Scam or Legit? See My Review For 2015 is the only website for free credit reports that is mandated and authorized by federal government, but it’s not without problems.

In 2003 President George W. Bush signed into law the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act. One of its provisions required each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to provide consumers free access to their credit reports every 12 months.

This act gave birth to the website, which contrary to popular belief, is not a government-run site. Rather, it is operated by Central Source LLC, which is a joint venture created by the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Be warned: their website does NOT provide free credit scores! If you try to get your scores through their site you may have to enroll in a “free” trial with the credit bureaus that can be difficult to cancel during the 7-day grace period. After that you will be charged. Read on for some better options.

There are only four ways for consumers to get their real FICO scores. The vast majority of website, including the offers from the bureaus through, use imitation scoring models that are not FICOs. What they offer you is NOT used by lenders or creditors; it’s merely a score for “educational purposes.”

If you want to get your real FICO, there are several sources licensed to provide it directly to consumers as of Q1 2015:

  1. (PAID) Pay $19.95 to MyFICO (FICO’s website) for each score from each credit bureau every single time you want to check it.
  2. (PAID) Pay $19.95 to Equifax every single time you want to check your Equifax FICO.
  3. (PAID) Pay $21.95 per month for Experian’s credit-monitoring service, which includes access to your Experian FICO score.
  4. (FREE) With a Discover card, you get your TransUnion FICO for free every month on your statement. Barclaycard and (as of January 2015) Citi also provide free FICO scores to cardholders.

Even though checking your reports through the website won’t get you your scores, it’s a great way to check your credit health and to make sure all the information is accurate. However, since going live, the site has been the source of quite a few complaints:

Complaint #1: Confusing name

The similarly titled took a lot of criticism for its similar sounding name (side note: they now focus on their other site, instead). But in all fairness, it’s not like has the best name either.

Why? Because with the word “annual” in there, many people assume that means once per year. They think it means they can check their credit report from each of the three bureaus once per calendar year (example: Check Equifax once in 2015, once in 2016, and so forth).

Unfortunately, that’s not how it actually works. Rather than going by calendar year, it goes by every 12 months.

When the end of the calendar year rolls around – like the fourth quarter – I regularly hear from consumers who rush to check all three credit reports, thinking the clock will reset on January 1. It’s not until the following year when they discover they will have to wait twelve full months after checking before they can do it again.

Self disclosure time: At one point I even believed this was how it worked and made that same mistake. It’s best to stagger your requests by 3 or 4 months, in other words, so you can check all three credit bureaus once per year. That way you can maintain a rolling status check on your credit and not have to wait a full year to see it again.

Complaint #2: Misleading credit score ads

When using the Annual Credit Report website, you will be bombarded with paid ads; some clearly identified as such, others not so much.

The TransUnion report is the one that generates the highest volume of complaints. Here’s why…

"free" credit score

The “I want my free credit score” is an advertisement and so is the Score tab which is next to the Report tab at the top.

Click and you will be taken to this page (I took this screenshot in an earlier year):

"free" credit score - page 2 for offer

It’s not until after you click the “FREE SCORE” button above where you are taken to a page which fully explains that you are actually enrolling in a 7-day trial. Yeah, technically it is free but if you don’t cancel, you will be automatically billed at the regular price (which was $14.95 per month last I checked).

"free" credit score - page 3 for offer

Now in all honesty, I actually don’t have a problem with these types of “free” trial offers. I don’t think they are a scam as long the terms are clearly and prominently identified (in order words, if the consumer truly knows what they’re signing up for). But, the way this “free” trial is displayed *could* potentially mislead a consumer and be confusing to those who erroneously believe they’re on a government site.

Complaint #3: Website not working

I have heard people allege that there is some sort of scam going on when they can’t access the website. Their theory is that it’s allegedly used as a trick, to deter them from the free report and, instead, go to credit bureau’s website directly and buy a report.

site not workingCoincidentally, while writing this review I actually encountered Experian not being available (pictured left).

But does this make a scam? Absolutely not. That conspiracy theory is nonsense.

When a credit bureau is unavailable like this, it’s probably due to routine site maintenance or some other temporary issue. If that happens, just check back later and it should be working. For me, that message was gone 20 minutes later.

Conclusion? This is frustrating to encounter but don’t worry, this is NOT a scam. Just be patient and return a bit later.

Complaint #4: Can’t confirm your ID

A couple times when I’ve used the website, I wasn’t able to pull all my reports. A message would be spit back saying they can’t confirm my identity and to get the report through this site, I would have to jump through hoops to validate my ID. If I recall correctly, it involved mailing in proof.

On the forum I have seen people say there is a scam going on when this happens. But it’s actually not a scam or trick. The truth is that they really do have to validate you’re the real deal before handing over your personal report.

Complaint #5: Pushing identity theft protection

ID theft protectionThanks to all those TV commercials for LifeLock and Identity Guard, the business of selling monthly ID protection subscriptions seems to be hotter than ever (but it’s debatable whether they’re justified).

So I guess it comes as no surprise that we’re getting bombarded with ID theft prevention ads when all we want to do is get our free credit reports.

But at the end of the day…

…this is still by far the best site to get your credit reports for free. Despite the complaints, is NOT a scam.

Sure, the quality of might not be the best, but it’s still the only legit place you can get a truly free report without having to enroll in some trial offer… as long as you don’t do so accidentally!

But if you only want to see your FICO score each month for free, you should get a Discover It or consider this offer from Barclays:

Updated July 15, 2015

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Just tried to get my reports. Only TransUnion worked. Equifax and Experian asked me to send documentation in “snail mail”, and said they could not give me a report online.

Too bad. Like everything else in this country, started out good, THEN THE MBA’S CAME ALONG TO “OPTIMIZE PROFITS”. Now, all these firms can burn in hell as far as I’m concerned.

My insurance jumped from $777 a year to over $1,900 because Transunion submitted a credit report full of errors. I also found out that Transunion had a class action suit in 2009. If anyone else has had this experience – I am contacting Lawyers for a new suit against Transunion – you should to.

If you go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website –, you will find that they refer you to . So, if it’s a scam, then the federal government is in on it too. I just downloaded (PDF) all 3 of my reports without any problem. I didn’t get any pop up ads and it was very clear on each of the 3 CB’s sites that I could just print or save my report. Yes, there were options to sign up for my credit score, but it was easy to avoid all that and just get my report. Just take your time and read the page. Look for the “print” or “save” buttons. If you can figure out how to navigate all the social media sites, then this should be a breeze.

Just tried to get free reports online. Only Transunion worked. The other two want me to take the mail route. Funny thing is I purchased all three including scores two days ago through Experian Credit Tracker with no problem. I think I smell a rat.

Sorry, but IS indeed A SCAM. Requested my 3 annual reports by phone this year on 060315, and the automated recording said all requests went through fine, and they would be processed in 15 days. Even not counting weekends, it’s now 0625 — and nothing has come. When I tried to follow up by the same phone number, there is no option for follow-up status or talking to a live person. It says I have to write each credit bureau separately to follow up. What kind of crap is that That’ll be another two months. Last year I got 2 online, but Equifax (for checking accounts) had me snail mail in all kinds of ID proof. Protection is one thing, no follow-up or live people is VERY suspicious. Now it’ll be another 1-3 months to try again — and HOPE it’s done right. Loans, mortgages, further credit etc. rely on the reports and our gummint should be ashamed (it isn’t).

I’m surprised to read nothing but negative comments. Surely someone has had a positive experience? I’m not the only one, am I?

Prior to today, I last used AnnualCreditReport.Com five years ago, and had no trouble getting my three free credit reports.

Today I requested my free credit report, and receive it with no problem.

I wonder whether some of the problems people report are due to (1) inaccurately answering challenge questions, (2) a credit report has already been requested within the last 12 months by someone else or, (3) the credit reports accurately report fraudulent activity.

I have used the site several times. It isn’t a scam. It is tricky to navigate but that is to protect people from identity theft. If someone is unable to verify their identity via the site, it is usually because they answered a question about a credit account incorrectly. This occurs when someone opens an account in your name and you are unaware, or the debt is sold to another company and you were not informed, or the person trying to retrieve the report is not the person on the report and you are not familiar as you thought with that person’s identity and credit habits. For instance, I tried to check my son’s information while he was in high school to ensure his father did not use his SSN to obtain credit due to his own bad finances. I couldn’t access the information because of credit questions that I did not have the right answer to. I had my son call and get the information. The same happened with my mother, but she tried to get credit and wouldn’t admit it. I found out later when I tried to move her into an assisted living facility and they pulled a credit check on her.

As far as the report about the scam because the reports are not free. That is usually because people click buttons too fast and forget to uncheck the credit score button that automatically signs you up for a free credit monitoring service. If anyone clikcing throug the website has to stop to enter a credit card number, they made that mistake. Additionally, when people asked for a 3 bureau combined report, they will charge for that as well. And it eliminates the ability to spread the free reports out over the course of the year. Do a check on one bureau at a time every 4 months and you can get all three in a year while still checking your history throughout the year. Keep the old reports from previous bureaus in the same year and previous reports from the same bureau from the previous check to compare data. That is what I do. My score on CreditKarma (it is free) has slowly climbed from a 567 to a 686 and I’m still working on it.

