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Free credit report program extends to Eastern states on Sept. 1

WASHINGTON — As of Thursday, people from coast to coast were able to request free credit reports through a government-mandated program.

Overseen by the Federal Trade Commission, the program has been phased in across the country, beginning last December in 13 Western states, including Utah. The rollout then moved to the Midwest, South and, on Thursday, it extended to 14 Eastern states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all U.S. territories.

The program allows consumers to request a free credit report each year from any of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax Inc., Experian Information Solutions and TransUnion.

The free reports were mandated by Congress as part of consumer privacy legislation. They are intended to help consumers looking to buy homes or apply for loans or those worried about identity theft.

The last 14 states the program included on Thursday were: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.