TransUnion — free credit reports, or not?

Mar 18, 2009 • alan


This evening, something (I don’t know what) inspired me to check my credit report. I know that you are supposed to be able to get a free credit report from each of the “big three” (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) every year. So I started by going to the Federal Trade Commission’s web site. I know it’s easy to be scammed, so I wanted to start with the source.

They direct you to a site that sounds like a scam (AnnualCreditReport.com), but is not. You can go through the government-designed (usability-be-damned) web interface that simply redirects you to the web sites of the big three. At some points in the process, my Firefox NoScript plug-in started complaining about potential cross-site scripting problems, and some scripts on a site called “ezapp.cc”. But a few minutes later, I got reports from Experian and Equifax.

Transunion, however, gave me this lame excuse.

Unable to Confirm Identity

As a security precaution, we cannot provide online delivery

What’s happening…

We apologize for the inconvenience, but based on the

information provided, we have been unable to confirm

your identity.

Because the protection of your security and privacy

are of the utmost importance to us, we cannot provide

your Personal Credit Report online.

What you should do…

  • Please return to www.annualcreditreport.com to

order your Personal Credit Report by phone or mail.

This was after I entered a username and a password (generated and stored in 2007 using PasswordSafe).

In 2007, I did send a written request to TransUnion for the credit report by mail… I don’t recall ever receiving one from them.