Having faithfully used for the past decade, I’m saddened, but not surprised to read so many disparaging reviews about the site. I identify with most of the negative experiences of so many fellow users. For those of you who’ve recently discovered the site, it may be difficult to believe but, originally was relatively efficient and straight forward to use. When first introduced, it was fairly painless to sign in and obtain all 3 credit reports in less than 30 minutes. In order to obtain the corresponding credit scores, the consumer had the option to quickly purchase them (for about $7.00 each) without any additional gimmicks. That is precisely what differentiated from all the similar (but not equal) websites with the clever, catchy tv commercials. Apparently, greed has caused the negative changes that now make an inferior consumer option. As a finance professional, I’m always required to keep a vigilant watch over my own credit info and also provide clients with reliable guidance about doing the same for themselves. It makes no sense to me that the US would pass a law (FACTA) requiring the 3 main credit reporting agencies to make available to consumers 1 free copy of their credit report each year, but never follow up to verify the execution of the law! In this day and age of identity theft and account fraud, every citizen should have a legal right to obtain a free copy of their credit reports AND their credit scores at least once per year without any additional obligations, such as “trial memberships”! Currently, just 2 out of the 3 credit reporting agencies provide an option for the consumer to make a 1 time purchase of their credit score along with their free annual report. Beginning in 2014, Trans Union started requiring the purchase of their Trans Union Plus Membership in order to obtain their credit score. In my opinion, this should be illegal. When I attempted to purchase my Trans Union score today, I encountered the same obstacle as last year. So, I grudgingly repeated the process of signing up for their unwanted service, with the intention of cancelling it within 24 hours- as I successfully did last year. My only need was to purchase my current score- nothing more. However, after nearly an hour of wasted time, I was informed by one of their phone reps that I would not be allowed to repeat the same strategy because Trans Union only allows 1 trial membership account per social security number. So basically, Trans Union is preventing consumers from purchasing their credit scores once each year. Why is that ok?? The grocery store does not require a customer to buy a year’s supply of bakery goods with each purchase of a loaf of bread. My concern is that the other 2 credit reporting agencies will eventually follow this unethical business practice without any accountability.

I do not use “on line” service for anything that I can use my phone, automated or live person, since any computer can be hacked and I do know even then it is a risk. I called and requested my credit reports (I was not interested in my FICO) due to my bank calling regarding several fraudulent charges. I do have to wait 15 days and see if all 3 companies will be on that report. My fingers are crossed.

Heads up, your phone can be monitored and hacked as well. Good luck.

So you think the person on the other side of the call is safe? Who knows? Then that person types your information on their computer so it’s exposed again to hacking. It’s all the same I think.

Site does not work, gave me an error when I tried to view my reports then said that I had already used my one free viewing.

When I attempt to get my free annual credit report from Equifax it does not let me. I am able to use Trans Union and Experian. This happened two years in a row, so I searched and found a lot of others have the same problem. I wonder if they just pay to look at the report.

While annualcreditreport may not be a scam, the way that the CB’s are accessed via them, IS. Transunion is the absolute worst. For 4 years, yes, that’s right, 4 years, I have not been able to access free reports OR reports you are legally entitled to if you are denied credit. ALL of the CB’s make it extremely difficult for consumers to find the ONE link to actually access their report. One has to actually FIND the link, then go through a disgusting and time-consuming regurgitation of every page on their website, only to find, that you are nearly always unable to be “verified”. Registering? Forget that as well. For 4 YEARS, Transunion has claimed that I have had an account on their website. So, the one time I registered to access a report, what do they do? Deny you access because the one registration info used years ago is not valid. If you try to register again, you are sent again through the ridiculous regurgitation of pages on the website, then only to find, that your password doesn’t compute, you’re name doesn’t compute, your account is already set up but god forbid they allow you to access it. People MUST start complaining to their state attorney generals to get them on the ball and make these jerks follow the law. So, again, annualcreditreport isn’t a scam, but since they forward url to the actual CB information, THAT is the scam. Equifax pulls the same crap. Everybody on the planet has your personal information, but you as the consumer are not allowed to access it. They all need to be sued again for the scammy tricks they constantly pull on consumers. This was an issue that we all thought was addressed years ago, but obviously, it wasn’t, at least not long enough for the CB’s to get complacent and start screwing consumers again.

Thanks for your recommendations on this blog. Just one thing I would wish to say is purchasing gadgets items through the Internet is certainly not new. In fact, in the past ten years alone, the market for online gadgets has grown substantially. Today, you’ll find practically almost any electronic gadget and product on the Internet, from cameras in addition to camcorders to computer elements and video games consoles.

I’ve successfully obtained my free credit reports several years ago – but not sure if thru Tried a few days ago for Equifax – said “Internet Delivery Unavailable – Mail-in Request”. It didn’t ask me for any additional validation questions. Today, I tried Equifax again – same thing. Then tried Experian – got as far as “add to cart”, then it said “We were unable to honor your request. If you entered your credit card information, we did not charge you.” (Was never asked for payment info.) Getting freaked out, wondering if this means my info has been hacked. Finally, requested TransUnion. It DID ask additional security questions, all of them valid. SUCCESS – got my free report from TransUnion. Not comfortable mailing in all my ID through the mail – will try calling or chat for Equifax of Experian. My info hasn’t changed in years, so not sure why I didn’t “pass”, especially since those two didn’t even ask any additional security questions!

I haven’t had any luck with Equifax either — well I did about 2 1/2 years ago, but the next time I tried (more than a year later), I had the same result you did — well it asked some security questions — all about mortgages and loans I didn’t have, to which I answered None of the above or whatever, and then it said I had to mail in my info.

As for Experian, it last worked for me in July 2014, also worked smoothly a year before that. I didn’t have to deal with any shopping cart stuff — I suspect you might have unknowingly clicked on some offer. Or tried to get a report within a year of getting it previously… or did something else wrong. I’m glad you at least got your Transunion OK.

Thanks for the information provided you provided, I just received my credit report from Transunion, quick and no problem. I stayed away from requesting my FICO score though, as I do not want to pay a one-time or monthly fee. Thanks again.

I don’t want the FICO score Transunion is trying to shove down my throat either but I can’t find a way to by-pass that page and just get my free credit report. I’ve started the process 4 times now and it stops every time at the sign up for free 7 day trial offer page. I have received my free annual credit reports from all three companies for several years now and have never had this problem. Any ideas?

Yesterday, would not connect to Equifax site, just displayed message asking me to wait while it processed my request, but the page would not load, and eventually it timed out. Tried it more than once, because I only wanted one report so I could space them out, same thing. Then I tried asking for both Experian and Equifax, no problem with Experian, but same problem with Equifax. When I tried to complain on the “Contact Us” form for, I had the same problem others had with it telling me there were errors, and that “tell us about it” was invalid. I couldn’t see anything that looked like it needed to be corrected, but then the site told me I had maxed out on my attempts to correct the form. Same problem with not being able to connect to Equifax today. Same problem with the contact form the first time, but then I noticed it had changed my quotation marks in the comments box to asterisks, so I tried eliminating any quotation marks from my comments in the box, and I was able to move on to the “Tell Us About You” section on the next page and complete and submit my complaint. Maybe it can’t process quotation marks, try sticking to only periods and commas.

Just got my report from Experian. Easy, no problems or hangups other than needing to capitalize the CAPTCHA, my duh. I was looking for problems, but it was seamless.

I have successfully received my online reports through 2012. Last year I applied to Equifax which gave me the “unable to honor your request”. Today 2/12/2015 I applied for my Experian report and once again got the “unable to honor your request” message along with instructions to mail in ID and utility bill copies. I will not do that.

I think AnnualCreditReport online was voluntary for the three agencies and now they don’t want to do it any more.

Experian does not allow me to access my report. They pull up verification information that does not match anything on my report. I am in the credit business, so I know that this is a constant problem with the free annual credit report website and Experian. I would like to see someone look in to Experian failing to deliver the free annual credit report.


CreditCardGuru seems to be a shill for the website.

So many complaints that match up exactly and he claims the site is not a scam? I wouldn’t trust anything he says.

Nothing has changed on this website; my experience was much the same as others have posted. It asked me questions about mortgages and payments that I never heard of (I have not applied for credit in any form for 15 years).

I must get this report because I am applying for a Top Secret security clearance. I have to wait 15 days for them to mail this to me, so my clearance will be delayed by that same number of days. That costs me and my company considerable inconvenience and time.

I don’t care about my FICO score. I do not borrow money. Debt is a form of slavery. If I do not have the cash to buy something, I don’t buy it.

I should have known better to even go to this site!!!!!!!… took all of my info and when I clicked to get my score the page failed…also I went to try and go to the site again and the page failed…so It’s OBVIOUS that they took my info and run!!! BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to know about hard inquiry. I went from a 711 credit score in June 2014 to a credit score of 598 in October. How can I stop this? A few I ask for. Now the same companies are running hard inquiries without my permission. How can this be stopped?

