Thumbs Down: Credit Report Come-on

Physician's Money Digest, December15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 23

Under new federal law, residentsof several Western states are eligiblefor a free annual credit reportstarting December 1. The fee reportprogram will roll out across the country,west to east, until the Easternstates come on board in September2005. In the meantime, some companiesare peddling "free" creditreports that actually cost you money.Most of these free report offersinclude a 30-day free trial of a creditmonitoring service that will cost you$50 to $120 a year after the trial periodis up. Many consumer advocatesdoubt the value of these services. Ifyour free annual report isn't enoughto give you peace of mind, they say,ordering quarterly reports can help,and it's likely to be cheaper than apaid monitoring service.