Free Credit Reports: Get Yours Today!
By Matthew C.
Have you received free
copies of your credit reports yet? Or, did you pay for them? Watch out as the
FTC has authorized only one web site, one phone number, and one mailing
address to provide copies of your free credit report to you.
have seen the ads telling you where you can get copies of your consumer
credit reports for free. Read the fine print and you will see that there is
some sort of catch with these ads that will ultimately cost you money. You
don’t need to pay for your reports no matter what someone else says. Let’s
take a look at how you can really and truly get copies of your credit
reports for free.
Thanks to an amendment made to the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 2003,
Congress authorized the Federal Trade Commission to mandate that copies of
your credit report be made available to you for free. Previously, in order
to secure your report, you would have had to pay a fee. As of September
2005, residents of all fifty states are now eligible to obtain a free copy
of their credit report from Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax once per
So, why were the reports made available at no charge to consumers? Well,
even though all three companies operate independently from the government,
combined they carry so much weight in determining your credit standing – and
your very livelihood – that a decision was made that everyone should have
access to their personal reports on demand. Furthermore, since a significant
number of these reports have been determined to contain errors, consumer
advocates insisted that you shouldn’t have to pay to correct someone else’s
mistakes. Enter the Fair Credit Reporting Act as amended in 2003.
There are several ways you can order your free credit reports, but there
is only one web site that will give you your reports for free:
www.annualcreditreport.com. Again, only
this one site acts on behalf of Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union to give
you your reports to you for free.
You can also call the following toll free number to order your free
If you wish, you can place your request in writing after downloading and
filling out a form found online at
<b>If you choose this method, you will need to mail the form to:</b>
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
For more information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Federal
Trade Commission, please visit the following site:
When ordering your reports you can also request your FICO score. Unlike your
free credit report, you will pay a small fee – typically between $5 and $7 –
to get your score. If you elect to learn your score you can use a credit card
to pay for your transaction. The three national credit reporting bureaus may
also attempt to sell other services to you while you are checking off the
information for your free credit report. These services include alerts, but
you probably won’t need them. If you select some of the other offers, you will
be charged for the service, so be careful what you pick.
The Article Writer
who writes on a variety of social, human interest, as well as business
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