Well – I signed into today. Tried to complain to Central Source LLC but there is no phone number listed in atlanta, GA. anyone have a number for them??? WHAT ABOUT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY COMPLAINT SITE????
– more –
Transunion – said I got a report from them already in last 12 months -TOTAL LIE!
result: NO REPORT.
– more –
Equifax – indicated I had a new mortgage – TOTAL LIE (I’ve rented all my life.)
I answered NONE of the Above to all the questions – I got NO identity or REPORT.
– more –
Experian: REPORT OK except one fictional removing it became impossible. – more – would not allow me back in to investigate or complain about Transunion and Equifax problems because it now considers that I’ve been successful in getting my credit reports!

This blog is very interesting, i will subscribe this website!

Several months ago I requested my free 3 credit reports from They sent me 2 identical copies of Trans Union Credit Report and 1 copy of Equifax credit report, but none of Experian credit report. I made several attempt to receive a copy of Experian but every time they refuse, saying that their records indicate they sent me a copy. Simply they are crooks!


I gave it a try, 66% success. TransUnion was “not available” or some such error and listed a phone number, but still blocked me out for a year for their problem. Equifax and Experian worked fine.

My wife and I have used for many years. I don’t know what changed, but for the past couple years we can not get past the identity challenge page for Experian and Equifax. Today, I was trying to get an Experian report but it did not even ask challenge questions, it just said I must mail in the form. This happens on Experian and Equifax, but not on Transunion – which has worked the last time we tried it.

It seems as thought they want to make it as difficult as possible to get the reports. is a frustrating joke!
I was unable to see ANY of the 3 reports, and now must wait 12 months before trying again!
Both Experian and Equafax said that I was not “eligible” to view my reports online, and wanted me to mail in a request with copies of my government issued IDs and proof of address.
TransUnion seemed as though it would go through, after I successfully completed the multiple choice question test proving my identity, BUT upon continuing, it lead me to a blank webpage where the URL continuously incremented (
I finally closed it after it reached 731 or so.

Trying to “contact” about this anomaly was too much apparently. After filling out the details of my complaint, their webpage said there were errors in my “description.” After trying 3 times to fix whatever errors they thought were in my description, another error popped up telling me that I had exceeded the maximum number of attempts to fix the errors.
SERIOUSLY!?!?!?! ( >_<')

I just attempted to get my reports from and the transunion one is a crock of B.S. the web page would not load after 3 attempts, the last attempt after 15 minutes it said sorry, you can access by phone or mail, hell with that!

Then the Equafax said they couldn’t do it online, and I needed to send in documents and all sorts of hoop jumping crap, not likely to ever happen.

The only one that went through easily was Experion, they will send it by mail.

All I wanted was to see my 3 report for free online now, not days from now, not weeks probably for the other 2.

Just an absolute load of B.S. it should not be this way.

I have a false report on my record due to a inherited property foreclosure on it. I was not ever on the loan, and I did not sign any documentation with the lender, just an unfortunate casualty of the housing market collapse and no will, the house value collapsed during year long probate during 2008. 6 years later I find out through my car insurance provider when they asked me secret questions to login about that loan, of course I could not answer due to it never being my loan.

My car insurance went up, I have been denied credit twice in a years, this is probably why, but I don’t know now due to worthless I can not.

Had the exact same thing happen with Equifax. Not only did it ask the bogus questions about mortgage and car loans I tried twice and it gave two different years for when these supposed loans were opened. No problems with the other two. Called the number and got the same thing back in the mail. Next time I’ll save myself the trouble and just pay the dollar,since guess what there wasn’t anything on my report that shouldn’t be there go figure..

As I understand it, will not give you credit SCORES, you will receive credit REPORTS. They are not the same.

Bill Fair and Earl Isaac founded Fair Isaac and Company in 1956 which is now called FICO. They create scores between 300 and 850 for almost every person in the U.S.A. These scores are used by lenders to help them make loan decisions.

Credit REPORTS are compiled by Equifax, Experian, and Transunion from information they receive from creditors like automobile dealers and department stores. It will list information from, for example, Sears, indicating that the person has been late in making payments or is delinquent.

Your article is confusing because after the first three short paragraphs on REPORTS, which is what your article is titled, you go on and on about FICO. That should be in a separate review.

Thank you EXPERIAN! I got my report online from Experian (by way of ) without any problem. I’m the one that reported (search on my name below) that in February 2013 I was able to get my EQUIFAX report OK but in February 2014 (and I tried a few times after, all after the 1-year limit had passed from my previous report), I was UNable to get my EQUIFAX report because it asked me questions about mortgages and car loans that I didn’t and never had, and I correctly answered None Of The Above, but still it said it couldn’t verify my identity and I must snail mail in my request including my Social Security card or a pay statement with my SS# on it, and some other ID. Jerks.

Anyway, the bottom line is, if you can’t get your EQUIFAX report, that sucks, but go ahead and try to get a report EXPERIAN (which like I said in the above paragraph, I just succeeded at) and/or TRANSUNION (which I will try in November when one year has passed since my last report from them).

And f.u. EQUIFAX.

What if I complete a pdf request form and mail it in? Can I still get all three scores? Would I still get slammed with fees?

I just fell for the Trans Union Free Credit score and $1 credit report. When I called Trans Union to complain about then charging me $17 they told me to look at their terms of agreement at the bottom of the sign in page. Very small in print and translucent ( difficult to see ) are the terms that say I have a 7 day trial and will pay $17 a month. Yep they got me, will not refund my money either. At the end of the call I was asked if I would like to take a short customer survey , I said “: I’D LOVE TO ! )…They hung up on me

I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Excellent work! dbekgdgbcbed

After doing some research I found that annual credit report was the only half reputable website so I decided to give it a try. All three reports came out for me and everything seemed legit. I used a desktop instead of my iPad, not sure if that had anything to do with my success. I followed the directions and tried not to stray onto any ads or anything saying “get your credit SCORE” because that’s what’s going to cost you money. Just be patient, don’t click back or refresh a million times. The identity questions were somewhat hard but I managed to get through. It let me save the first 2 to my computer as a PDF for future reference and the 3rd had similar info so I chose to skip printing the 30 pages.

Hope this is helpful! The reports were very helpful for me!

Glad it worked for you. All 3 sites worked for me last year just fine. Its when I tried Equifax for the second time (more than 12 months from the last time I tried it, so I’m entitled to a free report from them again) did I encounter these ridiculous questions asking me if I had a certain mortgage from some list of banks and a certain car loan from some other list of banks, and I correctly answered no to both questions. And got the nonsense about I need to mail in my request with various forms of identity. I’ve tried a few times with the same results.

I know how to use a browser, and no, I didn’t click on any get your credit score link. Good luck next year when you try.

Same situation as everyone else. I noticed on Credit Karma there was a debt of 8k from chase, 4k from two different midland fund- I called the midland fund- they named off two accounts they wanted me to pay immediately on- these accounts were last paid in June 2006/ this is May 2014- 8 years later!!

chase I’ve never banked with- I’ve had two accounts- USB which I left & ex took over and a credit union I left 10 years ago!!

I went online to ACR and the same- ‘page not responding’ tried later ‘security code not correct’ (and had to refill out my info at least 8 times) once that went through- they couldn’t verify my identity (by the mortgage question) was informed I had to send in all this identity verification- No money to be paying to get copies of everything, then mail it certified w/signature ect-

I ended up calling the 800 number to request by phone and had no issues (yet) this was the 19th- supposedly it takes 15 days- a bit long but okay!

I’ve ALWAYS had these issues with the ACR – hopefully my disputes go good 😉

good luck everyone- if you can’t get it via the site- call it in :-)

No doubt “” is the only site “federally” approved.

It’s as F’d up as our government. Billions with a “Big B” spent on health care websites that don’t work.

Nothing new here.

I love my F**king government and my government loves F**king me.

Annual Credit is a joke. I does not work. Don’t waste your time.

In response to a NY Times article by Ann Carrns, reprinted in today’s Boston Globe (Personal Finance, page B10, 5/13/14), I went to and was stonewalled unless I agreed to a “free trial” of some sort of monitoring/protection scheme, which I refused to do. Ms Carrns should obtain and report these facts rather than mislead readers who are thinking they can access no strings free credit reports.

Please file a complaint with the they need to hear these complaints. I just finished my complaint and hope they stop the abuse at this site. Especially if they could possibly be getting grants or paid for this service. That is our tax money should it be the case. There are way too many complaints here and mostly the same things are and have been happening. I have been trying to get my 3 reports since January, and nothing yet!!! I just contacted my representative today to report this issue. They said they will see to it in the morning. PLEASE report all these issues!! Posting them here does nothing to bring them into compliance. Also could case id theft if sent through the mail nd you don’t get them.

Thank you thank you. Also, when some media source, like Consumers Reports, Money Magazine, a newspaper article, etc. blathers about how you can get free credit reports once a year from each of the 3 credit bureaus at, one should write back and tell them their information is old, and that is no longer true. And then of course provide the specifics of your experience.

