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Free Credit Score Offers Too Good to Be True?

Written by: Kristy Welsh

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - August 16, 2010) -  (CIC) The ubiquitous TV guys have faded into history and in their place, the air waves are bristling with new ads proclaiming that consumers can get their credit scores for free.

Are these free credit score offers really free? Kristy Welsh says the answer is yes and no. "The fine print reveals the requirement for a trial enrollment in a credit reporting monitoring service to get your 'free' score. If you cancel the trial by the deadline, the cost is free. If not, you're stuck paying $14.95 a month for a year."

The good news is there are websites where you can get a free credit score without going through the trial offer, if a consumer is careful. When asked for tips on selecting a truly free credit score tool, Welsh advises: "If you're not handing over credit card information, you are in a no risk situation." has its own credit score estimator and Welsh invites people to try out the new estimator. "We allow the consumer to see a close approximation of their credit score without credit card or social security information. Along with the free score, the consumer will get a free credit analysis."

Other places to get a gimmick-free credit score or credit score estimate:

  • gives out actual TransUnion scores.
  • The score estimator returns a score range.
  • The application gives out an estimated score.

Why the disappearance of the hapless bad credit TV band? The recent credit card reforms prohibited the way the so-called free credit report offer could be marketed to consumers. Faced with losing an enormously profitable product, the free credit score offer was born in its place.

About is a free one-stop destination for consumers looking for advice and tips on how to repair and rebuild bad credit and maintain good credit. Kristy Welsh is also the author of Good Credit Is Sexy, a guide to managing your credit. Welsh is an advocate of showing readers everything they need to know to repair credit themselves, as many positive corrections can be made for the cost of a postage stamp.