Free report for loan declination does not restart clock for FACT Act free report

Dear Experian,

I pulled a credit report because of a declined application. Does that restart the clock for the annual report, or are they separate events?



Dear WLS,

There are two federal laws that provide free credit reports. The free annual report is provided by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) of 2004 which is an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The FCRA was enacted in the early 1970s and provides for a number of other free reports. Since its inception it has allowed consumers to get free reports if they:

  • have had adverse action taken, such as having a credit application declined. However, you can only receive a free report from the credit reporting company that provided the report used by the lender in making the decision.
  • are unemployed and seeking employment
  • receive welfare assistance
  • believe they are a victim of fraud or identity theft

A few states also have laws allowing their residents to obtain one or more free credit reports annually.

Each of those free reports is in addition to the free credit report you can request under the FACT Act. Getting a free report for one issue does not cancel your right to free reports for the other reasons, but they must be requested from different sources.

To obtain your free report under the FACT Act you must go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/.

If you are declined or have other adverse action taken, the lender will provide instructions for requesting a free report from the applicable credit reporting company. If you requested the report from annualcreditreport.com, instead of following these instructions, then your request would be counted as your free annual report.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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