Lee, I just made a report to the FTC too. I was only able to get an experience report and then booted off the site

I mean I only received an Experian report, (darn auto correct)

Transunion credit score page won’t populate and is blank. Comment page returns: “Tell us more is invalid. Please try again”

Every Time i have ever tried to get my report from transunion i always have a problem. Always. I have to try it multiple times on different days to get it. Takes me like 2 weeks to finally get the annual site to work correctly to get it. The other two i have no problem. Last year i really needed the report so i had to pay for it, by going to the site directly. I do think transunion tries to scam. There is always a problem if you continually try you may get it to work after a couple of weeks.

So, I checked the USA Government site for a reference at and found it at the FAQ section.
After that I tried 3 times to get any score from this site, and every time it said about error in the security code at the bottom.
It’s lie! I checked several times… I can make a picture for a proof.
Now I’m worrying about my identity theft, and never ever will try again.

I had the same problem it is case sensitive. I tried several times before i realized that.

use the audio option. only way I got past it.

The “Annual Credit Report” website has taken over my computer. When I am at another website ….within 20 minutes, it will be replaced by the Annual Credit Report one. SO far I haven’t been able to remove it and I have a virus protection program for all the good it does

Went on to the sight. Had no problem getting all 3 reports. Unfortunately, the only one I was not able to save was the Equifax. I was asked the same silly questions about a mortgage and such. I just figured it was there to throw people off – as it should be! I had no problems with any of the sights and everything worked fine. I know better than to click on anything that might appear to be a sponsored link because they always take you somewhere you do not want to be. Unfortunately, for people with older computers, there may be difficulty with navigating through the sights. They are deliberately designed to be difficult and misleading. It is the way of the world like it or not. Consumer beware.

>> I was asked the same silly questions about a mortgage and such. I just figured it was there to throw people off – as it should be! <<

Well, it didn't "throw me off". I correctly answered the questions about the two loans (namely None of the Above to the list of the 4 banks, one of which supposedly had the loan), as did many many people at slash privacy slash equifax.html . What's wrong with correctly answering the two questions?

And no, I didn't click on anything that looked like an ad or a sponsored link.

Probably part of their strategy is to give some people unnecessary grief so they have to call and listen to a sales pitch or whatever their motive is, while letting others get their reports without a hassle — so the latter can post on message boards how they had no problem and thus diminishing the credibility of those who had problems.

Oh, by the way, how did you answer those two questions. The same way as me, right (None of the Above)?

Like I said, I had no problem last year with any of the three. Its the second time with Equifax (more than a year after the first one) that was the problem. Hope you have as much luck the next time (a year or more from now if you want a free report) you try to get a report from Equifax.

CORRECTED Version — Equifax, not Experian

>> Worked like a champ. I was able to access and save-as-pdf all 3 reports in about 15 minutes. The key is to pay attention, follow directions, and don’t click any ads. <<

JC – Good luck next year. I too had no problem the first time I did it — I got all 3 (spaced 4 months apart) without a problem last year. Then more than a year since I got the Equifax one, I tried this year and got the phony questions about a certain mortgage loan and a certain auto loan to supposedly verify my identity — the exact same loans a number of people have reported getting questioned about. And after answering correctly both questions with None of the Above, it gave me the baloney about having to mail a couple forms of ID in including my Social Security card.

It has nothing to do with "paying attention" or not clicking on any ads. Again, good luck next time when you try to access your reports. Tell us then how it goes.

same thing happpened to me with Equifax a couple days ago…..they were asking me about morgages i do not have…cars i do not have…etc…i picked none of the above…and then i was not allowed to see my credit report…must mail in their request form in with my SSN number on it…..etc…nervous about doing this because the whole reason i am checking my credit report is due to identity theft (somebody used my SSN number and filed a tax return!)

>> Worked like a champ. I was able to access and save-as-pdf all 3 reports in about 15 minutes. The key is to pay attention, follow directions, and don’t click any ads. <<

JC – Good luck next year. I too had no problem the first time I did it — I got all 3 (spaced 4 months apart) without a problem last year. Then more than a year since I got the Experian one, I tried this year and got the phony questions about a certain mortgage loan and a certain auto loan to supposedly verify my identity — the exact same loans a number of people have reported getting. And after answering correctly both questions with None of the Above, it gave me the baloney about having to mail a couple forms of ID in including my Social Security card.

It has nothing to do with "paying attention" or not clicking on any ads. Again, good luck next time when you try to access your reports.

Exact same experience here. Problems with TransUnion, impossible to get from Equifax after answering 4 bogus questions that all had “none of the above” answers. I’m not mailing in anything.

Unfortunately, the site seems to have become a lot less reliable over the past couple of years, I definitely do not remember it being in such bad shape. I wonder how much the credit unions’ increased maniacal peddling of their identity theft and other “all-in-one” solutions has to do with it, especially as the site is not run by the government.

Equifax is by far the worst offender – extremely aggressive and all about the hard sell. I called to speak to someone and it was absolutely loathsome. I was very nervous about giving my information over the phone, and couldn’t wait to hang up.

I filled out all the app and when all through it had me copy the little box of letters and numbers at the bottom, in which they kept telling me they didn’t match. after the 3rd time they say it has expired and you must fill out the whole thing over, all info and everything. this is a scam, I would recommend going elsewhere for your personal info. Annual credit is NOT to be trusted, and a waste of time..

Worked like a champ. I was able to access and save-as-pdf all 3 reports in about 15 minutes. The key is to pay attention, follow directions, and don’t click any ads.

>> The truth is that they really do have to validate you’re the real deal before handing over your personal report. So these complaints are 100% baseless in my opinion. <<

No CCG, it is a scam. I tried to get the Equifax one. It asked me about 2 loans I should know about and gave me a list of 4 banks for each and asked me which one each loan was with. I answered None of the Above for both, and it told me I need to mail in a request for my credit report with proof. Since then I have found many such complaints — the same bogus combination of a new mortgage loan taken out in I forget which year and some bogus auto loan taken out in some other year.

Its to scare you and get you to call. In the meantime, you get no credit report. Don't fall for their lies and don't fall for their bullshit. And quit calling yourself a guru for chrisake

Same thing happened to me. I don’t have a mortgage, and I don’t have a car loan. Heck, I don’t even have a house or car. If this site is the bureaus’ way of conforming to federal law, it should conform to federal law and not require us to jump through hoops. In fact, this happened with two of the tree bureaus, so it’s not a glitch with a particular one. Absolutely freaked me out, had to take medication to calm down.

If this happens on more than one bureau with more than one person with the exact same issue, then what else is the definition of “scam”?!?

I also agree that your “review” is bogus, if for no other reason than it’s a small and inaccurate review on a 200ft page of ads and comments telling you how wrong you are.

I tried to secure my credit report through After entering the required information and choosing to secure the report from Equifax, I was given a list of security questions which implied I have both mortgage and credit debts that I did not recognize. I gave the answer “none of the above” in all instances. Since my answers did not match their records, I received a notice to submit my request in writing , providing a copy of printed documentation like my social security card and driver’s license with the written request. I am not interested in sending this kind of documentation in the mail. I just called the toll-free number and requested a printed report from both Equifax and Experian. Hopefully, the reports will come with the stated 15 days. I must admit, though, that I am very concerned that Equifax has inaccurate information in my records based on the security questions. The thought that someone might be using my identity for financial/fraudulent purposes and/or that there are mistakes in my credit record is causing some concern, to say the least.

This exact same thing just happened to me.

I only have 2 Credit Cards (which are in excellent standing), but both Experian and Equifax asked me to confirm issuing bank and monthly payment information for a mortgage and auto loan during the verification process. As I don’t have either, I was very concerned when both websites told me my free online report was not available and I would have to request it through snail mail. In a panic I just paid $40 to Experian to get all 3 reports, and surprise none of the 3 had any information about a mortgage or auto loan.

While I’m glad my identity is secure, this seems less like a security measure and more like a scumbag way of getting you to pay for a report instead of getting a free report as we are all entitled to. I sent comments to but based on other comments I don’t expect to hear anything back. I guess the only thing you can do is call these companies to request your free report rather than panic and pay for one online. I don’t think $100+ per year is worth it to get a monthly report.

