Through the FACT Act of 2003, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, every consumer is entitled to receive a free credit report. Because identity theft was becoming such an epidemic, lawmakers sought to do something to help consumers.
Identity theft isn’t like other kinds of theft which are easily detected. Instead, you can go months, even years, without finding out that your identity has been stolen. Many consumers end up finding out their identity has been stolen once they try to apply for a loan or begin getting calls from a debt collector. By that time, a lot of damage has been done.
Since self-monitoring is one of the best ways to detect identity theft early, Congress passed the FACT, allowing consumers to receive a copy of their credit report from the three major credit – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – bureaus each year.
How to Get Your FACT Act Credit Report
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If you order your credit report through either of these methods, it will be mailed to you within 15 days.
You can also order the FACT Act credit report online by visiting annualcreditreport.com or by using this simple link and get a Free Credit Score.
Even though your credit report is furnished by each of the three major credit bureaus, you are not able to contact the bureaus directly to receive the free copy of your credit report provided by the FACT Act. You have to use one of the methods described above.
Note that the credit bureaus, their affiliates, and some other third-parties offer free credit reports as part of a promotion. These free credit reports are not FACT Act free credit reports.
When To Order Your Report
You can order all three of your credit reports at the same time, or you can order them at different times during the year.
An advantage of ordering all three credit reports at the same time is the ability to compare information between the credit bureaus. You can easily see what information is being reported by one bureau that isn’t being reported by the others.
On the other hand, if you order the reports at different times in the year, you’ll have the opportunity to see what information has changed in your report.
If, after ordering your credit report, you find that your report contains inaccurate information, you should contact the credit bureau furnishing the report to dispute the information. The Annual Credit Report Request Service is not able investigate your disputes or remove inaccurate information from your report.
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