For a very long time, I was in search for the best, easiest and free ways to get a credit score. It was a challenge until I found Credit Karma. I’ve been using the service since 2011 and it was about time to complete a new Credit Karma review.
If you need to apply for a credit card or a loan, you need to know what’s on your credit report and score. Credit Karma is a service that matches you to credit and loans based on the information found on your credit report. This is a very similar service offered by Credit Sesame (read review)
You’ve probably seen commercials and ads about Credit Karma and wondered if this was a legitimate website. I’ve also heard many ask what’s the catch. How can they offer free credit scores if others are charging? Is it secure? Is it a scam?
Here’s the lowdown: Credit Karma is a free and legitimate service providing you a credit score and user-friendly way to view information on your credit report. There’s no credit card required or reminders to place to cancel a free trial.
What is Credit Karma?
Credit Karma, established in 2007, is a free online service providing free credit monitoring that includes access to credit report information and a credit score. Credit Karma also offers federal and state income tax preparation, and credit card and loan recommendations.
What do you get with Credit Karma?
Credit Karma users get access to their TransUnion credit report and free credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax. I’ve written how you can access your free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com which I recommend you continue to do every 12 months.
With Credit Karma, you’re now able to get updated TransUnion credit report update once a week. They perform a soft credit inquiry that does not impact your credit score.
Credit Karma Credit Features
Free credit scores–get your scores and view your account information such as last reported balances and what’s affecting your credit scores. Learn what you can do to improve your scores.
Monitoring–get peace of mind as you get alerted to important changes in your credit report.
Credit and loan recommendations–receive offers based on information found in your credit report that may help you save money through balance transfer or refinancing.
Educational tools and reviews–a plethora of credit tools to help you understand how credit works and ways to improve your entire financial situations. You can simulate what can happen to your score if you opened a new account or paid off a loan. Additionally, Credit Karma has an extensive user-based reviews section for many financial products.
With Credit Karma, you’ll get your credit score within seconds and access to a graph showing your credit score through time, comparison of your credit score based on age, income, and state, and information on what factors found in your report impact your credit score.
Credit Karma Experience
Why do you need your credit score? The score gives you an easy reference to your credit health. Knowing your credit score will help you save money long-term and give you access to credit when needed.
In addition, you have access to credit simulators, calculators and credit card comparisons. There is also general and specific educational content to help demystify credit reports and scores which are added benefits.
The credit score you receive from Credit Karma can be different from the score you might see elsewhere or what lenders use for loan decisions. The true benefit of Credit Karma is its ability to educate you on key components that impact your credit score. Their simulator tools and the credit card and loan recommendations are great ways to find the best financing options.
How much does Credit Karma cost?
It’s absolutely free. No credit card needed.
How does Credit Karma make money?
Credit Karma funds their operation through the credit, loan, and services recommendation. They pair your credit score with potential offers and every time a user takes an offer, they receive a commission from the provider.
They may use the information to serve you offers but Credit Karma does not sell your information to third-parties.
My Smile Summary Review: Should you use Credit Karma?
Credit Karma was the first company to give users access to free credit scores. They’ve grown and involved in the last ten years and offer a myriad of services. Credit Karma is a free app meaning you’re not paying anything whatsoever to access your credit report and score.
It’s extremely easy to sign up for the service and reviewing your credit report. Credit Karma’s website and the app is easy to use and very user-friendly. In my review, I believe Credit Karma is a great tool to help you monitor your credit health.
Once you’ve signed up for the free service, I suggest you continue to get your entire free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com.