The catch with ‘free’ credit scores
News from Boston.com:

Q. In July, my wife and I wanted to check out our credit scores and saw an ad to get “free” credit scores from a company called ScoreSense. We put our credit card numbers in to pay $ 1 each and started getting charged between $ 19.95 and $ 29.95 a month each. We had no idea that we had signed up for any services from them. We didn’t realize what was happening until September and contacted the company in writing as they requested. They ended up giving us refunds for September and December, but not July, August, October and November. Can you help us get our money back?
Katherine Martin, Arlington

A. It is common to see offers like the one you did. ScoreSense, and other similar companies, dangle the idea of a free credit score in order to sell memberships for services that typically include credit monitoring. But it’s not a free score. It’s a trial membership, one that if you don’t cancel will result in recurring charges.

A lot of consumers have ended up unwittingly becoming members. Nearly 1,100 complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau against One Technologies LP., the company that runs…………… continues on Boston.com

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Credit Report Nation Announces Free Scores and Credit Reports from Equifax …
News from MENAFN.COM:

Credit Report Nation Announces Free Scores and Credit Reports from Equifax EFX Experian (lon:EXPN), and TransUnion

Oct 24, 2012 (Menafn – M2 PRESSWIRE via COMTEX) –Credit Report Nation, a company that provides access to your three credit reports, scores, and monitoring services to members, announces you can now see your credit reports and scores for free from all three credit bureaus at https://www.creditreportnation.com . The Nations credit bureaus are known to only give you access to one free credit report requiring you to register for three different sites if you want to see all 3. Finally consumers have more options for how they can access all their credit information online.

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Credit Karma Review: Free Credit Score & Monitoring on the iPhone
News from Gotta Be Mobile:

Credit Karma for the iPhone is a free app that offers a free credit score and real-time credit score tracking with alerts.

Unlike the many sites that promise a free credit score and charge hidden monthly fees, Credit Karma is free, making money if users sign up for loans through the Credit Karma website.

For users looking to get a car loan or mortgage, Credit Karma is a must have app that could save hundreds or thousands over the life of a loan.

Credit scores determine the interest rate charged by lenders. The last time I went to get a car loan, the dealer tried to pass off my credit score as 200 points lower than it was, which would add significant cost to the car purchase. In this case, it was a sign to move on.

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Wells Fargo offering customers free credit score reports
News from Bizjournals.com:

Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 11:55am EDT

From Oct. 1 through Nov. 15, Wells Fargo customers have free  access to their credit score and credit report. 

Jeff Blumenthal
Reporter- Philadelphia Business Journal
Email  | 

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@FCACan offers tips on credit reports—how to order them for free, correct …
News from Sacramento Bee:

Everything you ever wanted to know about credit reports, but didn’t know what questions to ask

OTTAWA, Sept. 14, 2012 /CNW/ – Credit reports can have a major impact on your life, but many Canadians do not know much about them.

“Our recent survey on Canadians’ knowledge of their rights and responsibilities found that knowledge of credit reports was particularly low,” says FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. “The vast majority of people—90 percent—do not know that they can obtain a credit report free by mail, while 62 percent do not know how to dispute an entry in their credit report.”

Credit reporting agencies track how you use credit products, such as credit cards and loans, and pay your bills. This information is used to create your credit report and credit score. Lenders may use this information when they decide whether they will lend you money, and how much they will charge you to borrow it. Employers and landlords may also check your credit report when you

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No credit score is free
News from Canton Repository:

Can you get your credit rating score for free or not?

Not.

Despite what you hear on TV commercials, you must pay to see your credit score, says Victor Russell, regional operations manager for Consumer Credit Counseling, 2800 Market Ave. N

“You can get a free credit report but not a number (score),” Russell said. “If you want the number, you have to pay.”

Don’t be fooled by claims in commercials for places like FreeCreditScore.com, warns Jessica Anderson, associate editor for Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine, which has an article on credit ratings in its current issue.

“They are signing you up for a service,” Anderson said. “Read the fine print. You’re signing up to pay for a monthly monitoring service. You don’t need that, you can do it yourself.”

