As of April 2nd, the Credit CARD Act of 2009 went into place in that the Federal Trade Commission will now require that agencies that advertise free credit reports that actually cost money to stop doing so. Consumers will soon be able to distinguish between the free reports and those that actually cost money.
The new rule will address those websites and organizations that advertise a [INSERT RELATIVE WORD HERE THAT MUST BE REMOVED BECAUSE OF AN IDIOTIC AUTOMATED PROCESS OF POSTING ARTICLES THAT MEASURES KEYWORD DENSITY INSTEAD OF THE ACTUAL CONTENT ITSELF], but mislead into AnnualCreditReport.com, where consumers are able to get a free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.
The new laws will give the Federal Trade Commission the ability to make rules that address the commercial advertising of these free credit reports. In some cases, consumers who are looking for credit report information will be side tracked by ads and other advertising messages from third party organizations only to find that the free credit report is not available at the website they are visiting.
Rather, these websites try to sell products and services to those who visit. The FTC hopes that by placing some rules on the use of these types of claims that it will help protect consumers from the unwanted services that cost money that become apparent when they want to get their free annual file disclosure.
As of April 2nd, specific disclosures must be included on any website that promotes free credit reports. These disclosures include making a statement towards the top of any webpage that says, "this notice is required by law.
Read more at FTC.gov. you have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law. "
In addition, any print ad that also promotes the free credit report must also include a similar statement.
In addition, every website must also provide a clickable button on the site that reads, "Take me to the authorized source." It must also provide operational links to the FTC.gov.
These disclosures must be prominently displayed on the website. To do this, the website must use a high degree of contrast from other immediate backgrounds to ensure that the disclosure stands out.
In addition to this, the AnnualCreditReport.com website itself will no longer have advertisements or links on it that point consumers to other services until after they have obtained their free credit reports.
In the past, each of the three nationwide credit-reporting agencies' homepages were linked on the site, to allow consumers to visit them directly. The front page of those sites often contained additional information and sometimes advertised products and services.
What will this type of disclosure to for Americans? In short, it helps educate consumers about where to get their actual free disclosure required by law and it provides detailed information that outlines the specifics on what they can do to ensure they purchase products and services that are actually beneficial to them.