Checking your credit report at least once a year is a must. You can do this for free at www.annualcreditreport.com. But, many people want to check their credit reports more than once a year and the government site for ordering your credit reports won’t allow you to get more than one free credit report online in a 12-month period. So, during those other times, you might use of several free online credit report offers. Offers for free credit report online can be tricky, so if you don’t want to end up with extra credit card charges, carefully choose the offers you sign up for.
Does ordering the free credit report online have a catch?Nearly all free credit report online offers require you to subscribe to a credit monitoring or identity theft detection service. Many times this "catch" is hidden in small text at the bottom of the website or even buried on one of the final screens after you sign up for your free credit report online. Before you sign up for a free credit report online, look through the website to find out what you have to do receive your credit report fore free.
Is there trial period for ordering your free credit report?There is typically a trial period for a subscription service when you order a free credit report online. Most range from seven days to 30 days. During this trial period, you can test out the credit monitoring or identity theft service, but you must cancel the free credit report online service before the trial ends or your credit card will be charged.
How do you cancel your subscription?Before you order your free credit report online, make sure you understand how to cancel the subscription service. You’ll likely have to call to cancel the service, so make sure you write down the phone number or at least remember how to get back to it.
What's the cost if you don't cancel?The companies offering free credit reports online hope you forget to cancel the service. That’s how they make money. Fees for the credit monitoring services range from around $9/month to $40/month. Some charge a full year’s fee with the first billing. You may not be able to get a refund if you call to cancel after your credit card has been charged.
What bureau provides the free credit report online?Some services offer all three credit reports, others only allow you to receive a credit report from one of the three credit bureaus. You may have to wade through some fine print to figure out which credit bureau is providing the free credit report online.
Have you already done that offer?If you've already completed a particular offer for free credit report online, you probably won't be able to do it twice. That limits your options for getting future free credit reports online.