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.
There are a few instances in which consumers can obtain free credit reports. Consumers who have been denied credit within the past 30 days can obtain free reports. The recent amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which go into effect in October 1997, require that the length of time be increased to 60 days. In addition, consumers who are unemployed, who receive welfare, or who are victims of credit fraud will also be able to obtain one free credit report per year when the new law goes into effect.
For more information on credit reporting rights, see the PRC's fact sheet number 6.