So under the FACT Act, you get a free credit report each year from each of the major credit rating agencies. At AnnualCreditReport.Com you enter basic info, and then it gives you a link to each agency to get your report. 

Cool. Except…

To verify identity, the report asks you a series of questions about things supposedly only you would know. And it also asks you things you don’t even necessarily know! E.g., say you had a mortgage that got sold to some other mortgage company. It asks you whether you ever had a mortgage with a list of companies, including that other company. You, of course, are unlikely to know who owns your mortgage (you make the same payments in the same way regardless). And when you get the question wrong, you have to then apply through mail only. 

Or, of course, you could buy the report if you like… 

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  8. felixsalmon said: The really stupid thing here is that anyone and their mother can get your credit report, it happens every month even when you have no idea it’s happening, and it sure doesn’t happen through annualcreditreport.om.
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