Free credit reports under FCRA and FACT Act

Dear Experian,

If you have been denied credit recently are you entitled to a credit report if it has been less than one year since you received a free report?



Dear MML,

You can get a free copy of your credit report from Experian any time you have adverse action taken as a result of information in the Experian report. That right is part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It does not affect your right to a free credit report once every 12 months under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act).

The FCRA and the FACT Act are the two federal laws that govern credit reporting. To be completely accurate, the FACT Act amended the FCRA and is best known for allowing you to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the national credit reporting companies once every 12 months.

That free report, available at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/, is in addition to the free reports you may qualify for under the FCRA.

The FCRA allows you to get a free report:

  • If you have had adverse action taken, such as having your application declined. However, you can only get a report from the company that provided the report used by the lender in making its decision.
  • If you are a fraud victim or have reason to believe you may be a fraud victim
  • If you are unemployed and seeking employment
  • If you are receiving welfare assistance

Some states also allow their residents to get one or more free reports each year in addition to the free report under the FACT Act.

Any of the free credit reports described above, except the FACT Act free annual credit report, must be requested directly from the credit reporting companies. To request your Experian reports, visit http://www.experian.com/reportaccess.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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