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Free Annual Credit Reports Required by Law

Starting today, consumers in some states will become eligible for a free annual credit reports under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Wisconsinites, however, won't be eligible until March 1, 2005.

According to a release from the FTC:

FACTA, which was enacted on December 4, 2003, amends the FCRA and requires, among other things, that the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union – provide to consumers, upon request, a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months.

Consumers will become eligible on the following schedule: Western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) will become eligible on December 1, 2004; Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) will become eligible on March 1, 2005; Southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas ) will become eligible on June 1, 2005; and Eastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia), Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories will become eligible on September 1, 2005.