Free Credit Reports Available

December 1, 2003-- Posted at 10:47 p.m. CST

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Consumers thirteen western states now qualify for free credit reports each year from the three major credit bureaus. The program is part of a law passed by Congress last year, and it's to be phased in across the country over the next year. Arkansas residents will be eligible in six months.

Consumer advocates say it will allow Americans to check their credit records for errors that could get them turned down for loans or cause them to receive high interest rates. It will also be easier for them to look out for identity theft.

You can request a free credit report on the web at, a new site set up by the credit reporting companies. There's also a toll-free phone number, 1-877-322-8228.