The following post in our Reader Question series is an actual user submitted question. To maintain the integrity of the original question, we do not edit or change reader questions in any way.
Q: Can I get my credit score(s) without signing up for any other services? If so, what would the charge be?
A: Yes, you can get your credit score or scores without signing up for a credit monitoring service, but unlike credit reports, you cannot get your score for free unless you sign up for a credit monitoring service. If you are going to buy your credit score, we recommend buying FICO scores, since those are the type of credit scores more lenders use. You can buy all three of your FICO scores (one from each bureau) directly from myFICO (the company that creates FICO scores) with FICO Credit Complete. The cost is $47.85. This includes not just all three FICO scores, but also all three credit reports, an explanation of each credit score, and the FICO Simulator, which estimates what your FICO score would be if you took different actions such as paying down credit card debt. If you only want to buy one credit score, you can get FICO Standard instead for $15.95. You can pick the bureau you want the score and report from and get all the other features of FICO Credit Complete, but just for the one bureau. Of course, you can still get all three credit scores for free by signing up for a credit monitoring service. Our top pick, Identity Guard Total Protection, gives you a 30-day free trial where you get all three reports and scores for free, in addition to 3-bureau credit monitoring and a laundry list of other features including free internet security software and public record monitoring. You can cancel during the free trial period and you’ll have received the scores for free, or don’t cancel and you’ll pay $14.95 per month for a combination of credit, internet security and identity theft protection services you’d have to pay much, much for anywhere else.