Monitor your credit by requesting a free credit report once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com. And check it carefully to be sure it is accurate, said Russell.

“It still shocks me the number of people who don’t get their free report every year,” he said. “It’s your first line of defense against identity theft.”

When should we pay to get our credit score? Only when planning a major purchase, Russell said.

“If you’re buying a home, buying a car — you can use the number as a bargaining tool with the lender to get the best r…………… continues on Canton Repository

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BBB reminds Consumers of their Free Annual Credit Report
News from Tucson Citizen:

Start the new year knowing your credit is in good standing and your credit report is accurate. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers can receive a free copy of their credit report from each of the three nationwide reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — every 12 months.

“Pulling your credit report annually is a smart way for consumers to understand their financial health, as well as avoid financial and identity fraud,” said Kim States, BBB President.

Many television advertisements and websites claim to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores” or “free credit monitoring.” However, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona reminds consumers that AnnualCreditReport.com is the only authorized source for free annual credit reports under federal law.

Additionally, BBB reminds consumers that a credit report is different than a credit score. A credit report is a snapshot of your credit use history which gives a lender a view of whether you pay your debts back or not. Your credit score is a number which shows lenders how much of a risk you are in paying back a debt.

BBB offers these tips for pulling your annual credit report:

Do not access the Annual Credit Report…………… continues on Tucson Citizen

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COLUMN: The troubling fine print of Suze Orman’s prepaid card
News from Reuters:

Personal finance expert Suze Orman poses at the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network launch cocktail reception for the Television Critics Association Winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 6, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:56am EST

(Reuters) – Can those celebrity-linked prepaid cards really help the unbanked?

Lately there have been a spate of them, from Kim Kardashian’s to Lil Wayne’s. When it comes to that newest one, the Approved Prepaid MasterCard issued by the Bancorp Bank and endorsed by personal finance personality Suze Orman, who is also an investor in the product, less is not necessarily more. There are better alternatives.

First, a disclosure. I knew Orman well before she became brand-name famous (we’re both from Chicago) and she even wrote a blurb for my book, “Late-Start Investor,”…………… continues on Reuters

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Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future (4th Edition) (Liz Pulliam Weston)

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Free Credit Reports And Credit Scores That Aren?t Free
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

Many websites advertise that they allow you to check your credit report and/or credit score for free. But there’s a catch: many of these “free” reports and scores actually cost money. Let’s take a look at a few of these websites to see what they really charge.

Credit Reports vs. Credit Scores
Before you check anything, know the difference between a credit report and a credit score. A credit report shows all of the credit accounts in your name, how long you’ve had them, how much you owe and whether you pay on time. A credit score is a three-digit number between 300 and 850 that lenders use to assess the risk of lending to you. The higher the number, the better your score.

“Free” Credit Report And Credit Score Websites Explored
What follows is not an exhaustive list of sites advertising free credit repor…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle
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Debit Disaster: Reasons to Steer Clear of Prepaid Debit Cards
News from Business Insider:

It’s safe to say that any card with Kim Kardashian or Twilight characters on the front would be a little difficult to take seriously. Prepaid debit card issuers have been using celebrity faces to market their misleading and expensive cards because their outrageous fees certainly aren’t doing the trick. 

Prepaid debit cards allow you to pre-load money on a card, which you can use anywhere cards are accepted. Sounds simple enough, but there’s a catch. If you’ve ever used a prepaid debit card, you know that a $ 10 purchase could set you back and extra $ 3-$ 6 in transaction fees alone. In addition to annual or monthly fees, you’ll get slapped with reloading fees, ATM fees, and even balance inquiry fees. 

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Your Money: ‘Free’ credit score could be wrong
News from Indianapolis Star:
Your Money: ‘Free’ credit score could be wrong | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com continues on Indianapolis Star
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Credit score is free if you’re rejected for loan
News from USA Today:

Your credit score determines the interest rate you pay for a credit card, car loan, private student loan or a home mortgage. A low score could prevent you from getting a loan at all. But for years, this important number has been a mystery to most consumers.

  • By Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY

    New consumer protection rules will require lenders to provide the credit score used to make a decision about a loan.

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