An amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, established the free credit report program. The program requires the three national credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, to provide consumers, upon request, with a free copy of their credit report every 12 months.
The free reports are available only through the central site set up by the three major reporting agencies. To obtain the free reports, consumers can:
- Call 1-877-322-8228
- Order online at www.annualcreditreport.com (NOTE: Choose your state and then click the RED "Request Report" button.)
- Complete the Annual Credit Report Request form, available at www.ftc.gov/credit and mail to Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
In order to receive the free report, consumers must use one of the above methods. If consumers contact the credit reporting companies directly they will still be charged for their credit reports. Consumer may order these reports from each of the reporting agencies at the same time, or stagger the requests throughout the year. Staggering the requests throughout the year would allow for a continual watch of the credit history and provide further protection from incidences of identity theft.
If you need any additional information contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.