NY Times Reports on the High Cost of a Free Credit Report

The NY Times reports that Experian is spending $70 million per years advertising its FreeCreditReport.com site where many consumers log on deceived into believing they will get a “free” credit report. For example, one person provided his credit card information thinking it was needed for identification only to find Experian charged him $14.95 a month for a credit-monitoring service.

The Experian website is not the one site where the credit report is free–that would be www.annualcreditreport.com. In 2005, the FTC sued Experian for deceptive marketing of its FreeCreditReport; Experian paid the FTC a fine of $950,000 settle..

The Experian credit-monitoring service is almost worthless. Ed Mierzwinski of Public Interest Research Group, refers to the product as a “protection racket.” Experian and other credit bureaus with similar products promise to protect consumers against identity theft, but they do no such thing. Neither do the products improve anyone’s credit scores.

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