NEW YORK – July 28, 2011 – If you spend any time on the Internet, you’ve probably seen ads for “free” credit scores. They usually appear alongside ads promising to make your belly fat disappear.
There are two problems with these promotions. First, you usually have to sign up for credit monitoring, identity theft protection or some other service to get your credit score. These products cost anywhere from $15 to $18 a month.
But even more troubling, these scores could give you a distorted view of your credit standing, according to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That’s because these credit scores usually aren’t the same scores lenders use when they consider your application for a loan, the CFPB said. Credit scores marketed to consumers who order their credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com could also mislead consumers, the report said.