AVAILABLE TO IOWANS BEGINNING MARCH 1, 2005
Iowa consumers are among 12 midwestern states
eligible March 1, 2005 to obtain a free annual credit report under
the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Amendments to
the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) require each of the
nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRA) to provide consumers
with a free copy of their credit report at the consumer's request,
once every 12 months. The three largest credit repositories, Transunion,
Experian, and Equifax, have developed a centralized single contact
system that consumers can use to order a report from one, two, or
all three bureaus. The reports may be ordered three different ways:
1) Online at
Consumers using the online method are asked to enter basic information
including name, current address, previous address (if at current
address less than two years), date of birth and social security
number. They then have the opportunity to order reports from one,
two or all three of the credit reporting agencies. If a consumer
chooses to order a report from each of the CRAs, each report is
ordered separately. The consumer is asked a series of questions
relating to previous employment, residence, installment or open
credit accounts to verify identity before the report is furnished.
Consumers are also given the opportunity to order their credit score.
While the reports are free to consumers, the CRAs are allowed to
charge a nominal fee for the credit score. Reports are then delivered
online and consumers can access the reports for 30 days following
date of order.
2) Via phone at 1-877-322-8228. Consumers
will go through a simple verification process over the phone and
reports are mailed directly to the consumer.
3) By mail. Consumers fill out the request
form located at
and mailing it to:
Annual Credit Report Request
P.O. Box 15281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Requests are processed within 15 days and
mailed back to the consumer. Note: Adobe Acrobat Reader must be
installed to view and print the PDF.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's
consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, Your Access
To Free Credit Reports, explaining consumer rights and how to order
a free annual credit report which is also available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/credit/ycr