Credit Karma Review – Is it Legitimately Free & Safe?
One of the web’s biggest websites for getting a genuine free credit score. The site announced in early 2015 it would also offer free credit reports too. While consumers can receive free copies of their three credit reports annually from annualcreditreport.com, the service limits them to just one time a year. Credit Karma offers the ability to get updates as often as weekly to make sure no errors exist in the report, and no fraud is occurring. This is especially important for those trying to raise their credit score or looking to get a home or auto loan in the next few months. According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly 25% of all consumers have errors on their credit reports that affect their scores. Transunion says that nearly one-third of the population has never even looked at their personal credit report.
Credit Karma is especially important because one’s credit report plays a significant role in one’s financial health. It’s important to know your score and to be aware of how it is changing over time. Many services charge for someone’s score, Credit Karma is 100% free with no catch. It isn’t a scam.
How to Get Started
Users just create an account and provide their personal information including their social security number to verify their identity. Unlike other “free credit score” websites, Credit Karma doesn’t require a credit card hold. It is an excellent way to track one’s credit health without a fee attached to it. Just create an account, answer a few questions and you have instant access to your score.
Many users comment on how easy and fast it was to get their score. Their personal dashboard including how their credit score compares to others by income, their state and by age. There is also a graph showing their credit score over time. Next a credit report card is shown with certain factors including debt to income ratio and payment history, all of which impact someone’s score. Credit Karma offers various tools to allow users to estimate how soon they can pay off debt or apply for new credit that may help change their score. These helpful hints encourage users to improve their credit and secure their financial future. Weekly updates to one’s scores are provided for every user of the website. Credit Karma has fast become a go-to source for how consumers gain easy access to their credit score and track its ups and down.
Is Credit Karma Legitimate?
Yes, Credit Karma is truly free. Their business model allows them to make money on advertising financial-related products and services to it’s users. There is no fear of being charged monthly via your credit card, nor not being able to cancel your subscription.
How does Credit Karma they make money?
Similar to that of Mint.com, they offer partner offers that can save you money and they make a form of commission and get advertising kickbacks from these companies. Users can choose to receive these offers or not on their sign-up page under their preferences. It is very transparent and goes without saying that Credit Karma is an honest and open company providing a valuable service to consumers.
Your Privacy – Is Credit Karma Safe?
A lot of users probably are concerned about their privacy. However, Credit Karma is a TRUSTe Certified company. This means that it doesn’t rent, share or sell your personal information to third parties. Also, it states that any information you share with partners is on your consent. This means when you give them your social security number; it is protected. In their FAQs, the website says that one’s SSN is only used for the first score retrieval and is not stored in a database at all.
What Credit Karma Offers Its Users
Credit Karma users get all types of free tools. Users receive an updated TransUnion (one of the three bureaus), which is charted over time. One’s Equifax score is also given as of January 2015. One’s auto insurance and home insurance score (Transunion) is also provided, which allows users to compare themselves to others. One’s Vantage Score, which is a cumulative score of all three scores, is also provided.
One of the user’s favorite features is the credit report card, which grades users on each factor that makes up their credit report including payment history, the age of account, total accounts, credit utilization, credit inquiries and derogatory remarks. These are all important things to consider when looking to improve one’s score.
The Credit Score Simulator is one of the most useful features on the website as it simulates how certain actions such as opening or closing a credit card or increasing one’s credit card will impact one’s score. Free Credit Monitoring also is helpful.
Some of the downsides to Credit Karma are all of the offers on the interface, which can be removed once one changes their preferences not to receive them. This is how the website makes money, but they do give you the option not to see them. This super useful service is free unlike others claiming to me. It is a valuable tool for users of all ages in monitoring their credit health and tracking improvements or changes over time. This service comes highly recommended by financial experts. The online personal finance platform allows consumers to control their credit report and their credit scores with tools and suggestions that are personalized.
Credit Karma even has a mobile app available, which sends service alerts that informs users about changes in their credit reports including increase or decrease in account balances, credit limit utilization, new accounts and hard credit inquiries. Email alerts can also be set up if someone doesn’t want to use the mobile app (which is fully secure). The website has gained 4 million users since March 2015.
“For people to take control of their credit and financial health, they need frequent access to their credit reports and scores, and there hasn’t been an entirely free and fully accessible solution until now,” said Credit Karma’s CEO, founder, and chief consumer advocate Ken Lin. “Offering consumers their credit report for free is another example of Credit Karma’s commitment to leverage technology and big data to help consumers build confidence in managing their finances.”
Set up your Credit Karma account today to begin making positive steps toward improving your credit and your financial future.