Credit Karma-Truly Free Credit Score & Report And More

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Credit Karma is a professional personal finance service that offers you with your free credit scores and reports, no strings attached. Most of us don’t have perfect credit habits. So we need to know where we stand—and how to improve our credit score.

PROS CONS
Free Intrusive financial product recommendations
Excellent user experience Only displays two credit scores
Explains rationale for credit scores and reports
Suggests solutions for problem areas
Pulls data from third-party services

Credit Karma keeps you up to date on that all-important numbers, but it also informs you of potential credit breaches. It works with Equifax and TransUnion, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus, to give you access to your free credit scores and free credit reports. (Experian is the third major consumer credit bureau.) They are both using the VantageScore 3.0 scoring model. VantageScore was created in collaboration with all three major credit bureaus. And its 3.0 version is widely used in lending decisions today.

How Credit Karma Inquiries Credit

Checking your free credit scores isn’t a one-time set-it-and-forget-it task. Your scores may be updated frequently as your credit history changes. Checking them regularly can help you keep track of important changes in your credit profile.

The three major credit bureaus provide complete credit score information for free to consumers only once a year, and charging a fee for added requests. By contrast, Credit Karma uses Soft Credit Inquiries that allows you to regularly review your credit score and report without compromising your credit score.

There are two ways to inquire about credit: Hard and Soft Credit Inquiries.

Hard inquiries (also known as “hard pulls”) generally occur when a financial institution, such as a lender or credit card issuer, checks your credit when making a lending decision. They commonly take place when you apply for a mortgage, loan or credit card, and you typically have to authorize them. A hard inquiry may impact your credit scores and stay on your credit reports for about two years. 

Soft inquiries (also known as “soft pulls”) typically occur when a person or company checks your credit as part of a background check. This may occur, for example, when a credit card issuer checks your credit without your permission to see if you qualify for certain credit card offers. Your employer might also run a soft inquiry before hiring you.

Unlike hard inquiries, soft inquiries won’t affect your credit scores. (They may or may not be recorded in your credit reports, depending on the credit bureau.) Since soft inquiries aren’t connected to a specific application for new credit, they’re only visible to you when you view your credit reports. Since check your free credit scores without hurting your credit, feel free to check as often as you like.

See your scores

How Credit Karma Makes Money

Credit Karma is always 100% free. They don’t charge you a dime and they don’t sell or share your personal information with unaffiliated third parties for their own advertising or marketing purposes.

But how does Credit Karma give you a totally free credit score when other services want to charge $20 a month or more?

The answer is advertising. When you visit Credit Karma, they’ll show you personalized recommendations for financial products. If you take one of these recommendations from their site, their partner ( such as the bank that issues a credit card you applied for or the lender of the personal loan ) will usually pay them.

This is very targeted advertising based on your financial habits. For example, if you have excellent credit, banks are willing to pay big bucks to target you with their best loans and credit cards because it’s ultimately cheaper for them to over run generic ads to millions of people who may never qualify for their products.

Learn more about Credit Karma here

How Is The Security Of Credit Karma

Credit Karma uses 128-bit or higher encryption to protect during the transmission of data to our site and encrypt data at rest. And they have a dedicated security team that investigates and responds to issues as quickly as possible. If they suspect any suspicious activity on your account, then they’ll alert you as soon as possible.

In addition to creating a username and password, Credit Karma may ask you for your Social Security number. This information allows them to confirm your identity with the consumer credit bureaus to ensure that they show you accurate data. But they promised do not sell your personal information to or share it with unaffiliated third parties for their own advertising or marketing purposes.

What’s more, you must be at least 18 years old to sign up for a Credit Karma account.

What Other Free Tools Does Credit Karma Offer

In addition to checking your credit report and score for free, Credit Karma offers other free tools that can help you track your Credit.

1. Free credit monitoring

This service can alert you to important changes on your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports. Along with checking your credit scores regularly, this feature sends you an alert so you can sniff out any suspicious activity. 2. Mobile app

The Credit Karma mobile app allows you to check your credit scores on the go. The app also features tools ranging from the new Relief Roadmap to opt-in push notifications that help alert you to potential changes on your Equifax or TransUnion credit reports.

Give it a try

What Does Credit Karma Offer To Non-members

Even though you can’t register right now, you can check out their articles, reviews and other awesome credit resources no matter where you are. No account needed.

  • Get Credit Advice. Ask and answer questions with other members at their credit advice center and connect with the Credit Karma community.
  • Search Credit Cards. Explore dozens of credit card offers and find the match for you.
  • Read Some Credit Articles. Study up with their great selection of articles on credit.

Get started

Summary

Credit Karma has been around for more than 10 years and has more than 100+ million members. Both the time and the sheer number of users prove it to be trustworthy. 

Like it or not, your credit score plays a big role in your financial health. So it’s important to know your credit score and keep an eye on how it’s changing over time.

For more details on credit scores, check out my post ABCs about Credit Scores.

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