Owned by Experian Consumer Direct, a subsidiary of the credit bureau Experian, FreeCreditScore.com (and FreeCreditReport.com) offers personal credit reports from the Bureau if users sign up for the Experian’s Triple Advantage credit monitoring program for a specific fee. The credit report comes with a user’s PLUS credit score. The membership itself can be canceled at any time with no charge within seven days of signing up by calling their contact center. They offer an identity theft protection as well as scores from three major credit bureaus (not just Experian). They do not, however, offer any security freezes or types of fraud alerts to the user.
One of the best parts of their services is their credit score monitoring from all three credit bureaus and identity theft protection (which comes with the $50,000 Triple Advantage Guarantee). As well as credit monitoring, they offer loan services for refinancing, auto loans, home purchases and debt consolidation. This service is provided through LowerMyBills.com, which is also an Experian-owned company. It is always advisable to research loan servicing websites before filling out an application.
Identity Protection by FreeCreditScore.com
The U.S. Department of Justice found that consumers with incomes more than $70,000 are twice as likely to experience identity fraud as those with incomes under $50,000. While anyone with any size income should protect themselves, it’s especially important for higher income individuals and families to monitor their credit reports regularly. Up to 20% of victims don’t even know about the fraud for more than four years after it occurs. This can affect one’s financial health without them evening knowing it.
Credit card theft is one of the major forms of identity theft. Individuals will use someone’s personal information to set up a phone or cable service and then doesn’t pay the bill. They also can apply for government benefits, driver’s licenses and other ID cards. All of these things can negatively impact someone’s credit score over time.
FreeCreditScore.com realizes how important it is to monitor one’s credit score to prevent identity theft from occurring. If any changes are made to a user’s credit score, they are contacted by email within 24 hours of that change.
Users claim that agents from the website are polite and knowledgeable. They are available by telephone seven days a week with various hours and also by email. To dispute information on one’s score or their credit report, technical support can help.
Tools and Features of Free Credit Score
FreeCreditScore.com offers various tools including articles, debt/loan calculators, and newsletters to help users manage debt and to improve their score. They are committed to helping users better their financial future through the regular use of their website and its services/features.
- Better Business Bureau – The Experian Consumer Services company is BBB accredited since 2006. They have an A+ rating on the site.
FAQs on FreeCreditScore.com
Is the website the same as FreeCreditReport.com?
While they are different sites, they are the same company. It’s important to understand that your credit report isn’t free unless you cancel within seven days of your trial.
Is the website accurate?
While you don’t receive a FICO score, you receive something called an Experian Plus Score. This is not used by lenders, so it might not be helpful. The website even says this is for educational purposes only, so take that as you want to. Regular FICO scores run from 300 to 850 while the PLUS score runs from 330 to 830.
Is the website worth it?
While FreeCreditScore.com isn’t a scam or a ripoff, it may seem that way to users who don’t read the fine print before they are signup. For instance, they don’t know they will be charged, they aren’t getting a FICO score and other factors. However, all of these things are disclosed on their websites if someone reads it. There’s no reason to consider this a free offer at all, as it isn’t worth paying the $14.95 to the user it as a long-term credit monitoring service. This is because it isn’t monitoring your actual FICO score, which does impact your financial future.
Ultimately the best recommendation is to sign up for a credit monitoring service that gives you, a consumer, an accurate FICO score. Two sites do that: MyFICO and Equifax. If you want a score that isn’t used by lenders, then by all means sign up for this website or any other corresponding ones, but what are you learning from a “pretend” score?
The Bottom Line
While they do provide you with an Experian credit score after verifying your credit card, their offer is somewhat misleading. If it were truly a free offer, it wouldn’t require any effort from the consumer to keep the offer free. They wouldn’t have to cancel the service. A free offer should not use a credit card to initiate a service in the first place. Any company that says a credit card is necessary is setting users up for future payments.