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 not just pay a one-time charge to get my credit score? If so, how would I do this?

A: Yes. It is possible to purchase your credit score one time for a fee, although it is important to remember that your credit file is constantly changing. This means your credit score is always changing as well. As such, we recommend that consumers check their credit report and credit scores at least once per quarter and more frequently if you are actively shopping for a loan. We also reccomend that you receive your credit reports at the same time as your scores because the information on your credit report is what is used to determine your credit score in the first place.

It is also important to note that there is no one way to calculate a credit score. The FICO score is most commonly used by lenders and is the best score to purchase if you want to get an idea of how lenders view your credit file. 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.