By Faye Mergel
Posted by Jonathan Tse
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is changing the way “free” credit reports are marketed. Federal regulators say changes will be in line with the new Credit Card Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. The bill was first signed by President Barack Obama on May 22, 2009 with the aim of protecting consumers from onerous fees imposed by creditors. CARD Act also aims at assuring that consumers fully enjoy their rights, including the right to a free credit report once in every twelve months.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles every consumer free access to his records with the three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs). The CRAs, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, are mandated by federal law to give consumers their free report once a year so they can assess their debt standings. This would help them make better financial decisions since it lets consumers know how well they are doing with their debt management.
However, FTC received several complaints from consumers who are misdirected from the FTC-backed Annualcreditreport.com. As noted by complainants, they were misdirected from Annualcreditreport.com and ended up in commercial sites which claim to offer free credit reports. But it is only after engaging in irreversible deals that they found out about fees charged along their records.
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