I just checked my credit score for free at CreditKarma. There’s no fees or gimmicks (like the obnoxious ‘free trials’ at the 3 major credit bureaus.) You just have to sign up for a free account, which takes about 5 minutes (and then you click a link in a confirmation email, so give them a real address.)
You can see how you compare to other CreditKarma users, your age group, and people in your state. Also take a look at your credit report to see what you can do to improve your score. Use the credit simulator to see how taking various steps will improve your score. A good credit score allows you to qualify for better interest rates when you need a loan (think cars, mortgages, etc.) Even a fraction of a percentage point shaved off your mortgage will save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan, so knowing and improving your credit is important! Achieving a high credit score (720 – 850 is ‘excellent’) doesn’t happen over night, so don’t put it off.
Props again to Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich for this link. (I’m currently reading his book and loving it.) Read the first chapter of ‘I Will Teach You To Be Rich’ (for free) to see how you can improve your credit score, pay off debt, and optimize your credit cards.