Credit Karma was the first, and in our opinion, is still one of the best of it’s kind. A basic way for consumers to get their free credit score without signing up for a free trial of a premium credit monitoring service. It’s supported by advertisements for things like credit cards, loans, etc. (after all, they have bills to pay too).
Free credit scores
Credit Karma gives you your free TransUnion credit score upon sign-up, and you are able to updated your free score on a monthly basis if you choose to (you have to do it manually). They also provide credit score tracking over time so you can see how your score has changed each time you update your score.
There’s also a nice “Credit Score Simulator” tool to see how different actions you take can affect your score, either positively or negatively. Some examples would be obtaining a new loan, credit card, balance transfer, etc.
Daily credit monitoring and alerts
Credit Karma will monitor your TransUnion credit report on a nightly basis, and alert you of any significant changes which could be a sign of identity fraud or theft. They will only monitor one of the three credit bureaus though – TransUnion. To monitor all 3 bureaus you will need to check out the premium services.
Free credit report card
They have a feature called a “credit report card” which is really just a quick overview of your credit report and how you are “graded” on various aspects. You can’t actually see the details of your credit report because it’s not a full report, just a report card. It is a nice feature though as long as you are also using other methods of viewing your full credit reports.
Is Credit Karma Free?
Credit Karma is totally free for your membership – however you will be subjected to advertisements for various things like credit cards and loans, or upgrading to a full featured credit monitoring service from another company. This is the price you pay for this service.
ID theft coverage?
Since Credit Karma is an ad-supported service, they do not provide ID theft coverage to members. For that you will need to check out the premium services.
Credit Karma is our top choice for ad-supported free credit score services. They were the first, and we believe they are still the best. Since there are no fees involved, it’s a great value. Be sure to check out all the other options too though, there are low priced premium services which can provide many great features to complement your membership with Credit Karma.