By AGNES LIANG, STEPHANIE BENJAMIN & MIKA BHATIA
Remember getting your report card back in the day? For some of us, the day our final grades arrived was a joyous occasion.
For the rest of us, we dreaded the day like no other.
Seeing those big fat grades printed out on paper felt like being branded with a scarlet letter.
And once grades were sent out, there was no changing them. That is, depending on how skilled you were with a printer...
Checking your credit report may evoke similar emotions. Does the mention of "credit score" or "credit report" make your heart race or your palms sweat?
Here's the good news: Getting your credit report is not the same as getting your report card.
First, your credit score isn't set in stone (or paper). If you've neglected your credit in the past, or made some missteps along the way, you can work to fix it.
With your report card, you never really knew what was coming. Did your teacher decide to round up your 89.9% to an A- or leave with you with an annoying B+? The suspense was real.
But with your credit report, you're the one in the driver's seat. You can check it whenever and as often as you choose with Credit Karma so that you're never left guessing.
You can also sign up for credit monitoring (for free!) and be alerted when there are changes to your report, so you know exactly what's on it.
Credit Karma will also give you tailored recommendations and tips on how you can improve your credit health. Think of it as tutoring (but far less painful).
Finally, getting your report card was unavoidable -- it showed up in your mailbox, semester after semester, and there was nothing you could do about it. But checking your credit report is totally in your control.
The bottom line? Getting your credit report totally beats getting your report card. So don't be afraid to check yours today.
Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.
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.