Q:  Why is it that if a person goes to a free credit score site, they want your credit card number and say they will charge $14.95 per month to monitor the credit score? I just want to check my credit score once in a while. I don’t want to pay the money each month.

A: Good question.  I think you need to distinguish offers that provide a free trial (where you can get your credit reports and scores for free) from offers that require you to pay up front.  NextAdvisor.com features several free trials of credit monitoring services that provide your credit scores and reports.  These free trials do require you to provide your credit card information.  However, if you cancel during the trial period you won’t be billed at all (so it’s free) and your credit reports and scores are yours to keep.  We really like Identity Guard and Trusted ID, two top-rated services that offer a free trial and provide 3-bureau credit reports and scores along with a bunch of other goodies.

Although I can certainly understand your wish to check your credit scores occasionally, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that your credit reports can change at any time.   We advise subscribing to a credit report monitoring service so that you are aware and informed of any changes to your reports.  The worst type of change would be identity theft, and if you only check your credit information a couple of times a year you may not be aware if someone steals your identity.