Just had this same issue requesting reports from Equifax first for both myself and then separately for my husband. I did not want to send them hard photocopies of our ID and ran a google search and discovered that others had the exact same issue with Equifax, but then they tried online with the other two (Transunion and Experian) and did not get the nonsesense and alarming personal questions about mortgages and car notes they didn’t have, but got the standard annoying background questions about the dog’s name or whatever. NO record on the Transunion report about any of those bogus mortgages or car loans on the complete report from them. This really can’t be a coincidence that so many people get implied fraud concerns Equifax when they are posed false “security questions” and it leads one to believe either that they’re intentionally doing this to discourage users from the access they’re required by law to provide, or they use it to frighten users into buying their full reports, or both. Should be an FTC, FCC and FBI issue as requiring ID by mail raises legitimate privacy concerns and of course there’s no way to know what they do with your photocopied ID after you freely give it to them. If it looks like a scam and acts like a scam…..

holy crap same thing happened to me!
after saying no to all these erroneous errors it would not let me review my report and asked for mailings of personnel info which
i declined. i am calling the company

what the hell you mean no phone number??

total scam!!!!!!!!!
take your report and shove it

I visited the site through a link provided by the FTC. I ordered all three credit reports but only transunion page showed up so I clicked the save as a PDF button. But this took me away from the site,no credit report….so I didn’t get to see my report! It landed on a transunion page that said website was unavailable so check back later. I could never get back to that page and I never could access the other two credit reports because their was not even a option to see them!
I tried to submit a compliant on the contact us form,however that proved very hard to get through. Inconveniently I had attempted that twice because it kept saying it had errors. Finally I were able to make a submission and it has been two days and no response. is as corrupt as the three credit bureaus. Each year, Experian tells me I have already received my report for the year, which is false. Each year, Equifax tells me “for my security,” they cannot provide me an on-line report. They instruct me to fill out their form and mail it to them with various documents to prove my identity.

And today…when I decided to use the “Contact Us” link at to voice my complaints…they HAVE NO SUBMIT LINK to actually send a message to them!! You can fill out their form…but there is no way to send it to them.

In my opinion, the three bureaus and are all corrupt scum.

I requested one report from one reporting agency and somehow ended up submitting to all three agencies. (I have never had a problem in the past with this.) Then, I didn’t receive any of them on-line or by mail. I have left complains on the website “contact” me and no one has replied. I have tried to contact the agencies directly. Transunion loops me at sign in and I can’t sign in. Experian shuts me out. I am very frustrating with the whole mess. This is the first year that I have had any trouble with this.

Equifax IS breaking the federal law.

Equifax asked me 4 *security* questions, to verify my identity. However, all 4 questions concerned accounts I never had. Equifax then said it can not provide the online credit report. I think they are doing this to prevent consumers from accessing their credit reports and to steer frustrated users into spending money on Equifax’s web site to get reports they are supposed to get for free. It’s more convenient than getting photocopies of your water bill and SS card, and sending a letter and waiting a month.

****Twice they asked me four nonsense questions about accounts I never had, and twice they denied me access to my account.****

This is a manipulation of the federal law and attempt by Equifax at behavior modification, to get customers to spend money on their website.

To add to the user frustration, there is no way to file a complaint on this site, despite a “contact us” button. This is deceptive. When you try to send the message, the page comes back, every time, with “Errors: Tell us more is invalid. Please try again.” This “help” page is purposely arranged as a dead end, there is no way to contact this company except by letter, if you can find the address. is a joint venture, partially owned by, guess who? Equifax.

Who put the foxes in charge of the henhouse?

Equifax’s illegal evasion of the federal laws, which compel them to provide a free credit report, should be investigated and prosecuted

The company which writes the software for the website should not be owned by the three credit agencies. This is not only a conflict of interest, it is a corruption of business ethics.

more than twice i ran into the exact same thing… i’m writing up a complaint right now to submit in the federal court here in NY…

The FTC and FDIC condone on their websites for AnnualCreditReport. Also, I received 2 out of the 3 bureaus reports. However, I did not receive a score from the website.

I was able to get all 3 of my credit reports from when I try to dispute hey item on Equifax it asked for my confirmation number and when I put it in they said it was not valid they are supposed to be valid for 90 days and it is only a day old I tried to do this on Equifax website and their dispute line and it will not accept the confirmation number is this,or was it a scam. Im frustrated there is the same negative item on there 3 times.

The truth is that they really do have to validate you’re the real deal before handing over your personal report. So these complaints are 100% baseless in my opinion

You work for any of the three companies.

They are NOT baseless. The same thing has happened to me TWICE in a year with transunion. They claim I have a mortgage loan that I DON’T HAVE and then advise me that I have to send copies of valid IDs in the mail to them to get the report. If they have to confirm you identity they should do so with CORRECT information. It IS a scam to try and deter you from getting your report free online. They know that not many people want to provide their proof of identity in the mail. It’s way too easy for people to get hold of your information that way. Anyone could steal a copy of your id out of the mail.

Beware! is an arm of the three credit bureaus and designed to force you into signing up for their services which you have to cancel or else be charged each and every month.

My proof is that I just went through the process at entered all my information and selected my reports THEN lo and behold a so called “error has occurred” and “please try again” I never got my reports and I tried again and guess what? The selection buttons were disabled, apparently being unable to receive them as if I had been successful on the previous try and have to wait another year even though I never got any reports.

Now I’m forced to go directly to the bureaus, which I have to do or else take it on faith for another year that all’s correct, sign up for their service which then has to be canceled or be charged every month! is just as crooked and unreliable as the credit reporting companies that set it up, big surprise, huh?

Central Source LLC needs to take a good hard look at the complaints I am hearing from consumers, because many feel it is a bit scammy, in some regards.

I love to tell you you are absolutely 100 % right. The I.D. Theft/fraud ( what ever they want to call it is a “HUGE SCAM “). Back in 1999 I had a credit report sent to me. Well looking through all of the lies here is the other person’s Oregon Drivers License number!: and her fraudulant activities right along withe the credit bureau’s because they said they fixed this and have been lying to me the whole time. They ASSIGNED THIS OTHER PERSON MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ALONG WITH MY GOOD CREDIT AND FLAT OUT STOLE MY IDENTITY TO GIVE TO ANOTHER PERSON, TOTALLY LIED TO ME EVEN AFTER I SENT THEM A OREGON DRIVERS LICENSE WITH C.D.L: 4, SIGNATURES stamped by the notery, Pharm. license, driver’s certificate, where I worked 2 jobs, so some on this mess looks like it’s cleared up and they turn around and put even more things that have nothing to do with me on this credit report! It is now January of 2014, 18th and they still refuse to fix this. I now have 4 Social Security Numbers on this last credit report with a bunch of ch, 7 items from 3 of 2005 and all the credit cards were insured and court ordered for insurance to pay in full and close!!! well, nothing but harassing calls and lies from ‘OUR SO CALLED TRUSTED INVESTIGATIONS THEY – DO NOT EVEN DO… IF THEY DID INVESTIGATE , THIS WOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED BUT, THEY ARE LIARS, I.D.THIEFS, FRAUDSTERS, AND NOT A BIT , AWHOLE- LOT- OF-SCAMMING. THEY ARE RUNNING THE USA DOWN TO WHERE THEY WANT US. THEY OPERATE MOSTLY FROM OTHER COUNTRIES !!!!

Also BEWARE….I spent a l o n g time on annual credit . Com site.THE column your suppose to click for your year of birth does not work.It will not scroll lower than 1996.Slide bar won’t work either.I think they’re bombarded with free requests and want to make money.Very pathetic.I have used site previous years with NO PROBLEMS…Or maybe it’s due to Tax time of year….

I hate to be the messenger of Bad news….BUT DISCOVER CARD AND THE OTHER COMPANY MENTIONED DO NOT…I REPEAT DO NOT USE TRUE FICO SCORES….DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE ITS A GIMMICK!!! Call the customer service number and ask where they get their score from its from a credit bureau..Equifax or experian…I Can’t remember which one.

Well I have used since 2004-2005 and have honestly had no problem with them. I have never been charged and everything comes up as expected.It maybe because I signed up during the time they started doing it but it has worked fine. I was even able to dispute items and had them removed from my report and it showed the following year when I was able to check again. I havent used it in the past 18 months so hopefully everything is still the same. Hope things work out for you guys….

Site wanted to upgrade me to Adobe Reader XI which I ready had. Would not proceed past Step 2 of 3. Finally going back, I was thanked for using them and never received a report. Then when I tried to submit a complaint I was informed that there was a problem in my input, but after repeated attempts, shorting my response was the key. The 1500 character input is bogus more like 30. Also, agree need a phone number to call.

I concur. I’ve written them about it, and received a form letter that was totally unrelated to my report. I think they ARE in the process of winding down the “free” site, because they want that fee for sending you the information about YOURSELF!

I’ve read most of your comments and feel there are real issues with the annual credit report site. I recommend you send a copy of your complaint to your state attorney general’s office. I’m going online today to review my free credit reports. If I discover anything worth sharing, I will.

When I tried to get a TransUnion credit report from the website, I could not get past the paying part, and then when I clicked on Equifax for a report, they stated that a report had already been received(Prior to this, I had received a Experian rpt only,with their name printed on the top of each page.)

Hi there – I had the exact same problem. SO very frustrating!! Were you ever able to resolve this or get any suggestions?
Good luck to us!

