It’s no secret that your credit score is the most important component of your financial profile. This is why you should regularly check your credit score. Doing so will give you an insight as to how creditors view you. Do they think you’re a credit risk or not? Knowing your credit score will help you answer this question and prepare you for when you need to buy a car or even a house.
Every U.S. citizen has access to their credit report for free. However, there are additional pieces of information that can be helpful to you and you can access such information by using companies like Credit Karma.
- Access to your FREE Credit Score anytime
- Exclusive savings based on your score
- Tools to track your credit score
- Valuable credit and finance content
- Calculate and research to find best rates
Get Your Credit Score
It all starts with your credit score. This is what lenders use to determine whether you get “Approved” or not. Your score basically puts a number to your credit history. The higher your score, the better. With Credit Karma you can get your score for free. They say you don’t need a credit card to obtain your score, so I put them to the test.
To get started I had to provide the following information:
- Email Address
- Screen Name
- Security Question
- Contact Information: Name, Address, Phone Number, Birth Date, Last 4 of my social
- Annual Income
After filling out the online registration form I pressed submit and my credit score was instantly available. I did not have to give any form of payment which is exactly how they advertise it. Also, if you don’t like to provide your entire social security # then you might like Credit Karma because they only asked for my last four.
Account Balances and Notifications
In addition to receiving my credit score, I also had vision to all my accounts with outstanding balances. This included everything like my auto loan, mortgage, student loans, credit cards and more. The Credit Karma Notifcations section showed me how many inquires were on my credit report. This is also the place where it will show you if you have any delinquent accounts.
Debt Management Recommendations
It showed me how much of my credit I have used. It gave me this information for each of my credit cards. It also gave me recommendations on how to raise my credit score. I like this feature because it gives you something to shoot for. It recommended that I lower the balance on my cards so my score will go up. This is something I already know and something I am currently working on. I’m using the debt snowball method I discussed in an article a few weeks ago. Check it out!
There were also several offers that were being presented to me such as credit card offers from Capital One. I also received some recommendations for things like auto insurance and other types of loans. I wasn’t really interested so I didn’t spend too much time here. But, if you’re in the market for this type of thing then I can see how this would be helpful.
My Credit Simulator
The “My Credit Simulator” calculates what your credit score could be if something changes, like paying off a credit card or increasing your available credit. It also shows you what would happen to your score if you miss a monthly payment, take out a car loan or have another inquire on your report. You can choose from a list of options and see how your choice might affect your score. I like this feature because it can help you decide if opening a new account or missing a payment is the smart thing to do. So far all of this is free!
How To Get Started
Getting started is easy. Just go the Credit Karma site and click the Get Started Now button. From there you will just have to complete the online form and within a few minutes you will have access to your credit score. There are other services you can purchase if you choose too, but all the ones I used were absolutely free. You can check back at anytime to see if there have been any changes to your score. My experience with Credit Karma has been and good one. I would recommend the service and I will be checking back in a few weeks (after I pay down my credit cards) to see how my score improves.