Yes, you have a right to receive an absolutely free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies in the United States. Your right to receive an absolutely free credit report is a federal public law, precisely, public law 108-159. The law that made an absolutely free credit report for consumers a right was passed by The 108th Congress on December 5, 2005. It is entitled the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACT) of 2005.
The Act amended an earlier credit report law entitled the Fair Credit Reporting Act. FACT amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act to include a provision for an absolutely free credit report. In Title II of FACT, (IMPROVEMENTS IN USE OF AND CONSUMER ACCESS TO CREDIT INFORMATION), under section 211, which is entitled “Free Consumer Reports”, all credit reporting agencies are required to give consumers their credit reports once during a 12 month period “upon the request of the consumer without charge to the consumer”. This law reversed the practice of credit reporting agencies to charge consumers for their own credit report.
FACT goes on in Title II to state that the consumer may get an absolutely free credit report only if the consumer makes that request from a centralized source that a government commission would oversee in its development. At minimum, credit reporting agencies are required to provide a toll free number consumers may call to make their request. It also states that credit reporting agencies have 15 days in which to provide the absolutely free credit report to the consumer after the consumer has made the request.
FACT also states that consumers may also request a reinvestigation of the details of their credit report after they receive it and that credit reporting agencies must complete that investigation within 45 days after a request for reinvestigation. This assures that consumers may use the absolutely free credit report after they receive the results of the reinvestigation.
The three credit reporting agencies in the U.S., Equifacts, Experian, and Transunion, together formed a centralized source that consumers can use to request their credit report as required by FACT. You can call their toll free number, which is 877-322-8228, to make your request. Alternatively, you can mail your request to the Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. You can also apply for it online and receive it online at the Annual Request Service’s website at www.annualcreditreport.com. Thanks to FACT, an absolutely free credit report is now at hand.