Today is the first day that people in the Midwest [including Ohio!] can take advantage of The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. You can now get a free credit report on yourself once a year. Just make sure you print it out right away, at least from Equifax. They only give you once chance to do it and the site doesn’t have the best usability.
Consumers in the Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) can order their free reports beginning March 1, 2005.
Consumers in the Southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) can order their free reports beginning June 1, 2005.
Consumers in the Eastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories can order their free reports beginning September 1, 2005.
Most importantly two things:
The Federal Trade Commission and the three bureaus have set up one website and one hotline to call: http://www.annualcreditreport.com & 877–322-8228.
http://www.annualcreditreport.com is the only Web site from which consumers are legally entitled to receive a free annual credit report. If you go to Equifax’s, Experian’s, or TransUnion’s website, they can and will charge you.Your “credit score” in not included in this legislation, and if you want that you will have to pay the bureaus for it.
More information can be found here:
FTC Press Release: Free Credit Report Rollout Begins Wednesday
Facts for Consumers: Your Access to Free Credit Reports [PDF]