Free Weekly Credit Reports Available for Another Year
The three major credit bureaus extended their free weekly credit reports for another year.In April 2020, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion announced that in order to assist Americans with managing their finances during the pandemic, they would make their credit reports available once a week instead of on a yearly basis. The ongoing economic hardship in the US prompted the bureaus to extend their offer through April 2022. The announcement came a day after US PIRG, a consumer-advocacy organization, published its report, which found that the volume of complaints made to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about credit reporting errors rose substantially in 2020. For the most part, the complaints were directed at one of the three main credit bureaus. According to the data collated, “Experian was the subject of 86,600 credit reporting complaints, TransUnion 83,300 complaints, and Equifax 76,300 complaints.” These alarming statistics accent the necessity of keeping a close eye on one’s credit reports, especially because the amount of fraudulent activity has significantly increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 4.7 million reports about consumer-related issues, out of which 29% concerned people who claimed to have their identity stolen.In light of such events, government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, warn against using unauthorized websites for obtaining free credit reports. To do it safely, you can go to annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.It’s hard to tell whether the extension of the free access to credit reports is directly linked to US PIRG’s findings. But considering the unprecedented economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, it’s not likely that many will complain. After all, without a solid credit score leasing an apartment, taking out a credit card, getting insurance, or even landing a job is almost impossible.
I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.
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