Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action.
The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
Otherwise, a consumer reporting company will probably charge you a fee for another copy of your report within a 12-month period. To buy a copy of your credit report, if you've already taken advantage of your free annual request, contact:
• Equifax: 800-685-1111; www.equifax.com
• Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742); www.experian.com
• TransUnion: 800-916-8800; www.transunion.com
Under state law, consumers in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont have free access to their credit reports.Thus, they are able to request a free copy of their credit report under state law in addition to the free copy available under federal law. In this case, they should contact the credit reporting agencies directly and not use the federal credit report request process.
We would like your feedback on this Personal Finance Frequently Asked Question.