FreeCreditReport.com (And Their "Funny" Commercials) Sucks

This commercial for “FreeCreditReport.com” is not only somewhat inaccurate, it advertises a service that is NOT FREE.

Don’t fall for these commercials. Get your real “free credit report” at www.annualcreditreport.com.

As for the dumbass with the guitar living in his in-law’s basement for no reason, Bankrate has some advice:

The issue right now, however, is not how the two of you will share a theoretical debt, but whether his good credit can “catch cold” from your bad credit.

In short, the answer is no. Each of you has a separate history with the credit bureaus and, therefore, a separate credit score. At the same time, if your husband doesn’t help you establish good credit he could suffer as a result. For example, if he does not have sufficient income by himself to purchase a home, he will need you to co-sign in order to qualify for a mortgage. Your income and your credit score may be crucial in qualifying for a lower rate — or even getting the mortgage at all.

Get it? Marrying someone with bad credit does not automatically ruin your credit. You are only responsible for debt accrued after you were married. If you could qualify for a mortgage on your own the day before you married “dream girl” you can qualify for it the day after you married her. Nothing is preventing this tool from being a “happy bachelor with a dog and a yard,” except that he lacks enough income to qualify for a mortgage on his own.

In marriage, good credit can heal bad [Bankrate]
FLORIDA AG INVESTIGATES FREECREDITREPORT.COM [Red Tape Chronicles]

Comments

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  1. madanthony says:

    Hmm, I had the same thought when I saw this ad – why couldn’t he buy the house in his name only?

    Personally, I’d rather find love than have a nicer house. But maybe that’s because I’m single and own a house. The grass is always greener on the other side.

  2. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Unfortunately annualcreditreport.com doesn’t have such snappy tunes. ;)

  3. Asvetic says:

    Not to mention the only female in the entire commercial comes off as a total bitch, and she doesn’t even say anything.

    Another commercial I hate is that H&R Block one, where the wife tells her husband they should “ask the box” after the software he used says they’re getting audited. God that’s a snarky response, maybe she should have done the taxes instead.

  4. Rukasu says:

    Isn’t that the kid from ‘Freaks and Geeks’, all grown up?

  5. Buran says:

    You’re still only responsible if you’re actually on your spouse’s account. I was married for a while and am not responsible for my ex’ debt because the only joint account we had was a checking account.

    My current bf is up to his eyeballs in debt and so I’ll stick with that policy; I don’t want to be responsible for it all. (he IS working on paying it off, and I’ll help, but I refuse to be legally liable for it).

  6. kc2idf says:

    @Asvetic:

    Not to mention the only female in the entire commercial comes off as a total bitch, and she doesn’t even say anything.

    Of course she comes off as a bitch. Her husband is, right that very moment, bitching to the world about her. How do you expect her to act?

  7. CPC24 says:

    I hate these ads, especially the one about the restaurant. So you end up working in a beachside restaurant if you have bad credit? It just seems like a slam to foodservice workers. BTW, I was one. I know plenty of people who make very good money working in restaurants, especially at resorts.

  8. phanie says:

    And yet they are still better than the damn “Free Credit Report.com” jingle which I now have stuck in my head.

  9. FuturShoc says:

    I thought I was the only one who thought this commercial was ugly. I completely agree with MADANTHONY. I’d rather find love than have a big house.

  10. Yogambo says:

    Ummm. What you are saying regarding mortgages is a bit off the point here. Most married couples apply for the mortgage together. The combination of incomes helps and it’s also seen as a process that you do together, each holding equal responsibility. With this common practice in mind, it *is* fair to say one spouse can spoil the barrel.

    No, your spouse’s credit score won’t affect you applying individually for credit. BUT if and when you apply together for a mortgage, the lender looks at the worst average of the couple’s scores. Classically, they’ll pull the three bureaus twice, once for each. The one with the lowest average score — meaning if Exp is 770, Trans 715, Equi 680 they go with the Trans 715 — is the score they use to calculate your mortgage rate.

    So to say that your spouse’s poor credit score does not affect you is just wrong. All the lenders we shopped — USAA, ING, Century 21 to name a few — do it this way. The spouse who has the lower credit score is the one that will decide the outcome of that mortgage application. That’s a fact.

