Most of us know that the Fair Credit Report Act says each consumer is entitled to a free copy of their credit report every year from each of the 3 major reporting bureaus: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. However, what most people don't know is that the Act lists many conditions that would allow someone to obtain a second free report during the year.
Clark Howard's website lists these conditions for a second free credit report:
- You applied for a loan and were turned down. You can request a free credit report by writing the correct credit bureau within 30 days of your rejection. Enclose a copy of the declined loan application with your request.
- You're unemployed and planning to apply for jobs in the next 60 days.
- You're receiving public assistance.
- You believe your credit file contains mistakes due to fraud.
- You currently reside in a state that offers an annual free credit report from each credit reporting agency by state law. Residents of the following seven states are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three main credit agencies per federal law and one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three main credit agencies.
You can get the full story about getting a second free credit report at Clark Howard's website.
From the Federal Trade Commission's website:
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. 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.
A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.
Here are the details about your rights under the FCRA and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, which established the free annual credit report program.
Q: How do I order my free report?
A: The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.
To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form is on the back of this brochure; or you can print it from ftc.gov/credit. Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time. The law allows you to order one free copy of your report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies every 12 months.
You can get the full FTC article here.