As of June 1, most of the US can now receive truly free credit reports online as a result of a law enacted by Congress to help residents fight identity theft. The easiest way to get your reports is to visit AnnualCreditReport.com, a website mandated by the law itself. The credit reports will list your lifetime credit record so that you can fix inaccuracies and spot identity theft, but will not contain your actual credit score.
The free credit reports are being rolled out to US residents one region of the country at a time. The Western and Midwest states had already been given access, and Southern states came online on June 1. Only the Northeast remains to be given access, including Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and all other US territories and possessions.
Separately, you can buy your credit score from the 3 vendors (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) for a fee of about $5. For those wanting extra "bells and whistles" on top of a credit score should consider MyFico.com, which also includes a credit score simulator (such as, if I miss a payment, what will happen to my credit score?). The fee here is about $15 each for reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.