Here's how to get a free credit report annually!

The Fair Credit Report Act requires that each of the top nationwide credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) provide consumers with one free credit report annually. Illinois residents can take advantage of this as of March 1. For more information, visit or call toll-free 877-322-8228. In related news, identity theft is a growing concern nationwide. Below is an excerpt from security expert Robert Siciliano's article "15 Ways to Prevent Identity Theft" in the Illinois REALTOR magazine online archives.

  • Check credit reports at least semiannually
  • Lock your mailbox
  • Shred all throwaway documents
  • Secure all legal documents and account numbers; tax documents, cancelled checks
  • Destroy pre-approved credit card offers
  • Place mail in secure outgoing mailboxes or at the post office

(The above information was provided to Ellen Silverman at RE/MAX in a 2/05 email from an Illinois Association of Realtors "Weekly Connection" notice.)