You may have seen many adverts online encouraging you to sign up for a credit check. While they may offer you the chance to get your credit score for free, you will need to fill out your credit card information to do so.
Then when the free period ends, it is all too easy to forget to cancel the offer—leaving you paying for a service you may not have wanted beyond the free credit score.
It doesn't have to be like this; there is a way of getting your credit score, for free, without handing your credit card information over. Credit Karma offers you your score without having to worry about canceling their service.
Of course, you are also able to get your free credit report once a year as well by going to one of the major credit bureaus including, Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Beyond credit scores, let's look at what Credit Karma has to offer.
Credit Karma Reviewed
When you sign up with Credit Karma, you won't need your credit card, and there is no obligation to join a credit monitoring service. They will provide you with a credit report as well as your score. The site is free to use, and they show you adverts to cover the costs of the service they provide.
It only takes a few minutes to sign up and find out your credit score. They let you continue to monitor your credit score every day if you wish. The data is updated constantly for your score and every week for your report. Accessing this information will let you keep on top of any issues and is particularly useful if you are looking to apply for a loan or other types of finance.
There is a slight issue with Credit Karma, however. They don't give you your FICO score, which is usually used by lenders. Instead, they offer your VantageScore and reports from the bureaus Equifax and TransUnion. They don't give you a report from the other major credit bureau Experian, though two out of three isn't bad and should give you a reasonably complete picture of your financial standing.
One disclosure worth mentioning is that to make money, the company uses the data of its members to offer them targeted ads from financial partners. In the grand scheme of things, if you don't mind seeing some ads from time to time, you'll get the use of a great free site.
Credit Score Simulator
Credit Karma provides a simulator to show its users how scores can be affected by certain financial actions. The tool will show you how decisions about your finances can change your credit score before you decide to commit to that course of action.
Things, like applying for credit or paying down your credit card debt, can make positive or negative differences to your score. Use their simulator to find out what is likely to happen before you potentially do something which could damage your credit score. If you are preparing to apply for a mortgage, the simulator will help in letting you find out what you can do to improve your chances and reduce your interest rate.
You can test out different options to find out if they will increase or reduce your credit score. It also lets you compare your score to other people in your demographic. This will all give you a better understanding of how your score is assessed by lenders and what you need to do to make sure you're the lender's ideal customer.
Lots of people wonder what the differences are between Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. While these financial giants are similar, there are nuances you should know about before committing to one company or the other. The article at RISMedia does an excellent job explaining what you need to know.
You may have thought you saw the last of report cards when you left school, but Credit Karma offers you a credit report card for your financial history. It will grade you in financial areas that lenders use to assess your creditworthiness. These include:
- Age of accounts
- Number of accounts open
- Account usage
- Up to date payments
- Credit report inquiries
- Negative marks
If you are getting an "F" in any of these areas, this will be affecting your credit score. You should focus on that area if you want to see improvements to your overall credit score.
The site also offers to track information about your debit accounts and recommends suitable credit cards for you. They use the information in your reports to show you credit card offers, which you are very likely to be approved for.
Conclusions About Credit Karma
Credit Karma has been around for over a decade and is trusted by more than 100 million people to monitor their credit scores. They've taken advantage of the free service to gain a better understanding of their credit situation, which will have shown them how to improve their finances, and you can too. It only takes a few minutes to sign up, what are you waiting for?
If you are going to be buying a home in the near future, it will be imperative to get your financial house in order. You want the best interest rate and loan terms, right? By working on your credit score at least a year in advance, you'll be putting yourself in a much better position to accomplish this goal.
In the long run, it will be well worth the effort as you'll be saving thousands of dollars in interest over the time you hold the mortgage. While you can get a mortgage with bad credit, why would you want to? Financially, it does not make a lot of sense.
Use Credit Karma to make your homeownership dreams a reality. You'll be glad you did.