Reader question: I want to know what my credit score is and want the report to go with it, but I don’t want to pay for it. How can I get that?

Answer: Depending on exactly what you are looking for, you have a couple of options. There are three different credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian, TransUnion — and each offers a different credit report and score based on their own criteria. By law, you are guaranteed access to your credit report from each bureau once a year for free. So if you need to see just your credit report, this is the best option for you. You can get all three of the credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com.

If you want to see your credit scores, AnnualCreditReport is going to charge you, so you’ll need to find those elsewhere. Many credit card companies, including Barclay, will give you your updated credit score monthly as a feature of using their credit cards. However, if you want your credit score without any commitments or strings attached, you should try Credit Sesame. They will give you your free credit score and an analysis of the score for free, no strings attached. You don’t even have to give them a credit card number.

If you want to find out more information about which companies offer the best credit report monitoring and credit score deals, check out our article on the Best Credit Report Monitoring Services.