Anyone who has read Money Under 30 for some time knows that I’m a big fan of Credit Karma — a site that provides you with two totally free credit scores — no credit card numbers/signups required. And now Credit Karma users also get access to their TransUnion credit report in addition to scores. (Also free!)
Although you’ve always been able to get free copies of your three credit reports from annualcreditreport.com, that service limits you to viewing each report just once a year. With Credit Karma’s new offering, you can retrieve your free TransUnion credit report and get updates as often as once a week. (It’s still a good idea to get your other two reports — from Experian and Equifax — from annualcreditreport.com once a year to ensure they are accurate).
Why create an account with Credit Karma?
For better or worse, your credit score plays a big role in your financial health.
So it’s important to know your credit score and keep an eye on how it’s changing over time.
While most services charge upwards of $15-20 to view your own credit score, Credit Karma is a truly free site that lets you check and track your score without the need for a credit card, free trial, or any catches (because it’s a product I use myself and believe in, Credit Karma is an affiliate – see footnote).
No, Credit Karma is not a scam.
You’ll have to create an account and provide your personal information… including our social to verify your identity and pull your credit, but unlike other so-called “free credit score” sites there’s NO CREDIT CARD or any purchase required. (Credit Karma makes money by recommending advertisers’ financial products to its members.)
Credit Karma provides a cool new way to track your overall credit health without paying a fee. Just create a free Credit Karma account, answer a few questions to identify yourself, and you’ve got your score.
I was impressed with how easy—and fast—getting my credit score was with Credit Karma. They also provide:
- A graph showing your credit score over time
- How your credit score compares to others by age, income and state
- A credit report card that shows you how certain factors — like your payment history and debt utilization — impact your credit score
- Tools to let you simulate how paying down debt or applying for new credit will change your score
- Access to your free credit report with weekly updates
I’ve now been using Credit Karma for over five years. (Can’t believe it’s been that long!) It’s still my go-to source for how my credit score is doing, and I’ve found the comparison and simulation tools invaluable for seeing how certain decisions (like getting a new credit card or reducing my average credit card usage will influence my score.