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The FTC lowers credit report price to $10.50

By: Ellen Lawson
Published January 23, 2010

In December, the Federal Trade Commission announced a price decrease in the maximum amount that the consumer reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and Trans Union may charge consumers for additional copies of their credit file disclosures (credit reports).  The price was reduced to $10.50 per copy down from $11.  The Commission announced the price change pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires the FTC to revise the price cap annually based on the Consumer Price Index.  The fee is rounded to the nearest 50 cents.

Under Federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) authorizes consumers to receive a free annual credit report from each of the national credit reporting agencies yearly.  Additional copies of your credit report after your free disclosure may be subject to the $10.50 fee discussed above depending on circumstances.

 To get your free annual credit report, consumers should visit the web site designated by the FTC at  After passing online authentication of your identity, successful applicants may view their credit reports online.  If your identity cannot be verified online, consumers may be required to mail in more information to get their free annual credit report.

The phone number for is 1-877-322-8228.  Persons interested in receiving their reports through US Mail may do so by ordering them at this telephone number.  Reports will generally be mailed within 15 days.

Consumers are warned that many sites on the web offer “free credit reports” that are only available as part of enrolling in a credit monitoring service or other credit-related service.  After ordering such a “free” report, consumers are charged a fee for the credit monitoring after the free trial period expires.  To avoid being charged, the consumer must generally cancel the service within the specified free trial period.

Your consumer credit report is the personal history of what an individual borrows, and how the loans and credit are repaid.  It includes information on your timely payments as well as late payments, and may include bankruptcy information if applicable.  The information on the consumer’s credit report is used by credit card companies and banks to assess the credit-worthiness of an applicant for a loan or other credit.  It goes without saying that paying your credit obligations as they are due is essential if you expect to maintain good credit. 

We recommend that consumers check their credit report at least yearly to ensure that it is accurate.  For your free credit report, go to www.annualcreditreport.