According to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) enacted 2003, you must be informed whenever the information in your credit report or any other consumer report information is used against you (e.g. deny your application for credit, loan, insurance or even a job).
The company or entity that used your information against you must inform you of this, and provide you the name, address and phone number of the agency that provided the information.
In any such event you have the right to ask and get a free credit report in addition to any other free credit reports you’re entitled to by the law.
Here is a summary list of all the cases that entitle you to an additional totally free credit report:
- You had an application denied because of information in your credit report. This includes credit, insurance, and employment applications. The company or entity that declined your application will send you a notice (adverse action notice) that includes contact information for the credit bureau who provided the report used in making the decision.
- You are on welfare.
- You are unemployed and intend to begin looking for a job within 60 days.
- You are a victim of identity theft or fraud and believe that some of the information on your credit report is inaccurate.
You have 60 days from the date you learn of the denial to ask for a copy of your credit report from the credit bureau that provided it.
If any of these situations apply to you, you can request additional free credit bureau report by:
- Using the contact information included in your adverse notice.
- Calling any of the 3 major credit bureaus directly (see below).
8 States with Free Credit Report Laws
Residents of 8 states – Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Vermont – have a right to a free credit report each year, in addition to any other free credit report they’re entitled to (including the free annual 3-in-1 credit report)
Some of these states also impose discounted credit reports, as follows:
- Colorado – one free per calendar year, then $8
- Georgia – always free
- Maine – one free per 12 months, then $5
- Maryland – one free per 12 months, then $5
- Massachusetts – one free per calendar year, then $8
- New Jersey – one free per 12 months, then $8
- Puerto Rico – always free
- Vermont – one free per 12 months, then $7.50
States with Discounted Credit Report
The following states have reduced prices for credit reports:
- California – $8
- Connecticut – $5 for the first report, then $7.50
- Minnesota – $3
- Montana – $8.50
- Virgin Islands – $1
- www.equifax.com or call 800-685-1111
- www.experian.com or call 1-866-200-6020 / 1-888-397-3742
- www.transunion.com or call 1-866-916-8800