Free Credit Reports Available -- Depending Upon the State
by Mary Beth Guard
Consumers who live in any one of the following thirteen states may request a free annual credit report beginning December 1, 2004:
- New Mexico
Under the FACT Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is amended to require the three nationwide credit reporting agencies to provide consumers, upon request, a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months. The free report requirements is being phased in across the country from west to east over a nin-month period beginning December 1, 2004. The subsequent rollouts are as follows:
- Beginning March 1, 2005: Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin);
- Beginning June 1, 2005: Southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas); and
- Beginning September 1, 2005: Eastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia), Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories.
The report may be requested by phone, mail, or over the Internet. Those who utilize the Web will be able to obtain their free credit report online.
The address for making Web-based requests is: www.annualcreditreport.com.
There is a new consumer education brochure that explains about consumer rights to obtain the free credit reports. You can download the brochure from the following address: www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.htm
First published on 12/01/2004