Call Don't Click: Why It Is Smarter to Order a Federally Mandated Credit Report Via the Phone Instead of the Internet


new report issued today by Pam Dixon of the World Privacy Forum (www.worldprivacyforum.org) in advance of the March 1 rollout of free credit reports to Midwest residents, shows that consumers may be better off calling or mailing for their federally mandated free credit report instead of going online for it.

Fair and Reasonable Fee for Credit Score Disclosure: Comments to Federal Trade Commission


For years lenders have relied on scoring models to evaluate risk in extending credit to individual consumers for a car loan, mortgage or credit card. Following the lead of states like California and Colorado, Congress amended the FCRA with the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-159, (FACTA), and gave consumers the right to view their score as well as get an explanation of the factors that went into the score.

When consumer interests are factored in, the only fair and reasonable approach is for the Commission to set a fee limited to the actual cost of producing and delivering the score to consumers.

Consumers Can Get Free “Specialty” Consumer Reports Starting December 1, 2004


SAN DIEGO, CA – The arrival of free credit reports on December 1st is getting a lot of attention these days. (www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.htm) But there is another kind of report, called “specialty consumer reports,” that individuals can obtain at no charge beginning on the first of the month. The federal law that requires credit reporting bureaus to provide free reports is the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, also known as FACTA. The law also gives consumers the right to one free report prepared by a “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency” that compiles files on consumers.

Federal Trade Commission Releases Web Site and Phone Number for Free Credit Reports


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.

Consumers in West Coast States Can Get Free Credit Reports Starting December 1, 2004


Beginning December 1, 2004, consumers living in the western U.S. will have the right to order a free copy of their credit report thanks to a new federal law, known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACTA, adopted by Congress in 2003. Consumers elsewhere in the nation will get the same right over the next year as the law is phased in across the country. By requiring credit reporting bureaus to provide free credit reports annually upon request, the new law enables consumers to more readily monitor if they are victims of identity theft or if their credit reports contain errors.

Confusing E-Mail about Opt-Out Number Sends the Wrong Message


An unknown individual has broadcast an electronic mail message that has reached tens of thousands of consumers, confusing them with information that is only half correct.

The message explains, erroneously, that as of July 1, 2003, "the four major credit bureaus in the US will be allowed . to release your credit info, mailing addresses, phone numbers..... to anyone who requests it." This is not correct.

Free Credit Reports to End


The only credit reporting bureau to offer free credit reports to consumers will halt this practice March 1, 1997.

Experian, formerly known as TRW, has been providing free credit reports since 1992. It had expected the other two major credit bureaus, Equifax and Trans Union, to follow suit, but that has not happened. Further, consumer advocates had pushed Congress to mandate free credit reports when it was considering amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 1996. But instead, legislators capped the price at $8 per report.

Federal Reserve Board "Credit Header" Comments


Recent amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, signed into law on September 30, 1996, directed the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board to conduct a study on the availability of sensitive identification information about consumers and the possible use of such information for financial fraud.

The comments provided herein by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse focus on "credit header" information as well as the widespread availability of Social Security numbers.

How did it get on her report?


September 1, 1995

Ellen wanted to apply for credit and decided it would be wise to order her credit report before doing so. She was shocked to find the word "disabled" on the report.

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