Credit Karma is a free tool that gives you access to your financial information. From bank accounts to credit cards and even your credit scores, the service can help you monitor and evaluate your credit and financial status. But is this free service the right choice?
You can access Credit Karma on its website or you can download the app for either iOS or Android. Both Google play and iTunes have in the past listed it as a top app in the Finance category and millions of consumers have taken advantage of its complimentary service. When you check your score on Credit Karma, it's a soft inquiry every time, so it won't ever affect your credit.
What information do you have to provide when signing up for Credit Karma?
Sensitive personal information such as your name, address and phone number are usual when applying for access to your financial information, but this site also requires your Social Security Number when you create an account. While you may be suspicious of this, it does make sense as it's the most important number required in order to verify your identity and locate your credit file. To retrieve your credit report data, Credit Karma uses at least the last four digits of your SSN (as well as other personal info) to match your identity with your TransUnion credit file. Without your SSN, your credit report and scores cannot be obtained.
No credit card is required when signing up and there are no hidden costs or strings attached. Your credit score is acquired for you 100% free and you can return to monitor your financial status as and when you like. Numerous reports online of payment information required and money taken from accounts for monthly subscriptions are likely to be scam sites with a very similar name, so ensure you only use creditkarma.com to access your information for free.
Credit Karma also has a variety of tools, simulators and calculators to help you manage your finances, which are especially useful when anticipating changes to your credit score. They also offer exclusive savings based on your score, but you should always compare financial products to ensure you're getting the best deal.
You can enable notifications of important changes in your credit report so you can keep on top of your situation and use the credit report card to see what affects your credit score and how financial institutions view you as a consumer. It seems pretty amazing that you can get all of this at no cost to yourself…
So how do Credit Karma make money with a free service?
Credit Karma generate revenue through advertising. In March, they announced that Google and other investors had contributed a staggering $118.5 million to their funding, so it's fair to see how the company can exist and continue to offer a free service. When signing up, you can choose whether or not to receive ad-based offers from partners, so just leave the box un-ticked if you'd prefer not to.
The company is pro-consumer, with the goal of empowering people to more actively manage their credit and financial credit. It does what it says on the tin and it's absolutely free, so what's not to love? We give Credit Karma a big thumbs up.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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