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10 Nov

Be warned: their website does NOT provide free credit scores! There are only four ways for consumers to get their real FICO 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. The vast majority of website, including the offers from the bureaus through Annual Credit Report.com, use imitation scoring models that are not FICOs.This act gave birth to the Annual Credit website, which contrary to popular belief, is not a government-run site.

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. If that happens, just check back later and it should be working. 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.

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.

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 Q2 2016: Even though checking your reports through the Annual Credit 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: The similarly titled Free Credit took a lot of criticism for its similar sounding name (side note: they now focus on their other site, Free Credit instead).