I’ve actually been using this great service for over a year and I’ve finally got around to writing a review of it. First off, it’s not a true FICO score. It’s based on your Transunion credit report and is the same score that TrueCredit, Privacy Matters, and others use. However, I don’t think that’s the purpose of it. What Credit Karma excels at is that you can see the changes of your credit score over time. Plus it’s free!
It’s an approximation of your FICO score and I’ve found that it’s actually usually higher than my real Tranunion FICO score. But the changes in my FICO score and the Credit Karma score are close, percentage-wise.
Signing up for the service is easy and free. You never have to give up your credit card number. However, you do need to give up some personal information including your Social Security number (that’s a given since they have to access your credit report).
Where Credit Karma shines is in the comparison tools. It gives you visual comparison nationally, within your state, age, and even your email domain! And because it’s a comparison of the same Credit Karma score, it really shows how you rank against others.
The site is supported by advertising and “Karma Offers” where you can vote yay or nay on a certain offer from a company and choose to take advantage of an offer. Some of the offers are good, but a lot of them are bad. It’s fine with me if it helps them pay the bills. After all, they are offering a valuable service (in my opinion) for free.
Obviously, this is not your real FICO score. However, it’s the closest thing to it and Credit Karma offers some great tools to help you see your score in perspective and track your score over time. I’m going to continue to use it. It’s worth a try. Stay tuned for an interview with the founder and CEO of Credit Karma, Ken Lin.
Credit Karma currently has over 275,000 registered users and has delivered more than 850,000 free credit scores.
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