President Bush has signed a bill making it easier for consumers to get credit -- while also protecting against identity theft.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act sets a national credit reporting standard to make it easier for people to get credit cards, loans and mortgages.
It also provides new protections against identity theft, including free credit reports and a national fraud-alert system to minimize damage once a theft has occurred.
The problem of identity theft has been skyrocketing. The Federal Trade Commission says almost ten million people were victimized last year.
The bill requires businesses to black out Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and debit card numbers on receipts. It also requires the coding of medical information on credit reports.
Consumers will also have to make only one call if they have a problem, since the bill requires credit bureaus to share consumer calls on identity theft.