Seriously. This is either a case of domain name speculation and opportunism gone berserk, the incredible ineptitude and fast-as-molasses-on-an-iceberg speed of the US Federal government, or both.

What Doesn’t Want You to Know

Why Read This?

Monitoring credit scores & saving $ is an essential tool in the Survive portion of Cubicle S.E.R.E.

It’s simple. Despite the name, Free Credit Report dot Com is not free. It isn’t. They charge you. Fucking marvelous.

Why Isn’t Free

Because they charge you a $15 monthly fee to ‘watch’ your credit after giving you your credit score. Using scaremongering, they profiteer off of people trying to do the right thing but not financially literate enough to do it.

How to Really Get a Free Credit Report

Here’s what I recently told a friend of mine:

I get 3 credit reports per year for free. I have a calendar reminder to do this every 4 months. You currently pay $15 / month for the alerts. You don’t need them if you’re getting a score for free 3 times a year. Take that $15/month you’re spending on for the next year ($180) and put it towards paying off debt or to a round trip to Cancun!

How I Get 3 Free Credit Reports with gives you access to three company’s for free inside one calendar year. They are required to do this for free, by law. For free!

I do one in April (4th month), a second in August (8th month), and the last company in December (12th month) each year. Wash, rinse, repeat next year. The incomparable JD Roth at writes this up very effectively. PS Check out JD’s website to see how he paid off 20 years of debt with logical, frugal lifestyle choices. I wish I knew this when I graduated in 2001 with over $100,000 in student debt, car loans, and credit card balances!

The Really Free Credit Report
The Really Free Credit Report

Before you start!

I learned the hard way that does not work well with old versions of Internet Explorer! Use current software or request your report via mail over the phone.


Great Credit + Saved Cash = Better Lifestyle.

  1. If you haven’t gotten a free credit report yet this year from, do it now.
  2. Put a reminder on your calendar to get another free credit report in August and December.
  3. Cancel any monthly plans you have with
  4. Put money saved towards debt, escaping your cube, or flying to someplace warm!

What’s Coming Next?

With the coming Oktoberfest trip in late September on my mind, I’ve been writing about how to get cheap flights and a brief humor piece on Oktoberfest Vocabulary. Friday has another awesome video. I’m headed out to the Virginia Tech Spring game – go Hokies! for some tailgating with friends. We’ll pick it up again next week with concepts called Buckets of Money and a quick, easy way to make $50! Oh, and F-Club results are in!

Comments (3)

They actually post this in their FAQ portion of their website if you read it.

Isn’t everyone entitled to one free credit report annually?

Yes. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) allows consumers to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all of the information in their credit file from each of the three national credit reporting companies once per year through a Central Source. To obtain that free report, you must go to

In addition, consumers also have the right to a free credit file disclosure directly from the credit reporting companies if (paraphrased) they:

* are the recipient of an adverse action (for example, denial of credit) due to information contained in their credit file;
* are unemployed;
* are a recipient of public welfare assistance;
* have inaccuracies in their credit file due to fraud.

Sweet! I’ve been meaning to pull my credit report lately and have just been too lazy to figure out how to really get it for free.

@Radar: Thanks for the follow up info. Schedule those free reports yet?
@Trapper: Go ahead and do so.

PS I ordered mine over the phone to come by mail. It just did. Note that the free reports do NOT give you a score. That is still $8 a shot. Still, the info is very, very useful. I found some bizarre things in my history and 2 items to get all irate about and fight!

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