Credit Karma Review

Completely Free Credit ScoreThe word karma can be defined as “the effects of a person’s actions that determine his or her destiny in his next incarnation.”  The idea of karma is most widely believed by those who follow Hinduism and Buddhism, but Credit Karma is something entirely different.  Unlike future incarnations, the effects of your actions in this lifetime will affect your credit score… for a period of seven to ten years.

CreditKarma.com is a website that can help you control your finances by providing a report card of sorts. This overview covers your credit report and score, savings account advice, credit card guidance, and other financially specific resources.  Unlike other credit reporting sites, you’ll find two major differences that exist in the Credit Karma philosophy:

  1. There is no monthly trial membership or initial credit card charge for signing up
  2. You are not given an actual credit report to view, only a credit report card. This report outlines the main categories of your credit report like inquiries, past due balances, bankruptcies, etc.

When you log into your account, you will land on a personal dashboard that shows you an immediate credit summary. This includes:

  • TransUnion and Equifax Credit Scores — This is not your FICO score, but your credit scores from two of the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax.  These will give you a very good idea of where you would stand with your true FICO, though. You can also see the difference between the information each bureau is receiving, to determine where any differences in score may be originating.credit-karma
  • Credit Impacting Accounts — These include reported delinquencies, inquiries, collections, credit utilization, and your average age of accounts (AAoA). You will also see the discrepancies (if any exist) between what is being reporter to TransUnion and what’s reported to Equifax.

In addition to what you initially see, there are also additional tabs, sections, and features with tons of information about credit, savings, loans, and many other financial topics.  The perks that come with signing up for a Credit Karma account are found in some of their neat resources, which you simply can’t find anywhere else.

Credit Simulator

One big aspect of the CreditKarma.com genius is their credit simulation feature. This tool can help you predict how your credit score will be affected by certain actions.  Do you plan to close a credit card, or purposely make a late payment because you can’t afford to send the check on time?  Well, using this simulator, you can determine whether or not your credit score changes with each action.

Credit Simulator

Credit Simulator
You can simulate all of the following:

  • Open a New Credit Card
  • Add a New Loan
  • Add Credit Inquires
  • Increase the Credit Line on One Card
  • Open a New Credit Card and Transfer Your Balances
  • Close Your Oldest Credit Card Account
  • Increase or Decrease Your Credit Card Balances
  • Pay Off All Credit Card Balances
  • Allow ONE Monthly Payment To Become Past Due
  • Allow ALL Monthly Payments To Become Past Due
  • Have An On-Time Credit History
  • Add Public Record To Your Account
  • Have One Account Go Into Collections

Credit Factors

Another cool feature is the Credit Factor report.  This tab allows you to get a birds-eye view of your credit report according to TransUnion and Equifax. You can see exactly how much of your credit is being utilized, how many collections or late payments are being reported to each bureau, the number of inquiries you’ve racked up, etc. And what’s always interesting to me is that they are almost never a perfect match between the bureaus.

credit-karma-2

You may be used to checking your credit through only one or two bureaus. However, it would be very useful to check at least two, if not all three. Having a compare-and-contrast option within Credit Karma’s dashboard makes this simple and quick.

There are plenty of other smaller features within Credit Karma that help consumers manage their loans, savings and CD accounts, credit cards and almost any other financial account you can think of.  The site also has its fair share of outside credit card and free-trial offers because providing a free service means they have to make money somehow.  If you can avoid signing up for offers and don’t mind providing your contact information to a third-party provider, Credit Karma is an reasonable option to help you better understand how your credit report and score will effect your financial future.

Completely Free Credit Score

Published or Updated: November 11, 2016
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Tiffany says:

    I had never heard of this – is this really FREE? I can’t believe that. Anyway, thank you very, very much for passing this information along and for being so transparent. 🙂 I appreciate this resource! Thanks again! T.

    • Nancy says:

      I’ve been using CreditKarma for over 10 years now; they truly are free!! It’s the best tool I’ve found to get educated!! I didn’t realize until reading this article, though, that the credit score reported isn’t the FICO score. I wonder how those two are different; I need to do some more research, clearly!

  2. Ralf says:

    Glad I read your review. Score was at 666[!!!], but now down to 634. $24 K in student loans is the reason–pay back began in Feb, 2013.

    Tried to get annual free credit reports, but security questions a bit off, so don’t know if I answered correctly. Will now have to call.

    But thanks for the articles, and referral to credit karma (don’t remember what article led me here.)

  3. Leslie Burks says:

    On Dec. 9 I completed a 7 day free credit report through CreditKarma. I cancelled the service within minutes. On Dec. 10, Transunion charged me $29.95! I called the phone number given on the website and it was for Transunion. I explained the 7-day free trial, that I canclled it immediately, and the Transunion rep refused to reimburse me. We ended up in a shouting match, this woman told me that I may have filled out a 7-day free trial, but it did not apply to Transunion. I am going to every website I know of to complain, including BBB and the District Attorney, to file false representation.

    IT IS A SCAM!

  4. john says:

    I used credit karma and quizzle I had a 669 score on quizzle and a 702 score on karma ,so I went to see about a loan and they said I have no credit score at all with fico ,does not make any sense?????

    • Rob Berger says:

      John, that really doesn’t make any sense. But you can confirm it yourself by getting your FICO score directly from FICO. Just follow this link.

  5. Michael Reilly says:

    I try to look at Credit Karma about 5 days a week. I like the fact that once I log in my credit scores from two credit reporting agencies appear right on the top of the screen. For free it is really worth it to sign up.

  6. Beth Anne says:

    I’ve been using Credit Karma for a few years and really like it. My whole family uses it – me, my mom, and my sister. We love how they email us updates and increases/decreases to our scores. Our scores have actually increased dramatically since using it which is awesome!

Speak Your Mind

*

Advertising Disclosure: The credit card and savings account offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Doughroller.net receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. Doughroller.net does not include all credit card companies, banks, or all available offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation.

X CLOSE