Your credit score is an important part of your financial health. The number is a snapshot of your credit health at a specific point in time. Checking your credit score is important for getting your credit in the best shape possible.

If you’re actively working to improve your credit score, you might check your score more often to see how you’re progressing. People who are simply working to maintain a good credit score, may just check in periodically to be sure their rating hasn’t dropped. And if you’re applying for a major loan soon, checking your credit score will help you gauge whether you’ll get approved and the rate you can expect to get approved for.

Now matter how frequently or infrequently you choose to check your credit score, there are lots of ways to easily access your credit score – even for free.

Buy It

You can purchase your credit score from several places. The credit bureaus, myFICO.com, and from VantageScore.com. Prices start around $7 for one credit score and increase if you purchase additional scores or if you want a credit report along with your credit score.

Here are links to each of the credit bureau’s product pages.

Sign Up for a Free Credit Score Service

There are dozens of websites that offer truly free credit scores – not the credit scores that require you to sign up for a trial subscription.

Credit Karma is one of the most popular free credit score sites with a wide range of other services. You can check your credit scores based on your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports directly at the website – CreditKarma.com – or via the mobile app available for download on Google Play and in the App Store. Your credit score from Credit Karma is always accessible and updates as often daily.

Credit Sesame is another free service that offers credit scores, monitoring, and other analysis tools to help you keep a good eye on your credit score. Credit Sesame, which offers credit tools based on your TransUnion credit report information, also offer identity theft protection and many helpful, informative articles. Similar to Credit Karma, Credit Sesame is also available as a mobile app in the App Store and on Google Play and via the website CreditSesame.com. Your free credit score from Credit Sesame updates weekly.

Quizzle.com is free resource brought to you by TransUnion that you can use to receive your credit report and VantageScore credit score. You can get two free credit scores each year through Quizzle.

LendingTree.com offers the opportunity to receive your VantageScore for free once per month. Additionally, Lending Tree offers credit monitoring, informational articles, and email alerts for how you can maximize your savings and improve your credit.

Credit.com’s free credit score service comes with additional tools and action plans to help you improve your credit so you can reach your longer-term goals.

Discover Scorecard shows your Experian-based FICO score and is completely free for all consumers. So far, this is the only service to provide a free FICO score to consumers. FICO is one of the most widely-used credit scores by lenders and credit card issuers. Your FICO score will be updated on the dashboard every 30 days and your credit isn’t affected by checking your score through the Scorecard.

Check Your Credit Card Statement

FICO’s Open Access program allows credit card issuers to make credit scores available to their cardholders. Discover and Barclaycards were two of the first companies to participate. First National Bank of Omaha is also a participant.

Bank of America, Citi, Chase, and Capital One also offer free credit scores to certain cardholders, though not necessarily part of FICO’s Open Access program.

When you receive your free credit score from your card issuer, you’ll also receive a summary of the most important factors influencing your credit score.

Watch Out for “Free” Credit Scores

Not every credit score that’s advertised as free is truly free. One free credit score scheme requires you to enroll in a trial subscription to a credit monitoring service to receive your free score. If you forget to cancel the trial or don’t realize you’re participating in a trial, you’ll start being charged once the trial period ends.

It’s pretty easy to recognize if you’re enrolling in a trial subscription. If the website asks you for a credit card number, they’re more than likely signing you up for a trial. There’s nothing wrong with using one of these services for a free credit score, just make sure you cancel the subscription before the trial period ends. Otherwise, your credit card will be charged for the actual subscription.

As you can see, there are many options and considerations when making the decision about where to receive your credit score data.

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