In a Nutshell
- Completely free way to monitor your credit
- They will never ask for credit card or payment info
- No hidden fees or upsells
- Very basic features (as you’d expect for a free service!)
- Your data may be shared with Credit Karma partners
A brilliant solution for:
- Anyone wanting to monitor their credit score without having to pay for it
- Prospective borrower trying to improve their credit score
How does it work?
The Credit Karma business model is really simple and it doesn’t require you to purchase anything, download anything, or hand over sensitive information such as your credit card number.
To sign up, just provide basic information about yourself (name, email address, home address, date of birth, and last four digits of your social security number), read and agree to the terms and conditions, and then follow the prompts to verify your identity.
After you register, you’ll have access to your credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax (but not Experian) and you’ll also receive weekly updates as well as alerts when anything changes. Credit Karma will analyze your credit profile to make you product recommendations for things like loans and/or refinancing that it thinks can save you money. If you get a product through one of Credit Karma’s recommendations, the bank or lender pays Credit Karma directly. You won’t have to pay a dime.
What does this service watch out for?
As its name suggests, Credit Karma mainly watches out for your credit score. Although Credit Karma doesn’t have a long list of features like the top paid services, it does offer plenty of value and all without charging you a dime.
- Credit monitoring: Equifax and TransUnion (but not Experian)
- Notifications whenever your score changes
- Weekly updates of your credit score
- Personalized recommendations for loans and other financial products
- Search for unclaimed money held by state governments (When a business owes you money but can’t send it to you, they may send it to the state)
Recovery services - what can Credit Karma do if my identity is stolen?
As a free monitoring service, Credit Karma doesn’t offer any recovery services. If you’re looking for ID theft insurance, lost wallet replacement assistance, or dedicated restoration specialists, then check out Top10.com’s recommendations for the best ID theft protection companies here.
How easy is it to use?
This service really couldn’t be easier to use. As mentioned earlier, there’s no need to download anything. Simply register for the service to get near-instant access to your credit score and other services.
Credit Karma is a completely free service to use. Whenever you choose a product recommended to you by Credit Karma, the bank or lender offering the product pays Credit Karma directly. Credit Karma will never ask you for your credit card details.
Help & Support
Credit Karma doesn’t offer anything in the way of customer support, which isn’t surprising given it’s a free service. However, the Credit Karma website does have a useful Help Center where you can find guides to things like monitoring your identity, finding financial products, and managing your Credit Karma account.
The Credit Karma value proposition is really simple. It offers free credit monitoring and alerts in exchange for using your data to offer you personalized recommendations for financial products and services. If you don’t mind (or think you might benefit from) being offered loan products from Credit Karma partners, then this service is the best way to stay on top of your credit score.