Assuming you have a credit card, a mortgage or any type of loan, your credit score is one of the most important pieces of financial information for you to know. Horrifying jingles on TV for Web sites like FreeCreditReport.com will try to convince you to visit their sites for copies of your credit report, but it's completely unnecessary (and they're not really giving you copies for free). AnnualCreditReport.com is the only credit report site you need to know, and here's why: It's the only site that provides consumers the free credit reports they're entitled to annually, according to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) [source: AnnualCreditReport]. So once every 12 months, AnnualCreditReport.com will compile your credit report information from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for free, and make it accessible to you online.
Significant purchases and loans will be impacted by the quality of your credit. Knowing it -- and knowing how to check it -- is an important part of fiscal responsibility. That brings us to another Web tool for smart money management, and it's a big one: PayPal.