Maybe a website like Credit Karma need no introduction. You have probably entered his blog to read a little about financial issues or perhaps you have seen the television commercials in which Credit Karma promises a free, hassle-free credit report. But have you ever tried checking your credit score with Credit Karma? Maybe not, at least not before reading this article.
Easily and quickly, registered users will be able to access their TransUnion credit report, in addition to checking your credit score at TransUnion and Equifax. This option may not surprise you much because it is already possible to obtain a free credit report once a year through annualcreditreport.com. However, remember that this service is only available once a year.
Instead, with Credit Karma you can access your TransUnion credit report and get weekly updates on your score. Pair this tool with the free reports offered by Experian and Equifax and you’ll always have your finances (and credit history) under control.
How does Credit Karma make money?
There is a doubt that many people have. Why does Credit Karma give you access to your credit score for free when other financial services companies charge $20 per month or even more? The answer is simple: thanks to advertising. Credit Karma prefers to make money by giving advertising space to a handful of very specific companies, that is, those that are interested in the financial field.
For example, if a user has a stellar credit score, many banks would be willing to pay a large sum of money to introduce you to their best loans and credit cards because 1) that person has a good prospect as a client and 2) running these types of ads is cheaper than creating a generic campaign for millions of people who may not even have the profile to qualify for your products.
So, in simple words, we could say that the only point against Credit Karma is that uses your credit data to show you advertising that could be interesting for you and that, of course, leaves them a good sum of money per month.
However, and if you think about it, this is not something that your favorite social networks no longer do.. Facebook uses your “likes” to create a profile as a consumer and thus show you ads based on your interests and tastes. Therefore, we would not be facing a criminal act: it is only a highly personalized advertising strategy.
Note: Credit Karma may earn from these ads – as do the banks that hire it – but users do, too. Through the platform, they obtain relevant information about new credit cards with rewards or with a 0% introductory APR. If these ads are only made in a personalized way, you would not be able to see them on other websites or on television. So we could say that it is a win-win for everyone, right?
Keep reading: How to talk to a real person on Experian, TransUnion and Equifax
Does Credit Karma affect my credit?
Having a Credit Karma account will not directly lower your credit score..
Credit Karma requests your credit report information on your behalf from TransUnion and Equifax. This is known as a soft inquiry, which will not affect your scores.
On the other hand, hard inquiries can influence your credit scores. These typically appear on your credit reports when you apply for a new line of credit, regardless of whether or not your application was approved. Therefore, if you apply for a credit card or loan through Credit Karma or any other site, you will receive a tough inquiry, which can affect your credit scores.
Should I use Credit Karma?
If you take these statements and do your own research to confirm them, you will find that Credit Karma can be a great option to assess your credit health. And it is that, like it or not, the credit score plays a fundamental role in your finances. Therefore, it is important to know the rating and monitor it frequently to see how it changes over time.
What if. Most financial services may cost between $15 and $20 and only after you pay will they show you your credit score. But one of the points in favor of Credit Karma is that it allows you to check and track your score without the need to enter your card details, without having to pay a fee and without forcing you to ask for a free trial of the platform.
In addition, Credit Karma performs a soft inquiry or soft review on your reports.. Therefore, you will not see a decrease in your credit score, since this “soft” query is assimilated to the verification made by the same user on their own score.
To access the Credit Karma tool, you must create an account on the page and provide certain personal information, including your social security number. This will allow them to verify your identity and extract relevant information about your credit.
Tip: If you want to know more options to check your credit for free, be sure to see our guide “How to check my credit for free and without complications”.
What else does Credit Karma offer?
Getting a free credit report with Credit Karma is the easiest thing in the world. But one of the things we like most about the platform is that it offers other useful services for people, such as:
- A graph that shows the evolution of your credit score over time.
- How your score compares to other users by age range, income, and country status.
- Access weekly credit score updates to check at a glance frequently.
- Tools that let you simulate how to pay off your debt or whether applying for a new loan or credit card will change your score.
- A credit report card that shows how certain factors, such as payment history and debt utilization rate, affect the score.
In short, how to get a free credit report on Credit Karma
Although a free credit report can be accessed annually, Credit Karma offers users the opportunity to do so more than once a year. The tool is completely free and does not ask for credit card numbers or registration to access a trial of the premium program. To offset the cost of reporting, Credit Karma will do only one thing: show you personalized ads for financial services provided by trusted, robust companies.
Perhaps the best thing about using Credit Karma to check credit scores is the tools it has to assess the financial health of users. Through the platform, you can see graphs, the evolution of the score and even do simulations before getting a new card or loan to anticipate what impact this will have on the score. Without a doubt, it is a good alternative to strengthen the financial health of anyone.