The Real Free Credit Report

Shortly after the holiday season, my mind turns to taxes and this year, to the fact that I got trapped in an ARM that increases my mortgage payment two months from now. It looked good on paper two years ago and I could probably absorb it, but I don't want to if I don't have to. I had just been turned down for a rental because of my credit. It was easier to buy a house.

Let me qualify that. Easier, not easy. Proving income was a b$#%&. Yeah, I work for this online company. No, I never talk to them. But I did get a signed letter from Clickbank which amazed me. That, along with bank statements and checks did the trick I guess. I had no job waiting for me here. It's also good to have a good mortgage broker, which mine was, except for the whole ARM thing, but with my credit, it's probably all I could get.

And the tax man cometh as he does every year. I remember the first year I made a lot of money affiliate marketing. I was flying by the seat of my pants and had just moved cross country and bought a house. Bam, the first time I ever had to pay in to the IRS at the end of the year and boy, did I have to. The state taxes didn't help either. Needless to say, I spread the payments out over the next year and last year I did the same. I want to get out of this loop and if I can get enough to cover that with a refinance,I can put that money which I haven't seen in years automatically into investments. Time to start making some of my money work for me.

OK, back on topic. My credit sucked about four years ago and it didn't look so good when I got this house. But you can rebuild it. When I started affiliate marketing I couldn't get a credit card. I have a few now. It takes an excruciating amount of time and reminding myself how stupid I have been in the past didn't help much either.

So before I did anything I wanted to see my credit report. Free helped. Now when you search for a free credit report, you are bombarded with ads. Most with ask you to sign up for a service in order to access your credit reports, which if you don't cancel in 30 days will cost you $30 a month. There are even TV commercials. This is marketing a la Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild.

But you can just go directly to But what amazes me is that the other guy had to spend boat loads of money on the TV commercials which means they are making money when the free report is as close as a Google search. Ahh, marketing and advertising. The only catch to the site is you only get a copy once a year, but you get it free and you get it from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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