2005 marks the year that consumers will be able to get a free credit report each year. The roll out of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act signed into law by President Bush actually began last December 1. If you didn’t know about it, don’t worry. You haven’t missed the boat. Not everyone is eligible to get their credit report. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is allowing the credit bureau’s to implement the program piecemeal so as not to overload the new credit report system. Millions of consumers are expected to take advantage of the free reports.
Last December, consumers from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming were able to take advantage of the free credit report. Next March, the Midwest will have access to free credit reports. The South has to wait till June, and the East must wait until September 2005.
After your eligible, you can request you free credit report from a web site, by calling a toll free number, or by requesting it in writing. The web site address is AnnualCreditReport.com. This website was created by the credit bureaus. The toll free number is (877)-322-8228, which is also (877)-FTC-HELP if that’s easier to remember. The address to write to is Annual Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA., 30348-5281. You will not be asked to sign up for a trial subscription for a credit monitoring service after requesting your credit report.
Your not limited to one free credit report a year. You can request three – one from each of the credit bureaus: Exper an (http://www.experian.com), Equifax Inc. (http://www.equifax.com), and Trans Union LLC (http://www.tuc.com). It’s a good idea to request a credit report from one of the credit bureau’s every four months to monitor the activity related to your credit. You do not have to request three credit reports at the same time.
Errors on credit reports can cost you plenty of money. You need to make sure your credit report is accurate before submitting a mortgage application, buying a car on credit, or even requesting a credit card. Take advantage of the free credit reports to protect your most important financial asset – your credit.