We often talk to people at the library who are confused about how to get their free annual credit reports. The source of the confusion is almost certainly the ubiquitous commercials for a site called freecreditreport.com. That site is owned by one of the standard credit bureaus, Experian, which has been in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission for its deceptive advertising. Many consumers attempting to receive their free credit report from Experian found themselves enrolled in their credit monitoring service, which is not free.
To get your free credit report, and nothing else, from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, use annualcreditreport.com. This is the only online source authorized to provide it. You can also order your credit reports by calling 877-322-8228. Many consumer advocates advise getting one credit report at a time, every four months, to monitor your credit on a regular basis, instead of getting all three at once.
The FTC wants to hear from you if you paid for what you thought was your free annual credit report.
For more consumer information, visit consumer.gov.