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Fact ACT

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act

President George W. Bush signed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) on December 4, 2003, amending certain provisions of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The FACT Act requires each of the three nationwide consumer-reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and Trans Union) to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report as often as once every twelve months. A consumer can request their credit reports in one of three ways – online, by phone or by mail.

To request a copy of your credit report, please contact the centralized processing center for the three credit bureaus at (877) 322-8228 or online at:


As a public service, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared the following complete text of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. Although staff generally followed the format of the U.S. Code as published by the Government Printing Office, the format of this text does differ in minor ways from the Code (and from West’s U.S. Code Annotated). For example, this version uses FCRA section numbers (§§ 601-625) in the headings. (The relevant U.S. Code citation is included with each section heading and each reference to the FCRA in the text.) Although the staff has made every effort to transcribe the statutory material accurately, this compendium is intended only as a convenience for the public and not a substitute for the text in the U. S. Code. This document was posted on July 30, 2004.

This version of the FCRA includes the amendments to the FCRA set forth in the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-208, the Omnibus Consolidated Appro-Priations Act for Fiscal Year 1997, Title II, Subtitle D, Chapter 1), Section 311 of the Intelligence Authorization for Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-107), the Consumer Reporting Employment Clarification Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-347), Section 506 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Public Law 106-102), Sections 358(g) and 505(c) of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) (Public Law 107-56), and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) (Public Law 108-159).

The provisions added to the FCRA by the FACT Act will become effective at different times. In some cases, the provision includes its own effective date. In other cases, the FACT Act provides that the effective dates be prescribed by the FTC and Federal Reserve Board. See 16 CFR Part 602.(69 Fed. Reg. 6526; February 11, 2004) (69 Fed. Reg. 29061; May 20, 2004).

Additional Sources of Information Regarding the FACT Act

Click on the links below to read more about this new law.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (full text):
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.pdf

White House Fact Sheet: President Bush Signs the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003:
Official News Release

Several sources for FCRA information can be found here:

The notices prescribed by the FTC for consumers, users and information furnishers can be found here:


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