I recently discovered a service that gives you free access (no strings attached) to your credit score: Credit Karma. I first heard of Credit Karma at the Financial Blogger Conference this year. To be honest I’m not sure what took me so long. Unlike other ‘free credit report’ services out there Credit Karma does not sell your information or require a subscription. Instead they monetize similar to Mint through targeted offers.
Signing up for Credit Karma is fairly painless. It’s a three step process. First you create your account (login credentials), second you fill in the required personal information (name, birthdate, last four of social, etc.) and finally you confirm your identity by answering questions that may be on your credit. It took me about 4 minutes to sign up and get to my credit score.
What’s great about Credit Karma is that it not only gives you your credit score for free, it also gives you tools to help estimate your credit score based on certain scenarios. Let’s say you want to take out a new credit card or request a credit limit increase. Run that through their simulator to see how it might affect your credit score. This could also work if you were considering taking out a new loan, say for a car. Or if you are interested in closing down a credit card or line that you have. You can do it all and figure out how your credit score might change. I say might because it’s certainly not guaranteed. Oh and did I mention that Credit Karma is free?
My biggest complaints with Credit Karma are 1) it’s a bit busy and somewhat difficult to navigate through the different screens and 2) the offers aren’t always relevant or useful. Neither of these complaints are a game-breaker, especially such a useful and completely free service.
The Bottom Line
If you aren’t already using Credit Karma what are you waiting for? It only takes a few minutes to sign up and is absolutely, completely, no-string-attached free. Seriously good work Credit Karma!