I, too, could not access Trans Union site. It was “out of service”. So I mailed in the form to Atlanta GA over two months ago. Nothing. I alternate the three services and check my credit report every four months so it was Trans Union’s turn. I’ve had problems with them in the past. No problems with Experian or Expedia. But Trans Union problems guaranteed. Don’t know where or who to turn because if I go to their site and if by a miracle it worked (usually doesn’t) it will tell me that I’m not eligible because not enough time has passed.

it is operated by Central Source LLC, which is a joint venture created by the three credit reporting agencies. IS a SCAM, in cooperation with the United States Post Office. Stay away from it! After my unsuccessful online attempt to obtain a credit report, the site advised I had to mail the completed form in with a copy of my drivers’ license and social security card. I sent the info by certified mail, and surprise, surprise! The Post Office “lost” my certified mail. Now I cannot get any live person to talk to at,they don’t respond to email, and the Post Office tells me, “It’s the Holidays! Don’t expect anyone to call you back!” (I called them on November 22.) I was stupid, and now I can only wait for the fraud to happen. Don’t mail those people anything, and for that matter, DON’T MAIL ANYTHING THROUGH THE ATLANTA GEORGIA POST OFFICE!

I can’t even log in: “Words did not match”, even though I clearly matched the captcha. Is the site having some technical difficulties at the moment?

The site was easy to navigate, however I wonder how the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communication Commission feels about the fraud of advertising “Free credit report”, but oh by the way let me have your credit card number because it is not free! This will be a good test to see what they do with my information since I opted out.

Last week I applied online for my credit report because its been over a year since Ive ordered them…The security questions didnt apply to me asking me the name of the lenders for a mortgage and auto loan and the amounts i was paying per month on them..I didnt get a mortgage or auto loan…so i put none of the above…it told me they couldnt do my credit report online i had to request through regular mail…which made me think OMG someone has taken out a mortgage and car loan with my SSN! I was sure that I had become a victim of IDENTITY THEFT otherwise it wouldnt have denied me my report because i answered the questions correctly! I called and was able to order them by phone an hour later…and the automated recording said the reports would be delivered to me in 15 days..WIERD..because there was no security questions through the phone. Then today I got impatient and thought I would try online again…and Transunion’s sec questions applied to me..and they let me review my report…then i tried the other two and the same thing..they both asked me about a mortgage loan which i again checked none of the above..and they told me to mail in my request providing proof…Well at least after seeing other people having questions about mortgage loans that didnt apply to them…and being denied their report online too…i dont feel so freaked out that someone took a loan with my SSN. And now i will try to order online again but through the credit bureau’s individual websites and not .

It took 15 minutes for me to check first mine with Transunion then my husband’s with Experian, including printing.
It couldn’t have been easier or simpler to understand.
The only hitch was the security code is case sensitive so it took 2 tries on mine, making it take a few seconds longer.

I Used Those freaking guys are such scam artists I am very glad I called customer service!!!!! I called because I knew if I didn’t call to cancel my membership within 7 days I would be charged for 20 dollars. So I call in and cancel it, and then the guy tells me that I am charged for 32 dollars because I did my credit report!!!!! I never got any confirmation for ANYTHING asking me to charge my account for 32 dollars. Sneaky bastards. Luckily this guy was nice and was able to refund me the money, but wow I cannot believe the scams these people run nowadays BEWARE FREECREDITREPORT.COM READ EVERY LITTLE DETAIL BEFORE YOU CLICK ON ANYTHING .

Tried to get all three credit reports today. Had no problem with the first listed which was Experian. When I tried to go to the other two sites- Transunion & Equifax I was shown to a page saying get your FREE CREDIT SCORE, not credit report. There were no options or buttons to click to bypass this and get my credit report. I could only sign up for a free 10 credit score monitoring service. I tried going to the website individually to get the free credit report only to be sent back to and tried to get again the 2 I was not able to get the first time, but was told I already got them. VERY VERY FRUSTRATING. I CANNOT SEE HOW THIS IS A LEGITIMATE HELPFUL WEBSITE WHEN IT DOESN’T WORK AS IT SAYS IT WILL. I DO NOT WANT CREDIT SCORE OR MONITORING SERVICE, ONLY MY REPORT. NOW I HAVE TO CALL THE 800 NUMBER AND WAIT FOR THEM TO MAIL IT.

I would like to report that I had no problems using the website. The security questions is to establish identity. If you carefully follow their instructions you can be taken -each one at a time – to the Credit source agencies and look at your credit report from the website without logging off. Or if you need to return later you can go directly to the Experian website for example; enter the report number given and continue browsing your information. You are even able to dispute online any information that may be questionable. I have only done one for Experian but the experience was very smooth. I had no problems with either website. Just an advise, try not to click too quickly and read all carefully. Good luck.

This site might not be a scam but they sure found a way to go around their obligation. I tried to get a report online from them 4 times now and each time the security questions clearly didn’t match any of my info to which I replied “none of the above”, next page pops up telling me online delivery is not available because of the data I entered. Are you kidding, I’ve checked my info against what they had on file from last year and entered it identically, I haven’t moved, I haven’t applied for any mortgage or loan, so nothing changed since last year.

I see that you had THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM VERIFYING YOUR IDENTITY to get your credit report on as I have. It is very frustrating. I am wondering if you or anyone else on the forum has figured out a way around this? To get a credit report successfully online w/out having to mail them verification? Or at least to make them give verification questions that ACTUALLY PERTAIN TO ME so I can answer them correctly?

The site is like when we tried to sign up for the new health care. The site does not work. At least it didn’t for me.Tried to just get Experian report. Says, We were unable to honor your request. Then gives instructions for snail mail or phone request.Says their online security measures prevent them from being able to extend online services to me. Care to guess what happens to the security measures problem if I go directly to Experions site and PAY ??

I am wondering the same. The website appears to not work correctly, In my case the Dispute link is dead. Than I go to Transunion to login there I am told the security question incorrect. Oh, and wait…I go to report it in the contacts. I cannot write the letter… I get an error message “tell us more is invalid”. I checked and have room for 750 more text letters. In the past when I had trouble getting reports for free, I paid and got them no problem.

The site not working is NOT A BUG. It is a FEATURE to the credit reporting agency. They had to be forced to provided free annual reports, and they resent it, so they’ve made sure the site has plenty of errors and bugs. It’s the only logical explanation to me.

William Villagran

I have use and it was worked fine for me in the past the only problem is that it can only be use 3 times a year for free. So what I did instead is got one of those programs that monitors your families identity that way I can check it anytime. It has worked great for me and my family. It is the best for the kids as well because since identity thief’s are starting to target them more now than ever I can protect them before something really bad happens. Child Identity theft has increased so much now it is insane.

I have used the site before to get my credit reports with no problems. This time it asked me verification questions that had nothing to do with me, denied my request & said I had to phone in or mail in for a copy along with a copy of my ssc & utility bill. Something is smells fishy.

Another well known complaint about is every single time that I have ever went to their site to receive my annual credit report,which has been a few times now, magically a debt collector has has called about an old debt. I am certain that they are working in cahoots because this has always been the regular pattern of actions after leaving I strongly advise readers to do business with each credit reporting agency individually and directly. I know this is what’s happening because almost each time I’ve had a new cell phone number and it is not ironic that old debt collectors can know the information I have only given to unless they are working together. Good luck folks!

Two things. For many years now I have used mail box services (UPS etc.) as my mailing address and not the address of my residences. And, since the web pages do not specify which addresses you should submit or show which ones they have on file, I have no idea which to provide….so I provided all of them. Apparently this for some unfathomable reason confuses them…and all three credit reporting agencies sent me their respective version of a letter denying my request….wanting me to provide physical copies of additional information ranging from cancelled checks to drivers license.

However, shortly after submitting my initial request (which was declined) out of the blue I started getting all kinds of phone calls from collection agencies that have been virtually silent for over a year now.

This makes me very reluctant to send them any more personal information given the clear conflict of interest they have in providing what is apparently a government authorized service they alone purportedly are entitled to provide to consumers, and their real clients whom clearly they serve first and foremost…collection agencies acting on behalf of lenders and creditors.

Does such a clear conflict of interest establish that is a scam? Depends if you are a consumer or collection agency I guess. You be the judge.

I respectfully disagree. IS a scam. When trying to get my credit report, they purposely ask me questions about accounts that I have never had… and THEN later when they mail me the report, NONE of those accounts are listed. Yet, they refuse you an online report and I need to see my report immediately. You call, and they want to sell you something. We need a lawsuit against them. This has happened to me 4 times in the last 2 years that I have tried to get my Equifax report online. They obfuscate and it is very clear they do not want you to get it that way.

Congress really needs to do something about them. Further, scores and reports to consumers should always be free. We need to stop the BIG BROTHER MONOPOLY SCAM NOW!

Yeeea Right!!!

Another ME TOO

TransUnion & Experian are f’d. Time for these despicable dishonest turds to go. They denied my access to an immediate look at my report. Equifax ran into a convenient error. TransUnion tried to scare me with multiple choices that made no sense, and then told me I answered them wrong.

Equifax was the only report I was able to get immediately and my account has no crazy activity on it like TransUnion wanted to use as a wringer over me.

Let me point out this article says it’s basically not possible to get your score. Ever. The agencies aren’t gonna do it & they’re clearly paid off by the Barclay crowd.

These agencies are worse than the Fed.

Yeeea Right!!!

