The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each major credit reporting company to provide you access to a free copy of your credit report one time every 12 months.  The three companies required to provide this service are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  You can order your free reports online, by phone or by regular mail.  You can confirm this and get more consumer information at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website

Online
If you want to order your free annual credit reports online, there is only one authorized website: AnnualCreditReport.com.  The AnnualCreditReport.com website was created by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to fulfill their obligations to the consumer.  They have done a pretty good job in making the process painless and giving the consumer a central place to request each of their credit reports.  Best of all, you get your report instantly and can print it out.

By Phone
To request a credit report by phone, call (877) 322-8228.   There is a verification process over the phone and your credit reports will be mailed within 15 days. 

By Mail
Download a request form.  Print out the request form.  Mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Your reports will be mailed within 15 days.
 
When trying to get your free reports, do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually.  According to the FTC website, the only way to get your free annual credit reports is one of the three options listed above.

If you are looking to get a credit report or credit score directly from one of the reporting companies, please see the services featured at http://www.moneycafe.com/creditreports/.   Here you will find credit reports and scores, as well as credit monitoring and identity theft protection services from most major providers.