherwise not cost as much. The companies often have some hidden costs that in most cases are recurring. For example if you are viewing the credit report online (which is the case most times), you are required to pay a subscription fee. Although the fee may seem small, it is important to note that the same fee is recurring. In addition, such companies may tempt you with incentives such as newsletters and free emails which if you subscribe to, you will note that gain they are not exact free but are actually costly. When added up, the amount of money you have spent in obtaining a “free credit report “is much higher than what you would have paid legitimate and licensed reporting companies for the same repot. Again, to pay for the subscriptions and incentives in order to get the free reports, one realizes that they have to use their credit cards. Although this may seem trivial to you, the risks that you are taking are great because you are exposing all your information to a company that already has access to the most private financial information. Experts have warned against using credit card for online credit reports since the risks taken by the consumer are overwhelming. The chances of this information falling into unscrupulous hands is quite high, and one could lose much more than income, they could lose their property for debts incurred and even their livelihood.


It is also very important to note that the accuracy of the reports is quite questionable and could prove to be more costly than paying for a credit report. The companies that offer “free credit reports” are in most cases not well renown. Their reputations are quite questionable and in some cases even scandalous. This means that the data and samples they have access to, and the resources they use to analyze the data may not be highly sophisticated. The results generated from such data and software is therefore not as accurate. In some cases, you may receive a report that gives you a high credit score only to be rated much lower when you try to apply for credit cards or ne loans and mortgages. In essence the free reports often prove to be inaccurate and misleading to the consumer.


The “free credit reports” also require a mountain of contracts and forms to be filled out before you can access them. It has been noted that most of the information you are giving through the forms is usually information the company should already be having if they are indeed licensed by the government.

Free credit reports are not 100% free, the hassle that goes into accessing the “free credit reports” often costs the consumer much more in terms of energy and even money. To ensure that you get accurate reports, you can either choose to wait for the annual credit report or pay for one from the renowned credit report companies.


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  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    Good information on credit reports.