On March 1, Experian Inc. will end its five-year policy of giving a free annual credit report to any consumer requesting one.

Offering the credit reports at no cost, "has been a public service provided by Experian at considerable expense . . . and has become a competitive disadvantage," said Experian chief executive D. Van Skilling.

Experian, formerly part of TRW Inc., is the only credit bureau that does not charge consumers a fee for requesting a credit report once a year. Trans Union Corp. and Equifax Inc. both charge fees, typically $8.

Experian said it, too, will charge about $8 in most states for its reports. Depending on state legislation, the fees may vary.

Since it began the program in April 1992, Experian has distributed about five million complimentary reports.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.