The three nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – today announced the Web address, toll-free telephone number, and postal address consumers can use to request a free annual credit report. Beginning December 1, 2004, consumers in 13 Western states will be able to begin making requests by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, calling 877-322-8228, or mailing a standardized form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The 13 eligible states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Free annual reports will be phased in across the country from west to east over a nine-month period. After September 1, 2005, all U.S. consumers will be eligible to request a free report. Annualcreditreport.com is the only authorized source for consumers to access their credit reports online for free.
To inform consumers about their state’s eligibility and help answer questions they may have about the consumer reporting companies’ new service, the Federal Trade Commission has published a new Facts for Consumers brochure, “Your Access to Free Credit Reports.” The alert explains why it is important for consumers to monitor their credit history, how to request a report and how to dispute any errors.
The FTC’s alert is available at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm. For more information, visit www.ftc.gov/credit.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.