  11. tk427 says:

    Maybe I’d have more sympathy for this guy if they showed him whining while he was at work.

  12. Pop Socket says:

    @Yogambo: I have owned two houses and got mortgages for both under my name and credit only. My wife has a lower income and a proportionately higher debt load (both of our car loans are in her name). While it may be common to joint apply, it only works in favor of the mortgage companies if you can qualify on one income.

  13. Narockstar says:

    Hmmmm…I don’t know. Boyfriends come and go, but I can live in a house of my own forever.

    I do hate these commercials though. I thought that maybe it wasn’t her bad credit score, but overwhelming mountain of debt that was keeping them from getting a house. And then I questioned a service that would let you look up someone else’s credit report. Then, I was just pissed off that this stupid commercial was wasting my time with stupid questions.

  14. Ann-Marie says:

    Last I checked, annualcreditreport.com gives you a free credit report every year, but NOT A FREE SCORE. And frankly, without the score as context, I’m not really sure what’s good and what’s bad on my report.

  15. Uh oh... Cleveland says:

    What really makes this guys a scumbag is that he implies that if he had known his wife’s credit history, he wouldn’t have married her. Now that’s love!

  16. MiltyKiss says:

    @kc2idf: Not to mention that he also went through the trouble of writing a song and getting his band to play it. ;)

  17. Munsoned says:

    @Asvetic: Amen! I HATE that H&R Block commercial. I literally was sitting on my couch last night, saw that commercial, and said the same thing to my wife (why don’t YOU do the f^@#ing taxes if you’re so smart!).

  18. MercuryPDX says:

    I never saw this one, only the Seafood Restaurant one.

  19. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    At least the drummer in the commercial is hot.

  20. spanky says:

    I hate everything about freecreditreport.com, but I think I hate the seafood restaurant commercial most of all.

    Correct me if I’m misunderstanding the storyline on this one, but it seems to be that the credit reporting agency reported known fraudulent data (because a ‘hacker’ stole his identity) to potential employers, preventing him from getting other jobs; and their solution is that the guy should have paid some kind of protection money to the credit reporting agency to prevent them from reporting known fraudulent information.

    So unless I’m completely misunderstanding the stupid commercial, it’s pretty much just an extortion scheme in the form of a cutesy commercial jingle.

  21. mgyqmb says:

    The girl in this commercial is my psuedo-celebrity crush of the year. I wonder what her face looks like.

  22. MercuryPDX says:

    @spanky: I think you’re reading way too deep into it. All he said was a hacker stole his identity.

  23. christoj879 says:

    Thank you for posting this! I HATE these stupid commercials! “Offer applies with enrollment in Triple Advantage.”

    These commercials follow no reason. This and the stupid seafood one Spanky mentioned. How the hell could you have a dog and a yard by yourself but not with some slore? Buy it yourself and have her live with you.

    Alas, they must be making money off of idiots if they advertise as much as they do.

  24. SOhp101 says:

    As much as i hate their commercial, they do add in that quick blip of “free credit report requires enrollment of triple advantage” so they are technically in the right.

    Spread the word! AnnualCreditReport.com, not the faux one.

  25. spanky says:

    @mercurypdx:

    He implies causality, though, when he says he’s working in the restaurant because of the identity theft.

    “They say a man should always dress for the job he wants
    so why am I dressed up like a pirate in this restaurant?
    It’s all because some hacker stole my identity.
    Now I’m in here every evening serving chowder and iced tea.”

    I extrapolated the part about the agency reporting fraudulent information to potential employers, but how else would identity theft cause him to take what they’re implying is a crummy job?

  26. TwilaO says:

    @kc2idf: Not to mention the fact that the rest of the group is hanging around playing music while she’s doing the laundry and cleaning up after them!!

  27. MrEvil says:

    These commercials are rife with BS. How can your credit report prevent you from getting any job other than working as a host/hostess in a cheesy restaurant? They also encourage people to ditch their significant other because they have bad credit.

    More people just need to listen to Dave Ramsey.

