March 29, 2009
If you have been around the TV in the last few years more than likely you are familiar with the FreeCreditReport.com commercials. They get with you a catchy tune that most people know. A parody has been made by the real free credit report site, AnnualCreditReport.com.
The strings attached line is a direct reference to FreeCreditReport.com’s subscription. To get your credit report there, you will have to enroll in their credit monitoring program, Triple Advantage. This does cost money but it comes with a free trial to begin. That is how they are saying you are getting a free credit report.
Now, you are entitled to a free credit report once per year through AnnualCreditReport.com, but this does not include your credit score. You will have to either pay for a credit score or enroll in a credit monitoring service.
The way it is present between the two parties, AnnualCreditReport.com and FreeCreditReport.com, gives two different sides. Annual Credit Report is almost stating don’t do these other guys, it isn’t worth it because it will have strings attached and you will get it for free from us. FreeCreditReport.com has the position that you will get a free credit report and score if you enroll in our credit monitoring program, but we will hardly talk about triple advantage and what it really does. We will instead stress the fact that you get a free credit report and score if you join.
So which is the better stance?
The full story should actually be told. Credit monitoring is actually a worth wild product, but selling it using a free credit report and score is the industry norm. Most every credit monitoring program you will find out there offers a free credit report and score to get you to sign up. AnnualCreditReport.com is just confronting the most recognizable.
Also, as stated above a credit report is free, but a credit score is not. A “free credit score” always will come with some strings attached. These strings are signing up for a credit monitoring program.
Here is the consideration that must be made: If you are person concern about your credit, credit reports, credit scores, being protected from identity theft, and trying to improve your credit, credit monitoring is worth it. If so you will want to check your credit report and credit score more than once per year. Taking that into account the cheapest way and the best way to do this is credit monitoring. Depending on the program, you will be given access a certain number of times to both your credit report and score.
Also, on the push to improve, many credit monitoring are going to give you assistance by analying your credit report to see what you can do to improve. Many programs provide alerts to when changes are made to your credit report. Also, some watch your score and alert you when you hit your credit score goal.
Identity theft is another reason why credit monitoring is worth it. Millions of Americans each year are struck by this crime. The average money per person lost is around $5,000. Also, the time and effort needed to clean up your credit report is daunting. Credit monitoring is a form of prevention. They watch your credit report 24/7 365 days a year. Also, most programs come with a form of identity theft insurance.
Maybe the choice needs to be made to sell credit monitoring for what it is. For a person that wants to check their credit report and score more than once per year. Also, a person who is concerned about their credit, wants to improve their credit standing, and does not want to be a victim of identity theft. Selling the product biased on its real benefits not a bonus of getting a free credit report and score when you sign up. This would more than likely not sell as well, but consumers might known what they are getting into from the beginning.