Un-free Annual Credit Report

The way it's supposed to work is like this: Each of the three main credit reporting agencies (CRA's) has to send you--the consumer--a free copy of your credit report every year. You can download an Annual Credit Report Request Form at http://www.ftc.gov/. Mail the form to PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 and "Your request will be processed within 15 days of receipt and then mailed to you."

For years, I fought with these behemoths to get them to comply with the law. Finally, after being turned down for a job, I got my credit reports from two of the CRA's, and found out they had "errors." Another 6-9 months, and I got them to remove the errors, but not before I got passed over for that job.  This employer had pulled my credit report--the one reporting that I had a judgment against me that the judge had already vacated--years ago-- a judgment that the collection agency had voluntarily dismissed with prejudice. My credit reports listed debts I'd paid off years ago.

Don't believe everything you hear--and only half of what you read. Who said that?         

There's one holdout. Trans Union of Chester, Transylvania, --oops, I meant Pennsylvania.

Every year, for the past five, I've ordered a copy of my free annual credit report from each of the BIG THREE. And every one of those years Trans Union has sent me back a letter asking for two forms of ID from their list:
"Drivers License, State ID Card, Bank or Credit Union Statement, Cancelled Check, Government Issued ID Card, Signed Letter From Homelesss Shelter, Stamped Post Office Box Receipt, Utility Bills(Water, Gas, Electric, or Telephone), Pay Stub."

So I sent Trans Union two forms of ID from their approved list, and they sent me back another letter saying this..."Re: Proof of Address Unacceptable Reason #3/2 
Reason #2 One or more of the documents provided was illegible.
Reason #3 one or more of the documents provided was not a qualifying document. Read the list below."
O - Kay.

Once again I sent them two forms of ID from their list. This time I enlarged the ID's on the copy machine so they would be EXTREMELY legible, even though they were legible the first time I sent them to Trans Union. I sent the two forms of ID from their list on 1/19/2011. I'm still waiting. for my free annual credit report...the one that is supposed to be sent in 15 days.

You can order your free annual credit reports by phone, snail mail, or via the website. So they say. Link to annualcreditreport.com from ftc.gov to avoid being misdirected to a fake website.

Be aware: if you get "timed out" before you've read your entire credit report online, or before you've printed it, you will be considered to have "received" your free annual credit report and you won't get another one for a year---or in my case, 2 years.

Yep, we the consumers have rights. It is written in the laws of the land.

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