  28. Snakeophelia says:

    Courtesy of Glamour magazine, the actor in these ads is a French-speaking Canadian named Eric Violette. He’s cute and mugs well for the camera and can actually play guitar, but that’s not his singing voice – they dubbed in someone else.

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who wondered why he didn’t get off his behind and buy a nice house before the wedding for him and his unlucky bride. Guess he likes living in a basement and having her do all the laundry…

  29. JeffM says:

    Hey… though it isn’t mentioned in the commercial it is certainly a possibility to have poor decisions regarding credit affect your home buying purchasing ability. If one partner has a lot of debt the new couple should and probably would focus on paying down the debt of the partner.

    I married into about $45K of debt ($40K student $5 consumer) – however I had an equal amount of debt ($45K student) so I guess I broke even. I have a house with a yard and a dog- I rent. :P

  30. rockergal says:

    hmm some people just read to much in to a commercial.

  31. mydogboris says:

    Hey Uh Oh… Cleveland… i dont think its ridiculous that he wouldnt have married her if he knew she had horrible credit. It shows a lack responsibility and trust if someone cant manage their money and bills. I would never marry someone with bad credit because they are more likely to be less responsible and dependable. Why do you think companies use credit reports for hiring purposes or for insurance rates? Because people with crappy credit are irresponsible and I dont want to have children with someone like that. You need love and responsibility not just blind love.

  32. mydogboris says:

    MREVIL… you are an idiot. Bad credit can definitely keep you getting a number of jobs. Anything in the computer or information security industry, government, or civil service requires a good credit score. Having bad credit means you are more statistically likely to be susceptible to bribes, kickbacks, or stealing. Good luck working in the food service world.

  33. psyop63b says:

    Their entire business is built upon deliberate brand confusion between freecreditreport and annualcreditreport (the REAL free credit report).

  34. dragon:ONE says:

    @Asvetic:
    You mean this one? ttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1722336471726888417

  35. dragon:ONE says:

    @Dakota Courtois:
    Err… damn copy-paste…
    [video.google.com]

  36. Mary says:

    My husband thought that commercial was kind of amusing until the guy says he wouldn’t marry his wife if he had seen her credit report.

    See, I had lost two jobs in a row and my credit was pretty lame. He had no credit at all (which surprise, IS in fact better than bad credit!) but funny thing, before we got married we talked about our bills and finances and how everything was going to work out. We even went to a financial adviser a few months before walking down the aisle! All in all, both of our credit reports actually skyrocketed after we got married and followed the advice we got. We took two bad credit scores and made really good ones.

    In other words: I hate that commercial. It’s implications are idiotic and stupid. If you’re not going to talk about money openly and honestly before you get married, then you’re stupid.

  37. kJeff says:

    The moral of the commercial is that you should only marry someone with whom you are capable of purchasing status symbols instead of someone that you actually like. And you should do a complete check on their credit first to make sure that you can buy nice expensive things after you get married.

    I have bad credit.
    My partner has bad credit.
    We have a yard and a cat (not a dog person).

  38. Clumber says:

    Ok, now I wholly agree with y’all about these d@mn ads. We hate them too and make fun of them at home whenever they come on.

    HOWEVER: a pox upon the Consumerist for getting these !@$%*@&%ing songs stuck in my head! How does one bleach one’s mind of them?!!! My 6th grade teacher said to sing the alphabet song to oneself to clear a stuck song, but it isn’t working!

    ahhhhhhhhhHH!

  39. balidaplex says:

    i think its funny how offended people get from some cheap credit report advert. i agree with a comment above… IS the lead singer the guy from freaks and geeks?

  40. stardodger says:

    No one held a gun to her head when she married him. But she DID hide her credit past from him before they married. So who loves whom more here? I think she’s huffy because he found out and called her on it.

    Credit law and who’s responsible varies by state. In some states both spouses share debt equally, no matter what. In others, each is their own individual.

    It’s an ad. It does what it’s supposed to do. It has a catchy tune that gets stuck in your head, and you can’t forget “freeee credit re-port dot com”. And the ad isn’t any more underhanded than any car commercial where they spend 2 minutes speeding through the fine print printed in -2pt type at the bottom of the screen.