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Free Credit Reports

Reviewing your credit report is an important step in taking charge of your financial health. Thankfully, it's about to become much easier for a lot of folks to do just that. As a result of the FTC's ruling under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, everyone is entitled, once every 12 months, to a free copy of his or her credit reports. Residents of Kentucky will be eligible for this service beginning June 1, 2005.

The FACT Act has required the three credit reporting agencies to establish a centralized source – AnnualCreditReport.com – from which consumers can request their free reports. Be aware that any credit reports you request from the credit reporting agencies directly, or any other source, may require a fee. Even companies that advertise "free" reports are often using the reports as lures to pull consumers into additional for-fee services that you may not want or need. AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY federally-mandated source for obtaining the free credit information.

Also, note that the reports will not automatically be sent out. Requests may be made online, by calling a toll-free telephone number, or by mail. Here is the contact information:

Online:
AnnualCreditReport.com [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.]

By Phone:
Toll-free (877) 322-8228

By Mail:
Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.] [PDF - 110KB] and send it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281.

Finally, be careful about disclosing your personal information. If you choose to order your reports online, make sure you are on a secure website when you are entering your information. Also, you can – and should – request that only the last four digits of your social security number appear on the reports when they are mailed to you. This can help protect you from identity theft should your mail end up in the wrong hands.

Contact the reporting agencies directly, fees may be charged. Equifax [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.], TransUnion [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.] and Experían [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain.].

 

Last Updated 7/30/2009
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