Florida Residents are eligible June 1st, 2005
To obtain a free copy of your credit report, visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also order your report by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228.
A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation's consumer reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to consumer reporting companies.
The amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act was designed to provide consumers who can not or will not pay a fee for the reports to access them for free once a year. The law has been phased in across the United States and on June 1, Florida residents will be eligible to receive their free credit report.
A credit report contains information about a consumer's credit history, including a listing of all credit cards, whether bills have been paid on time, and whether the consumer has been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy. National consumer reporting agencies sell the information to credit card companies and other creditors, insurers, employers and other businesses that use it to determine whether to approve an application for credit, insurance, loans, and employment. A poor credit history can result in rejection of credit or higher interest rates on a loan. There are three nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.
You are eligible for one free report, each year, from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Therefore, it's a good idea to order one report from one the three bureaus every four months so you can monitor all your reports throughout the year.
Reviewing your credit history is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid identity theft. If you find out that someone is using your identity or credit cards without your knowledge, the credit reports may be the first hint they have that there is a problem.
It is important to regularly review all your credit reports for any mistakes. Identity theft is not the only concern. False information that hurts your credit rating can mean the difference of whether you can buy a home, vehicle or sometimes enter into a contract. It is very important to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, especially before making a major purchase.
Be wary of any other sites or unsolicited emails which claim to offer free reports but steer you to sites that offer services by subscription, or for a fee. If you suspect you've received a fraudulent email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address was designed to handle only messages related to suspected email fraud.
Identity Theft, How to Avoid: Did you know that your personal information can be stolen? It's hard to believe, but if you aren't careful with your personal information you may be an easy target for identity theft. Review this brochure to see how you can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft!
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.