"Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) gives consumers a free credit report annually, but consumers won't be able to get them until late in 2004"

San Diego, CA - Even though Congress passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act in 2003, some of the new provisions, including those free annual credit reports, may not take effect until 2005 or beyond. The reason why is the law requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to complete its rule making process before all of the new tools are available to consumers.

According to the FTC, once they draft the rules, procedures and mechanisms to deliver the free credit reports, then they are put out for a public comment period of 90 days. Once that aspect is complete the FTC will draft its final rules and regulations and set an effective date. Until that time, consumers will have to continue to use the methods established under the former Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to obtain credit reports. They include:

Using either an 800 telephone number or the Internet to order a credit report. Depending on the state where you reside, the cost of the reports range from free to $9. Credit reports are FREE under the following conditions:

1) If someone has been denied credit, insurance, an apartment or employment because of information supplied by a Credit Reporting Agency (CRA).

2) If a consumer certifies in writing that they're unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days.

3) If a consumer certifies in writing that they're on welfare.

4) If one s report is inaccurate because of fraud.

To order credit report(s) call, write or email each of the three major CRAs.

Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; (800) 685-1111. (www.equifax.com)

Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013; (888-397-3742). (www.experian.com)

Trans Union, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022; (800) 916-8800. (www.transunion.com)

For help correcting credit file mistakes and free information about the credit file correction process, please visit: www.icfe.info.

To receive the same information by mail, please send $1 and a self-addressed, 60 cent stamped envelope to: ICFE, Credit File Mistakes, PO Box 34070 San Diego, CA 92163-4070..