The way your finances are represented by the three credit reporting bureaus shouldn’t be a mystery. It should be readily available to you. In the past, this hasn’t been true. Although you are able to get a copy of your credit report once a year, obtaining it more frequently and/or getting your credit score has historically required payment. In recent years the shroud around your credit information has been lifted a bit with many banks and credit cards offering to supply your credit score for free. What many consumers don’t know is a tool has existed for years that gives consumers a great view of their finances as seen been by creditors. It’s called Credit Karma, and it’s totally free. Given the reluctance of the credit industry to make this information available to consumers, one might ask, “is Credit Karma legitimate?”
Information Available From Credit Karma
After registering for a free online account, Credit Karma provides users with very useful information:
- Credit Score: Credit Karma provides your credit score from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three credit reporting bureaus. It also provides the history of what the score has done (increased, decreased, stayed flat) over the last few months.
- Credit Score Impacts: Also listed is information regarding what in your financial history is impacting your credit score including credit utilization, payment history, and number of accounts
- Account Information: Credit Karma lists the accounts associated with your name as well as information regarding those accounts including balance, payment information, and whether there is a past due amount.,
With this information, you can easily see your current financial situation as seen by the credit reporting bureaus. By checking your dashboard often, you can determine if there’s anything suspicious happening, or if any information is incorrect.
Suggestions From Credit Karma
Credit Karma also has a tab that provides suggestions as to how one might improve their financial situation. These suggestions come in the form of consolidation loan and low-interest credit card offers that one might use to reduce their interest payments and help them pay off debt.
Other Financial Offers
Credit Karma also has a full suite of financial offerings to users including student loans, personal loans, home loans, and auto loans. They don’t provide these themselves, the offerings come in the form of suggestions to financial products offered by other financial service providers.
Also available are debt repayment, loan, and mortgage calculators as well as reviews of financial products and informational blog posts.
Is Credit Karma Legitimate?
I’ve personally used Credit Karma for years to keep an eye on my financial accounts and my credit score. The account information has always matched my known state, and when the credit score has generally agreed with the data I’ve received from other sources. My assumption is they make their money through kickbacks of users that signup for financial products offered through their website. I personally have never selected any offerings from their website, but continue to use their free credit score and account information services. I would give Credit Karma a thumbs up for being legitimate although I recommend taking advantage of your once a year free credit report information and comparing it to what Credit Karma shows.
How about you, Clever Friends, do you use Credit Karma?
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