Consumers might also turn to free third-party sites. Among others, Bankrate.com, Credit.com, CreditKarma.com, CreditSesame.com and WalletHub.com all allow free looks at your score and generally the reports that influence it. Earlier this spring, Capital One rebranded its credit tracking tool CreditWise – which uses the TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 score – and opened access to all consumers.
"It's a really great advancement in the market," said Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer Action.
Keeping an eye on your score can help you take proactive steps to improve your credit and help you be a more informed borrower, she said. A sudden drop might also be a fast warning of fraud or identity theft.
Free options can also represent substantial savings. At MyFICO.com, the current price for scores and a report based on one bureau's data is $19.95, or $59.85 for those from all three credit scoring companies.