What’s The Catch?: “Free Access to Credit Scores”

Nov 19, 2014
Credit Scores, Activity, Lesson Idea, Current Events

Here’s a fun activity for students that will teach them to be more savvy consumers when they see offers touting “free.”

  1. Have students google “free access to credit scores” and click on a 3-4 of the Google ads that appear atop and on the right hand side of the search page.
  2. Ask them to write down the websites they visit and to identify what the catch is for this specific offer.  Are the companies really offering “free access to credit scores?”
  3. Have them read this article about one company (which is still advertising on Google when you search for free credit scores) that received a $22 million fine from the FTC.
  4. Ask students to reflect on how they might avoid scams like this.


Check out our NGPF lesson on Scams, Fraud and Identity Theft.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.