Did you know there was a Federal law passed called Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) on December 4, 2003 that allows you to receive your credit report once a year for free? Well there was and you can get it online instantly to view and/or print. While the law hasn't rolled out to all states yet (I have no idea why this is) it went into effect December 1, 2004 for Western States and March 1, 2005 for Midwest states.
For those in Southern states it goes into effect June 1, 2005.
For you poor saps in the Eastern states you'll have to wait until September 1, 2005.
You are allowed to get your credit report from all three of the major credit reporting agencies -- Experion, Equifax and Trans Union -- one time a year and you aren't required to get them all at the same time. You can get a report from one agency now and a report from another agency a few months from now.
To get your free credit report head over to AnnualCreditReport.com -- and tell them Digger sent you. Ok, I doubt they'll let you tell them I sent you, but I figured I'd try.
I've checked out all 3 now and it works great. Equifax is the best overall in my opinion. Experion goes more in depth on where you've lived and aliases you've used. Trans Union seems completely worthless in my opinion. Most of them allow you to create an account that lets you log back in and view you report at anytime for up to 30 days. The online interface for viewing the reports is very intuitive and the print out is pretty damn sweet as well.
They also give you information on how to dispute things in your report instantly online. They give you the option to receive your FICO score also, but they charge a few dollars for that and I didn't feel the need, so you'll have to try that out on your own.
For more information on FACTA see the press release on the FTC website entitled "FTC Issues Final Rule on Free Annual Credit Reports" from June 4, 2004.
If you run a website and would like to link to AnnualCreditReport.com make sure you read their FAQ question on the way to properly link to their website.
This entry originally posted on March 18, 2005.