Should You Ever Pay for Your FICO Credit Score?

Paying for your credit score may not be worth it, especially since you often can get it for free.

The question about whether you should pay rose again Tuesday after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined two big U.S. credit-reporting agencies, Equifax and TransUnion, in part for allegedly misleading consumers into buying credit scores of dubious value. According to the CFPB, the two companies had advertised that they were selling the same credit scores used by lenders to determine whether consumers qualify for a variety of loans, from mortgages to car loans. Instead, they sold scores based on their own in-house calculations, the government agency said.

David Blumberg, a spokesman at TransUnion, said in a statement that “our consumer marketing has been clear and has complied with the law and other government guidance.” Ines Gutzmer, spokeswoman for Equifax, also said in a statement that Equifax “does not believe it has violated any laws.”