Credit Karma?




In a recent "How To Own Your Paycheck Again!" workshop one of the students mentioned she was very happy with her results using

I'd heard of them but hadn't looked too closely because I figured it was one of those ploys to get your credit card number.

Turns out I was wrong.

First time this year!  🙂

I asked my readers for their feedback on CreditKarma if they'd heard of it.

Many had and all the feedback, to this point, has been positive.

Below you'll find some of the tips and suggestions my readers generously shared.

It helps me keep track of my progress toward reducing debt as well as providing information about my credit scores (transrisk, auto insurance, and vantage)  possible savings, "what if" scenarios, and other valuable financial information. I get a monthly email reminder to check my scores and info if they change. I'm sold on it! -  Freda

Credit Karma is free and not only does it tell me my score, but I can see my various accounts and there are tools that I can play with. I highly recommend it! -Dawn

Every few months I go in and check on my credit score and all my accounts to see if there are any changes.  You can update your score on the spot if you want to do so.  It is a free service. There is a wealth of information about your credit use and all your accounts available on the various pages. The credit score you get from them is not your actual credit score, however.  But it is reasonably close to your actual score.

There is one caveat.  When you are at the website, you receive credit offers for other credit cards with a prediction that you will qualify for these cards.  I have seen some negative feedback from other users indicating they were turned down for these credit cards when they applied.  So I would not apply for any of the cards they recommend. -Deborah

I have subscribed to Credit Karma since Feb 2008... The part I find most useful is the credit score tracker. Your credit score is updated every month. There are three different scores, the Transrisk score, based on your Transunion credit score, a Vantage score which is based on a collaborative score from the 3 credit reporting agencies. Also available is your Transunion Auto Insurance risk score, something you don’t see very often available.

Also very useful is the credit simulator, where you can see the effect on your credit score made by taking on an extra credit card, or paying down some debt etc.  The other thing I like is that it keeps a track of your credit report and you can see what enquiries have been made on your account, increases/decreases in balances on accounts etc.

Best of all is the price – FREE !!  It is a great tool and all my family use it and I’ve recommended to many friends too. -Paul

I refer clients to that site on a regular basis. It provides the TransUnion version of a FICO score.  I find it helps people get feedback on ways to improve their credit, with the free "credit report card" and the credit simulation tool. I caution people about thinking that their actual FICO score will be exactly the same as the TransRisk score. It is just for educational purposes. -Constance

CreditKarma is a great site! As far as I know, it's the only place you can get your credit score for free with no strings attached. And I love the "what if" scenarios you can run to help you decide if buying a new car or getting a new credit card would hurt or help your credit score. It's a very clever site with lots of free and simple resources to help you improve your credit rating. And I really appreciate it that they don't fill your email inbox with spam. -Sue

I use Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to "watch" over my credit since mine is presently in very bad shape. They both "look" at your credit report to get feedback. Credit Karma uses Transunion and Credit Sesame uses Experian, so they give you different scores, Experian being higher. They do not give you actual specific loan, credit card details, but will alert you of credit inquires and give balances and offer suggestions. -Kris

CreditKarma was totally free & painless to sign up for.  I did it in about 15 minutes.  It not only tells you what your credit scores are, but also what particulars influence each score, which is very helpful.  It does ask some borderline invasive questions to verify your identity, and obviously you have to submit your SSN which makes some people nervous. No complaints from me though -Mj

I've been using CreditKarma for a little over a year.  It's been accurate with the information I've received, and there have not been any fees ever.  It gives you the option to update your credit information as often as you want, and my credit report has not shown any adverse impact from this.  There are some ads on the site, and they want to "help you improve your score" etc. by signing up for their services, but I have not done that to date, and still enjoy the rest of the site. -Lisa

Thanks again to all my readers for their feedback.

As was already pointed out, the credit scores you get are not actual FICO scores which are the scores most lending institutions use to judge your credit.

FICO numbers are proprietary and you do have to pay for them.

However, the Credit Karma numbers are close, the information you get is very useful and of course, the price is right.

If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments.

Thank you!








  • Kay Bell says:

    This is good information. Shall research Thank you.

  • ben says:

    Just another person chiming in and saying Credit Karma (CK) has helped immensely.

    4 years ago I had zero credit. You couldn’t even pull a credit score on me because I had been taught to save and pay for things when I could afford it, eschewing borrowing. Had never had a loan, credit card, or any real sort of debt. I’ve always owned used cars, paid for with cash. Yes, I was happy!

    Well, I eventually wanted to buy a house. I had no where near enough to pay for that with cash, but I had managed to save up some money for a down payment. Not an awesome one but decent. I needed to build my credit score but it was difficult. I had to start with a secured credit card with $500 as security. After this, I wasn’t sure what the best course of action was. I found CK after googling free credit score. CK has a great credit simulator that will give you an estimate of how obtaining card or loans will affect your score, as well as a report card that tells you how the different aspects of your report affect your score. I saw that getting new lines of credit was the quickest way to build my score, and one of the more important areas in which my report was suffering.

    With CK, I could review several credit cards and see how other users had fared with each one, as well as their estimated chance of approving me. I picked several from their list that had a high chance of acceptance and was accepted at every one. I spent the next 18 months spending and paying off, spending and paying off. After about 2 years, my score was hovering at 700. I needed a 669 to apply for an FHA loan, so I found a lender, obtained a preapproval letter, and 2 months later I was in my new $125,000 home!

    The seller and title company both said that I had navigated a gauntlet that was, at that time, only accepting around 1% of applicants. I’m glad I didn’t know that beforehand, because the whole process was about as nerve-wracking as I’ve ever experienced.

    CK never tried to give me anything I didn’t ask for, and never asked for a credit card number. I’m surprised, because for the service they provide, I would expect some sort of fee. I guess they get it from the banks, because 80% of the cards I got were through them. The scores they give are definitely not exact, but they’re close, and it was more about how my score was going to move after I did things that would affect it that was important But I honestly feel that it was the number one factor in helping me make a successful plan for getting and improving my credit.

    [Thanks for your detailed summary, Ben! -LEO]

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