Starting April 2nd, new FTC regulations will prohibit the multitude of companies that tout "free credit reports" from advertising free credit reports which are ultimately not free at all. Free credit report websites, other than www.annualcreditreport.com, required consumers to sign up for credit monitoring trials that could cost as much as $200 a year in order to view their supposedly free reports.
In preparation for the new laws, the same companies that once touted free credit reports are now touting free credit scores. The free credit score offers are no different than the free credit report offers that are now prohibited, as they require enrollment in credit monitoring services that can also cost up to $200 a year.
The key difference between free credit score offers and free credit report offers is that there is no website where consumers can access their Equifax, Transunion, and Experian credit score for free. On the www.annualcreditreport.com website, consumers seeking out their credit scores can end up spending $15 at each credit bureau to access each of their three credit scores. This, unfortunately, is not the cheapest way to access 3 bureau credit scores and may lead consumers to spend more money getting their scores than they need to.
Presently, a number of companies offer free access to credit scores when you sign up for a trial of their credit monitoring services. These offers, much like the soon to be defunct free credit report offers, are not truly free. However, if consumers cancel their membership before their free trials end, they can save the $45 that they might believe to be a necessary expense on www.annualcreditreport.com.