7 ways to make the most of your Credit Karma membership

Group of young women standing around a laptop and discussing 7 ways to make the most of your Credit Karma membershipImage: Group of young women standing around a laptop and discussing 7 ways to make the most of your Credit Karma membership

In a Nutshell

Credit Karma doesn't just offer free credit scores and reports - we provide credit monitoring, unclaimed money searches and a Direct Dispute™ feature.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

In 2007, Credit Karma was founded to give people access to credit reports and scores that were truly free. Ten years and over 75 million members later, we stand by our original mission to help you make meaningful financial progress without ever charging you a dime.

Your financial picture goes well beyond your credit score and reports, though, and we get that. That’s why we offer a whole host of resources to help you with your finances.

Interested in diving in? Here are our top tips for making the most of your Credit Karma membership.

  1. Take advantage of credit monitoring
  2. Dispute items that don’t belong on your report
  3. Simulate changes to your credit score
  4. Check for unclaimed money
  5. File your taxes for free
  6. Tackle your debt
  7. Consider refinancing your mortgage

1. Take advantage of credit monitoring

You know that Credit Karma gives you access to your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores and reports from two major credit bureaus, but did you know we help you stay on top of credit report changes?

We’ll send you an alert if we notice important changes in your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports so you can check for suspicious activity or errors.

To make sure everything lines up, check out your reports (remember: we provide reports from both Equifax and TransUnion) and review any new items.

To enable credit monitoring, log into Credit Karma then:

-> Go to Profile and Settings in the top right corner

-> Select Communications & Monitoring

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-> Check the “Credit Monitoring” box.

2. Dispute items that don’t belong on your report

If something looks off while you’re going through your TransUnion report, Direct Dispute™ makes it easy for you to file a claim.

Click the “Dispute an error” button under the relevant account and we’ll help you submit your request.

TransUnion will then review your claim and make the appropriate changes if your error is validated. If TransUnion makes a change as a result of your dispute, you’ll see the change reflected on Credit Karma as soon as we receive the updated information from TransUnion. Keep in mind that filing a dispute doesn’t guarantee that TransUnion will change your report.

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Note: If the error is with Equifax, you’ll need to dispute it directly through their website.)

3. Simulate changes to your credit score

Once you’ve reviewed your reports and disputed any errors, the Credit Score Simulator (which is based on VantageScore 3.0 credit scores and starts with the information in your current TransUnion credit report) can help you see how your credit score could be affected if you make any changes to your accounts or switch up your financial habits.

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Planning to open a new credit card? Applying for a new loan? Use the Simulator to get an idea of how your credit score could change. Note: The Simulator is an educational tool and provides estimated outcomes, not predictions.

4. Check for unclaimed money

If you’re looking for some extra pocket change, you could start by searching for unclaimed money — it barely takes longer than picking up a quarter off the sidewalk, but with the possibility of a much bigger payoff.

So what is unclaimed money, anyway? In a nutshell: When businesses owe you money but can’t send it to you, they may turn it over to state governments. The government then holds onto it under your name. You can file a simple claim to get it back. With over $40 billion just sitting with state governments, it’s worth it for you to take a look.

5. File your taxes for free

With Credit Karma Tax, you can e-file your federal and state taxes completely for free — there are no upsells or hidden fees.

We give you tips and tricks as you fill out the form and have a dedicated support team to help if you run into any questions so you can get a lot of bang for zero bucks.

We support the most common forms and schedules, but make sure to check out the full list here before you start.

6. Tackle your debt

Got some nagging debt you’re trying to pay down? We’ve got tons of educational articles like this or this to help you strategize paying it off.

Once you’re ready to take action, take advantage of resources such as our debt repayment calculator and personal loans marketplace to figure out your next steps.

7. Consider refinancing your mortgage

Figuring out whether you should refinance your mortgage can be a big decision. One of the first things you may want to do is figure out if refinancing is worth it financially.

The good news is you can use our mortgage refinance calculator to get an idea. Simply fill out some basic information such as how long you plan to stay in your home and your ideal loan term and we’ll help you figure out whether refinancing could help you save money or not.

If it makes sense for you to refinance, we’ll help you find better mortgage rates from our partners and make the process as straightforward as possible.

Bottom line

No matter where you are on your financial journey, Credit Karma can help you along the way. We understand that money matters can feel complicated, and we’re doing what we can to change that, one feature at a time.

About the author: Catherine Giese is a digital marketer with a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Cornell University. In her free time she enjoys writing satirical commentary and spending time outdoors.  Read more.