***I meant Experian ran into a convenient error.

I should also note that Equifax asked personal ‘security’ questions which felt like they were deliberately designed to suggest your identity has been stolen and accounts opened in your name. What a bunch of greaseballs.

Yep. They do it to me too.

I got reports from Experion and Transunion but no scores. All I got from Equifax was a demand to send them all sorts of highly personal documents by mail for “my own protection”. Looks like our representatives have colluded once again with business interests to screw the little fellow. Thanks, guys.

I think it’s a scam. One, you have to enter your social security number and then enter the last four digits with the three different companies. Then, when it says you can have your ‘free’ credit scores, a page comes up saying you have to ‘order’ them and get them in the mail for 12.95 for Experion, and 7.95 from Equifax. It says you can still get it for free. But I bet you anything that when you send that sheet of paper in, you will have to pay in order to get an ACTUAL credit report. actually ruined my reputation at a bank because they ran my debit card through three times and got it rejected 3 times. So it cost me over 50 dollars and more in NSF fees. Now I’m trying to clean up my credit just so I can rent an apartment. Get your report from someone reliable, not these scam artists. I don’t know who that would be, I suppose your bank or maybe an accountant. But if someone is asking you for 14.95 (Like the site that helped to further ruin my credit) Or for a credit card number just to LOOK at your report to ‘verify’ that you’re over 18 or that you are who you are, don’t do it. Because you will be ripped off.

I believe that is a scam because, A – after putting in all your info, you get a page stating that your request can’t be ‘processed’ or that access can’t be gained. That’s a load.

And B – After they claim access can’t be gained, they ask you for money.

If this was REALLY a free service and not a scam, they wouldn’t ask for money and at least ONE of the companies would provide you with your report.

something is definitely going on with the annualcreditreport site. I used to easily access my reports and would do it so I could check one from each bureau every 4 months. Now this year I haven’t been able to access ANY of them for free. After logging on I get the message about ‘not being able to process my request’. However I am able to receive my reports JUST FINE on their website after I pay. Its a scam for sure because they are losing money off of this. I’m going to file a complaint.

Who did you file a complaint with as I’m having problems with Trans Union? Thanks.

My problem is different from everyone else here…I have not applied for a mortgage or credit card and two out the three credit bureaus are contacting ME…to send them i.d., such
as birth certificates. drivers license, ss #…when I did not ask for reports…what sort of new scam is this? Who could be checking up on me this way?

I agree with one of the posters….let’s have an #800 number to call to ask questions and get info!

You’ll have more effect by going to the Federal Trade Commission ( and filing a Consumer Complaint asking FTC to investigate the issue. They are the agency with the responsibility for seeing free Annual Credit Reports are made available to citizens.

What is the problem with these agencies? For several years I have gotten my reports online, accessing each agency 4 months apart. Recently, I have been unable to access any of them without getting the message “unable to process your request”, plus ads to purchase more monitoring. The mail-in option is worse–they want all kinds of documentation with all kinds of personal information. NO WAY am I sending this through the mail to God knows where. I also tried by phone and just went round and round, then they clicked off without completing the request. I’m going to see if my bank can do it, then I go to the FTC. What started out as a good service has morphed into a great big identity information seeking scam!

It was the worst. I checked my score a few years ago with one of the ones that advertise on TV and it was easier. You have to cancel it over the phone before they charge you but it only took a minute. This site is a joke. You get screwed around and bombarded with ads, no actual score unless you pay, at least I couldn’t get one without paying. Sweet job congress thanks I loved the last 20 minutes of my life.

Interesting. I went to get my report and they could not verify my ID. Next I went to the site and paid for it intentionally answering an ID proof questions incorrectly (but paying this time). MY REPORT CAME UP!!

So, when I pay, the score comes up. When I don’t, they can’t verify my identity.


The site asks for verification by asking what loans you have and amount owed. Well, I feel safe knowing someone is getting loans out of my identity and here I am unable to access my own credit report from the safest site around. Like if a person’s identity isn’t given everyday almost everywhere.

John from Atlanta

So after reading all these comments and spending time getting my credit report, I felt it necessary to report on my own findings. First, I found that AnnualCreditReport is condoned by the FDIC and the FTC directly through their website (if you don’t believe me check for yourself). I then gave all my information to AnnualCreditReport directly through their website and was able to get my report for TransUnion and Experian. When trying to get my report through Equifax it came up as “could not give you a report online. You must send in documents (including W2’s and a Birth Certificate) to some address”. Furthermore, I went to the TransUnion website and got my free credit score. It appeared to match the report I got from AnnualCreditReport. Also, when using AnnualCreditReport, I was directed to the Experian and Transunion Websites directly when receiving the free report. I had to answer some questions to prove it was me and then they said it would be my only free report for 12 months. In conclusion, it appears after everything I have been through that it is indeed legitimate. The FTC and FDIC condone on their websites for AnnualCreditReport. Also, I received 2 out of the 3 bureaus reports. However, I did not receive a score from the website. It appears you must sign up and pay for the score directly on the bureaus’ websites.

Susan from New Orleans

I had a similar experience. I received my TransUnion and Experian reports online. However, for some reason, not Equifax. I have to send them my social security card & number (I am NOT willing to do this) and/or a utility bill, copy of your driver’s license, I am not comfortable sending my Social Security number to anyone.

Sending a copy of my birth certificate is also not something I want to do. Seems to me that Equifax should have an easier way to get reports to folks. I know that it is for my protection, but really! My Social Security card? My birth certificate? That’s just too much information for me to want to send to get my Equipfax Report.

What do ya’ll say?

It didn’t work for me either… the author evidentally is VERY lucky or was paid for his review by someone connected to I guess! Not cool!

To everyone else though, why not shoot off a letter to your Congress person and ask if THEY have tried to get THEIR AnnualCreditReport lately and if not would they PLEASE try the site and see if it really works as per the law or not… just saying, if most of the members of Congress were to try there might be some changes made very quickly! Regards!

It says “free credit report” not score. I got my report. Go to Credit Karma if you want a score of some sort. The site mentioned here does what it said it would do. I got in, got a report, saved it as a PDF and it took just a few minutes.

Thank You Michael, for the phone # that was shown for, so far so good, however, even if you get a hold to these people, getting them all (3) to change faulty information, so you can get that car for $99 a month with your newly found ‘good’ credit is gonna be some prayerful work. Most of us have seen the TV shows where the Detective or Reporter pays someone for information to get to the bottom of a case or story, I’m getting tired, (a little tired), of my hoop-tee, so in order to get a car or house, I have considered paying a fee for a while to get my record corrected and score rightfully increased.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME!! If you want to know your credit score you have to pay. Annualcreditreport should be shut down.

Wish I would have read the complaints before. I would have not wasted my time trying to get a report by phone and internet.

I tried to get my scores and all I got was the run around. This is just a phoney attempt for the three credit providers to say they are following the law and supplying free credit reports. File a complaint with the FTC. Make them clean up their act or go out of business.

Worked just fine for me, took only a few minutes and I was able to see my equifax details. No score, just total amounts outstanding and current payments. At least I know now that there isn’t a card out there in my name I don’t know about.

I tried, but they all told me my report is not available. Now I worry if they will send me commercial advertising letter since they have my address information. Dose anyone have this problem? Hope I just worry too much. is a total scam, it is a commercial site that tries to get you to spend money any way they can. If you think you are actually going to get your score (the number) you will not without spending money. It is a difficult site to navigate successfully, and you will be disappointed..

Government recommendation = Bull

the comments people are saying is true it is a little confusing and im a computer tech…it only lets you see 1 of the 3 reports not all 3 even if you select all 3 and it does NOT SHOW YOUR FICO SCORE it CHARGES extra for that i believe it was 8 dollars but if you opt out and try to get it later they double it to like 16 or so the site is misleading a lot of the people actually just want to know the FICO score but its not included in your “credit report” so i guess its good to make sure there is no fraud under your name.

I attempted to retrieve my “free” annual credit report. I was unable to go forward with my request as it stated I had already received my free credit report. This is a great cause for alarm as I have never used this or any site to pull my credit report. It is unclear to me if someone has accessed my information or this is a scam. I tried calling their number, it is a recording with no option to talk with an actual person. Unnerving. I will now call each of the credit bureaus and put an alert on my social. is FALSE, DECEPTIVE, & DISHONEST. TransUnion tries to make you sign up for a monthly service to see your FREE Credit REPORT, then pay $29.95 to get EQUIFAX & EXPERIAN to get a complete picture of you FREE Credit REPORT.

Michael you are full of it! Many people are having problems with this free credit report. I’m not impressed by your beautiful website. The fact still remains that the free credit report is not working many people.

I went to the site to print my Equifax report. I filled out the questionnaire (including my full social!!!!) and answered their DELIBERATELY MISLEADING security questions only to be told that i’m going to have to mail in several HIGHLY SENSITIVE documents in order to get it. Um, no. Everyone needs to watch the expose 60 Minutes did on the credit reporting agencies. . .they are quite literally out of control. . .

