San Diego, CA -- Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released information about the phone number, web site and mail-in form that consumers can use to order their free annual credit reports. Free annual credit reports will be rolled out starting on the West Coast beginning December 1, 2004, and ending in September 2005 on the East Coast. Those in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming can order their free credit reports beginning December 1, 2004 or after by going to www.annualcreditreport.com or by downloading the Annual Credit Report Request form to mail in their request. Consumers can also call the toll-free number for ordering free annual credit reports at 877-322-8228.
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC) notes that consumers are not required to order all three credit reports at the same time. Instead consumers can stagger free reports over the course of a year by ordering one report every four months.
The PRC warns individuals to be wary of fee-based services like credit monitoring and credit scores that the 3 credit bureaus are likely to offer along with the federally-mandated free credit reports. “Don’t be tempted to spend money on services you’re likely to not need,” says PRC Director Beth Givens.
For more information about the rollout of free credit reports on the West Coast and other states and how to correct errors on ones credit report, see the PRC's Fact Sheet 6, How Private is My Credit Report? at www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs6-crdt.htm.
For additional information, see the FTC’s Facts for Consumers at www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.htm.