Free Credit Score or Scam? What FreeCreditScore.Com Gives You.
publication date: Jul 18, 2012
FreeCreditScore.com has flooded television and other media outlets with their attention grabbing and musical advertising (see recent ad below). I've noticed their ads (how could you not!) and have been asked about their "offer" of getting your credit score for "free."
The parent company that owns this business is Experian which has a checkered history of deceptive advertising for their sister site FreeCreditReport.com.
When you watch the ad below, do you have any idea what they are selling? Their name and little jingle are all about getting your "free credit score" of course. But, what are you really getting?
By signing up on their website, you can indeed get your Experian calculated credit score for "free." Obscured, however, is the fact that what FreeCreditScore.com (FCS) is actually selling is a credit monitoring service for $14.99 per month - that works out to $179.88 per year! The commercial says, "Offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com" but fails to say what that means or that it even costs anything.
Seven days after giving you your free Experian credit score, FCS will begin charging you $14.99 per month through your credit card until you discontinue the service. And, they don't make it easy to quit the service once you're signed up. You can't do so online - you must call a customer service number.
For help with reducing your spending and debt, see these articles:
For everything you need to know about your credit score and how to improve it, please see my book summary of "Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future." In that summary, I go into further detail about much lower cost alternatives to credit monitoring services as well as how to obtain copies of your credit reports from all three credit agencies without paying a cent or signing up for any other services.