Picking up Nickels

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Anniversary: FREE credit reports

When the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) was enacted in 2003, one of the provisions was that each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) would be required to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months.

This provision was phased in on a state by state basis from December 1, 2004 to September 1, 2005, and today is the one year anniversary of the date that the entire nation was eligible to check their credit report for free. Why not mark the occasion by requesting one or more of your free credit reports today?

As required by FACTA, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion have set up a web site (AnnualCreditReport.com) where consumers can request a free copy of their credit report from all three credit agencies. Please note that AnnualCreditReport.com is the only site authorized by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for this purpose, so be wary of other sites claiming to provide free credit reports.

Now is a great time to do your financial health a favor and give your credit its free annual checkup. While you're at it, check out the identity theft information at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) web site, which I read about in the September 2006 issue of Money Magazine. The site has some good information about what steps to take if you suspect that you are the victim of identity theft.

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