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U.S. Free Credit Reports Extended for Consumers with Inflationary Pressures in Sight

Woman pictured counting bills

Recently, the nation’s three largest credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – announced the extension of free credit reports for consumers in the U.S. through the end of 2023. In a joint statement, the companies' CEOs – Mark W. Begor, CEO Equifax; Brian Cassin, CEO Experian; and Chris Cartwright, CEO TransUnion – specifically cited “the rising cost of living in the wake of COVID-19” as a driving force behind the decision.

News reports continue to highlight stubbornly high inflation, a key concern for consumers. Recent data from TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse Survey confirms these concerns, finding that 79 percent of consumers’ ranked inflation among their top three economic worries headed into the fourth quarter. This was followed by fear of a recession (55 percent) and high home prices (39 percent).

Stark generational differences emerged in the data, with younger consumers stating that their finances are actually in a better place than they anticipated, but there is also evidence within the Survey that respondents are taking on new credit – particularly credit cards – to both prepare for a coming recession and address the impact of inflation. Older generations, however, drove a third quarter of waning optimism in the survey, with less than half of Gen X (49 percent) and Baby Boomers (40 percent) expressing optimism about their financial future.

With consumers focused on their economic outlook, Chris Cartwright leaned into the theme of consumer empowerment as part of the World Consumer Credit Reporting Conference. In his video keynote, Cartwright said that “to rise to the challenges of the current market, credit reporting agencies like TransUnion have a crucial role to play. In an economic downturn, we know that consumers want greater insight into their financial picture to make more informed decisions and leverage credit to prepare for uncertainties.”

Credit reports empower consumers to understand how potential lenders evaluate them in the marketplace. If consumers are turning to credit offerings to address inflation concerns or prepare for a possible recession, they can feel more empowered through the use of their free credit report.

If you’re a consumer with questions or issues related to your personal credit report, drivers history report, disputes, fraud, identity theft, credit report freeze or credit monitoring services, please visit our Customer Support Center for assistance.

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