Our FreeCreditReport.com Review in a Nutshell
FreeCreditReport.com is owned and operated by Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. As the name indicates, it provides users with access to their Experian credit report at no cost, not even requiring a credit card to sign up. This bare-bones credit report, updated every thirty days, may be sufficient for some users. On the other hand, there have been numerous complaints filed against this company as users allege that they were misled into signing up for a paid subscription service in order to see their credit score, in addition to the free credit report, or to view their other two credit reports. Read on to get our complete take.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Reports Available
Our Score
#1
$19.95 - 29.95
3/3
8.3
#2
Free
2/3
7.4
#3
$19.95
Up to 3/3
7.2
#21
FreeCreditReport.com
Free*
1/3*
4.6

The Good

FreeCreditReport.com Really is Free… if You Don’t Sign Up For Anything Else

FreeCreditReport.com really does provide customers with a copy of their Experian Credit Report at no cost. Although this report is not accompanied with a credit score or much in the way of explanation on how to improve one’s credit standing, it is the genuine article; no credit card is even required to obtain this particular report, they don’t even give you a place to enter your credit card while signing up for the free service.

FreeCreditScore.com Screenshot

Having said that, they will take every single opportunity to try and upgrade their users to a paid membership with Experian Credit Tracker (which we reviewed here).

One of the Few Sources of Free Experian Credit Reports

The free pricepoint for the basic service makes it an attractive proposition for those who are already quite knowledgeable about consumer credit and scoring and just want free monthly access to their Experian report without any bells and whistles, especially since one can obtain free copies of their TransUnion and Equifax reports from a company like Credit Karma.

Owned by Experian

FreeCreditReport.com is owned and operated by Experian, one of the major credit bureaus and a massive publicly traded company. Although there are many allegations that FreeCreditReport.com is a scam, these attacks don’t seem to hold up in open court. In general, Experian is a fairly reputable company and one of the benefits to using this site is that it’s backed by such a massively well-known business.

Security is Solid

One of the benefits to having such a large company backing this website is that it provides comprehensive security and shielding of client information. Certified by both McAfee and Entrust, users can rest assured that their information is as well-protected as can be expected from a site in this industry.

The Bad

The Free Service is Extremely Limited

While users can obtain a free copy of their Experian Credit Report as often as once a month, that is literally all that you’re getting when you use the free service, and users might be surprised to discover that some features they were expecting are completely absent, such as the following.

No Credit Score

There is no credit score included with the free credit report. This also means there are no recommendations for customers to improve their credit standing if they desire to do so. This won’t matter for those that are simply checking their credit report to find inaccuracies and fraudulent items, but if you’re hoping to improve your credit standing in order to obtain a mortgage, credit card, or other financing, FreeCreditReport.com’s free service will not be sufficient.

Only One Credit Report

The only credit report available on the free level of service is the one from Experian. That leaves two credit reports that you aren’t seeing, making you blind to what’s going on with two-thirds of your credit profile. Any sort of comprehensive credit monitoring solution needs to include reports from all three credit bureaus.

In order to obtain credit reports from either TransUnion or Equifax, users will need to fork over about $40 for a three-bureau credit report. This might come as a surprise to users who expect all their credit reports to be available for free through this service.

No Automatic Credit Monitoring

The credit reports obtained from FreeCreditReport.com are essentially “snapshots” or a one-time look at your credit report as it currently stands. Users will not be notified by text or email of any major changes that occur to that report, such as inquiries or new credit accounts being opened.

The only way to catch these changes is either by upgrading to the paid Experian Credit Tracker service (reviewed here) or  by manually reviewing your updated credit report each month, which some might not mind doing (and we actually recommend you do), but it is a process that some users may find tedious.

Personal Information Sharing

Although it isn’t as bad as some of the other companies we’ve reviewed, FreeCreditReport.com’s terms of use allow them to share their users personal information with whomever they want. Although they do provide means for users to opt out of receiving these kinds of offers, there doesn’t appear to be anything that can be done to prevent them from sharing user information. As usual, when there is no price for the product, often the company is making money off of your information instead.

Experian Data Breaches

Although it is true that FreeCreditReport.com provides industry-standard security and encryption, as we mentioned above, its parent company, Experian, has a history of being hacked, as was the case in 2015 when a large segment of T-Mobile’s database, which relies on Experian for credit checks, was compromised.

Although the above breach did not directly involve FreeCreditScore.com, we still think it’s something to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to utilize Experian’s services, especially if one opts to upgrade to the paid platform.

Lots of Customer Complaints

It is worth noting that FreeCreditReport.com has a number of complaints online, alleging it was a scam and the like. We reviewed these complaints in depth and found that many of them had to do with the company’s old business model rather than its current practices. Common complaints that have occurred recently are mostly related to customers who signed up for the free service and then opted for paid monitoring or to view additional credit reports at some point and feel they were misled when they began getting charged for monitoring or those additional reports.

Other complaints focused on how they thought they would be getting a free credit score in addition to the report which, as we mentioned, is not including in the free package.

Regardless of how valid or accurate these complaints are, our review team feels that they are worth noting and taking into consideration before signing up for this service.

The Bottom Line

FreeCreditReport.com is a potentially useful service for those who simply want to pull their no-frills Experian credit report each month; it does exactly that, for free, which makes it a viable option when used alongside other services to obtain access to all three reports for free. This is a very specific offer that does appeal to a very specific customer segment, in which case we recommend it for advanced users who need a score-less Experian report.

That said, we believe that many customers who come to this site with little understanding of how the credit reporting and scoring industry works are going to wind up opting for one of Experian’s paid offerings, like their Credit Tracker service. We advise customers to be familiar with that service by reading our review of it here before providing any credit card information to FreeCreditReport.com after signing up. Remember, once you upgrade your account in any way, it is no longer a “free” credit report.

Price Range

FreeCreditReport.com’s base service is free. However, if users choose to obtain additional credit reports or subscribe to Experian Credit tracker, there is an additional fee.

Trial Details

FreeCreditReport.com doesn’t provide a trial for their free service.

Scores & Reports Provided

FreeCreditReport.com’s basic service only offers users access to their Experian Credit Report, no score. Experian Credit Tracker provides users with access to their Experian Credit report and FICO score.

Data Security

FreeCreditReport.com’s website utilizes encryption Entrust SSL security that is verified and certified by both McAfee and Entrust.

Identity Theft Protection

The free service from FreeCreditReport.com does not include any form of Identity Theft Protection

Alert Options

FreeCreditReport.com does not provide any sort of active credit monitoring in the form of automated alerts.

Time in Business

FreeCreditReport.com was first registered in 1999, its current owner, Experian Consumer Services, has been in operation since 1993.

Contact Information

FreeCreditReport.com offers toll-free phone support at 1-866-739-7374

Phone Hours (Pacific Time)
Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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