The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it is lowering from $11 to $10.50 the maximum amount that consumer reporting agencies are allowed to charge consumers for an extra copy of their credit report. The Commission announced the reduction in the amount from 2009 to 2010 under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires the FTC each year to revise the cap originally set by statute based on the change in the Consumer Price Index. The fee is rounded to the nearest .50 cents. During this time of economic distress, the FTC reminds consumers that this charge does not apply to the first free copy of their credit report that consumers are entitled to request from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies--Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion--once every 12 months through www.annualcreditreport.com. For details, see “Your Access to Free Credit Reports” at ftc.gov/credit. Consumers are also entitled to a free report when a company takes adverse action against them (such as denying an application for credit, insurance, or employment) within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. In addition, consumers are entitled to one free report a year if they are unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; they are on welfare; or their report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. The $10.50 charge applies when a consumer who has received a free annual credit report does not otherwise qualify for an additional free report. For more information, visit www.ftc.gov.
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