you know what? nuts to Ben Stein for being the first person i can recall meeting the celebrity threshold who is hawking "free" credit scores to the dumb public.
i saw his TV ad yesterday - just another in a long line of various companies purporting to give the consumer free copies of their credit scores and/or reports only to have them enrolled in one of those automatically deducted monthly fee programs for 'monitoring services' and such.
technically that's all fine and good by capitalistic standards - money exchanged for services, even if the exchange is set up on the sly - but where Stein should really feel shame is that he is perpetuating the trend of obscuring the fact that every citizen in the country is guaranteed by federal law to be given free copies of their credit reports (with no strings attached) once a year through annualcreditreport.com, the website set up by the three credit agencies to satisfy government legislation requirements.
FTC website FAQ on federally mandated free reports
sure i don't like those annoying freecreditreport.com musicians either for doing the same thing, but at least with them i get the feeling that they're motivated by desperate financial need - to me it's feasible that they are actually living out an existence in the same squalid conditions as depicted in their commercials.
if Ben Stein is doing it out of desperate financial need then he must as good with managing his money as your typical straight-out-of-high-school pro athlete. Mr. Stein, i say 'good day' to you sir!