If you're a USAA member, and you have a credit card account with them, you now have free access to your credit score! Many major banks and credit card companies are moving towards offering credit scores available to help their customers.
Where Do I Find It?First, log on to your USAA Account. Then, click on your credit card account. Your Experian VantageScore will be shown in the right column. If you click on the links next to your score, you can find more information about what factors are helping and hurting your score. Sometimes I find these to be bogus, like when you have excellent credit and it says, "balance on revolving accounts too low." Um, yeah, low balances are good, don't be penalizing me for them!
What Kind of Score Is It?There are a bjillion types of credit scores out there, and each one has its own scale. The important part is where you fall on that individual scale, and whether your score is going up or down, and working on ways to improve it. The USAA score is an Experian VantageScore, which is Experian Credit Union's own personal brand.
What If You Don't Have USAA?Lots of banks and credit card accounts are now offering free credit scores. I know that Pentagon Federal Credit Union does, and I have read that Discover. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Ally Bank are also. Check your online credit card accounts and click around a little bit - hopefully you will find something. If you don't see it now, be sure to keep checking. Credit card companies are highly competitive. Now that this practice is becoming common, lots of companies will be adding this feature.
Credit scores aren't the be-all and end-all of financial management, but they are a good tool for monitoring how you are doing. Free and easy access to your credit score will make it easier for you to track the effects of your actions. As a bonus, you're likely to catch fraud more likely with constant access to your scores.
Your can also get your free credit scores from Credit Sesame, Credit Karma or Quizzle. Keep in mind that these sources all use different scores - you can't really compare them to each other.