“New” Free Credit Report Rules

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The California Credit Law Blog has posted an article about the FTC’s new rules coming into effect on April 1, 2010 that says websites advertising free credit reports must give a disclaimer at the top of the page saying consumers may have a right to a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. Beginning on September 1st the same disclosure will be required for TV and radio advertisements as well.

These new regulations are the result of problems dating back from 2003 when the government

required the three national credit agencies to establish a website where consumers could download their credit reports free, once a year. Unfortunately, the Government foolishly allowed the agencies to include advertising on the site, www.annualcreditreport.com. The agencies’ advertising confused consumers into believing they had to pay for a credit score or credit monitoring services to get their free report.

An example of this is Experian’s freecreditreport.com where consumers were led to believe they were receiving a free credit report if they gave their credit card number. They ended up paying for “worthless credit monitoring services” or even the credit score itself. Under the new rules, credit agencies cannot advertise until the consumer has gotten their legitimately free credit report.

It’s very important for you to pull an annual credit report. If you have had problems with credit reports and have further questions or concerns, feel free to contact us through our website or by calling 205-879-2447.

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