I tried getting my credit report and they took me to Experian then was informed that I already got my report… no such thing. I think all these credit places that offer free stuff are just BS. I wont recommend anyone to this nonsense.

Well so much for free… All I wanted was a print out. I hit print, it kicked me out and directed me to the Equifax site. I tried to go back… Woops to late. I’ve already submited my 1 report for the year. But for a small fee I can see it when ever I want…. what a scam… Thanks Congress.

So much for a report. I tried two of them Equifax and Transunion. Both told me I had already had a report in the past year. Not so, this is the first time I have ever tried.
So much for a free service!!!!!

I agree with almost all of the earlier comments about the poor quality and general sleeziness of this site ( In addition, if you look about halfway down the list of FAQs, you will see that you are agreeing to get unsolicited you-are-already-preapproved-for-this-credit-card offers and insurance offers as well. You might be able to opt out, but they don’t give you a phone number for that. They only give you a number for more information. Enough with the junk mail already. Spam in my mailbox.

AnnualCredit is a farce! I felt they asked too much information, including my SS, which I reluctantly gave. I waded thru all the info required, only to find that this was NOT a FREE site. I did NOt want to join anything, so I tried to backtrack and erase my information. It could not be done! SO, they have all my information, and I don’t want to do business with them! How can I protect myself?

Leave it up to slimy Congress that can’t put their foot down and make it easy fix for these 3 agencies

From Rip off and this is the truth – they ARE a scam and full of SHet. Experian free credit report scam, unauthorized monthly subscription charges Internet Author: Credit Reporting Agencies:

9:17 AM i was rerouted from which is free to these guys who inadvertinly signed me up for a monthly membership under the guise of a one dollar fee. Internet Author: oceanside California Credit Reporting Agencies:

5:56 PM is a scam – watch out for unauthorized charges Internet, Nationwide *Consumer Suggestion…Scores are NOT free at Author: Henderson Nevada Credit Reporting Agencies:

7:31 PM
annualcreditreport Annual Credit Report Request Service Promise all three reports, give one Atlanta, Georgia *Consumer Comment…Not a rip off Author: Wilmington Delaware Consumer Services: annualcreditreport

8:46 AM
Central Source – annualcreditreport annualcreditreport charged$14.95to my creditcard,ididnotgive thema#orauthorizeit Internet, Florida Author: lakin Kansas Finance: Central Source

Need an 800# to CALL!!!!!

I just got all three reports for my fiance with no issue. Thank the Lord for this site because it really helped.
Seriously, if you can’t get your reports from after reading this site, you should probably go ask someone you trust to help you. Maybe an adult, or someone who graduated highschool, preferably someone who can read and write in english.

Just sayin. . .

I’m no dummy. Two of the three sites I went to vectored me into their pay-for-service subscriptions. From there, click on ‘free report’ and get put back to opening screen.
Happily, I did graduate highschool, and college and university twice. But these sites are much less than they make out to be. …and not what Congress intended.

How long have you been working for

9 times out of 10, the person who calls others idiots is usually the real idiot.
Go ahead and thank the lord for this site, but I doubt he guided you here to insult others.

Just sayin…

@ Corneeeelius – No doubt you were casing her credit score before committing to marriage, hopefully (for her sake) it was not good enough for you.

I used the site. After jumping thru all the hoops I was told I couldn’t get the reports online, instead, I had to call the toll free #. When I called the # given to me by the site, I was told I could not get a report mailed out to me because it had not been a year. Of course it hadn’t been a year – I had been denied credit & should have been able to get my free report from the reporting agency the gave me the negative report.

I just spent a waste of over an hour trying to get my “3” free reports, believe that that now not the case. I believe that you will get one report, and then for some reason or another you won’t be able to retreive the others so you will have to pay for them by requesting so in the mail!!

Why are we playing by the roles and laws if the government doesn’t

To ensure you don’t get scammed, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website (Google it), and click on the link for a free credit report directly from there. To save you time, please know that you will have to do each one (Equifax, Experian & Transunion) separately. Don’t check off all three when they ask you which ones you want, because you’ll only get one at a time anyway. When you’re done with the first one, hit the “back” button and go back to the “” homepage and re-enter your personal info again to get to the next credit reporting agency.

Thanks for the tip, Catherine. Sounds like solid advice.

Thanks for the advice. I am going to try it now and see if it works. I went to the article first in order to see what people were saying and to get some comments.

The site is not confusing in the slightest, although it is not free. Basically, what you get for free is a analysis of the components that, when summed up, give you your credit score. If you’re good at math, you can easily look at these charts and get an idea of how your credit is: Good, bad or mediocre. BUT, to get a proper credit score, you have to pay an $8 fee. The report they provide for free does not contain your credit score rating, which makes this site a total waste of time.

With me, only Experian did not work, they have three steps, and the third one does not give any option to open your free credit report: SCAM. Equifax and TransUnion went ok. I printed to PDF (I have a Mac) and I got the reports.

I had no problem entering the TransUnion site. However, to obtain info from Equifax or Experion just didn’t work. These two want the individual to mail personal info to them addressed as: Annual Credit Report Request Service. Are they nuts? Someone out there will surely put two and two together and figure out that there is peronal info contained inside the envelope and guess what? the envelope will be lost. Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least I was able to print the info I needed from TransUnion.

I used when i went on the site i followed directions and did not have no problem getting my 3credit reports i was fast and i did not have to put no credit card number in like most of the other websites. Finally will be using They didnt ask me for no creditcard information. Queens, NY

The annual credit report website has NEVER EVER worked for me. I am accurately inputting my data as required, yet both Transunion and Experian fail to provide me a report, and tell me to buy one instead or phone in for it to be mailed. So I phone in and they say it cannot be completed and hang up. Equifax link just times out after trying to connect for minutes. THIS HAS GONE ON FOR MONTHS. I’ve tried over a dozen times in 6 months and always the same result. Same for my wife, too. This is a total scam and they need to be brought to justice.

I’m having the same problem with Equifax. My credit report pulled up, then when trying to save as .pdf or print, it times out after several minutes. Server error. Maybe they do server maintenance 23 hours and 45 minutes a day. I’m sure many people get frustrated with the “free” annual report and opt for the paid services that actually work. Quite a business model.

Today I selected all 3 checkboxes for Equifax, TransUnion and Experion at annualcreditreport but was only shown Equifax. After I took screenshots of Equifax pages I clicked the “return to” link at the top of the summary page. Instead, it opened a new window with choices to buy my score or repeat access to Equifax. That new window also had a link to return to that did take me there, but instead of showing me the remaining reports, I was at the beginning page of acr asking what state I’m in again.
After selecting TN I filled out the same identifier page I had before, but was rejected, being told I was only entitled to one report per year.
THEREFORE, I believe the site has denied me access to 2 of the 3 reports I’m entitled to by law.

I had a similar problem as you!!

You are entitled to ONE of the three per year. Not one of each of the three.

The 6-digit code that they want you to phone in never works. They give you two attempts to enter this code, both of which unsurprisingly fail, and then they hang up.

I used this site and all three credit reports were denied because they couldn’t verify me. So much for free and easy service.

After reading the article and subsequent comments, it seems that a followup article describing how to successfully navigate the seeming complexity of the website — including how to request the scores one at a time (as you suggest) — would be extremely helpful in order to get the most out of the website’s service without accidentally “signing up” for some program!

I have just received in the mail a letter from Experian stating that a request was made to them that my free annual credit report be mailed to me. I did not make that request and they also do not have my full legal name on their “Prepared for ———” Date March 31st 2012. I do not know why I received this. Anyone know anything about this?

The same thing just happened to me. TransUnion said they couldn’t send the report because the address didn’t match the one in my report, and they asked me for evidence of the new address.

So I went to to pull my own reports, and the first credit reporting agency came up (can’t remember which, but not TransUnion) and said I couldn’t get another free credit report because I had received one within the past 30 days… which I hadn’t. So one bureau released all of my information to someone. TransUnion at least didn’t send it out and alerted me.

This just happened this evening, so I haven’t made any calls yet. Did you investigate your situation at all?

I would like to caution your viewers about, a company which advertises heavily on television. I agreed to pay a $1.00 fee to view my credit scores, and gave them a credit card number. The next thing I knew I was being charged a $29.99 fee. Their website is deceptive; I was told if I cancelled their service within the first seven days– which I did– there would be no further charges. I am currently disputing their charges with my credit card company.. Consumers Beware!

Very truly yours,
Roy Huberland

I used last year and found the site very confusing to maneuver. Knowing that it was the main site endorsed by the government I wasn’t expecting the focus on being a monthly fee based service. Also, the site should make it clear that the 3 reports can be checked separately at different times of the year. ONE thing, when I hear the word “REPORT” I think my CREDIT SCORE would be included in such a report. Why isn’t it?

As Steve Martin said in “The Jerk”, “Oh, it’s a profid deal!” My guess is that the deal worked with congress provided for the credit reporters to be able to make some money on their “free” service. This free service does actually cost them some money when people discover all the errors in their reports and ask to have them fixed. I’ sure the CR’s would prefer nobody could ever see their credit own report!