How to Monitor Your Credit on Credit Karma

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How to Monitor Your Credit on Credit Karma

Your credit matters, and not staying on top of it can cost you more than money.

Having a credit score that needs work means that you might get offered higher interest rates when you borrow, which can end up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest, depending on how much you need to borrow. But beyond that, bad credit can also stand in your way if you're trying to rent a home, lease a car or even get a job. For all of these reasons, it's important to know what your credit looks like and make sure that picture is accurate.

That's where credit monitoring comes in.

In the past, credit monitoring was a luxury that consumers paid a premium for, but at Credit Karma we're happy to provide this service as part of your free membership.

When you enable monitoring, Credit Karma will keep you informed about important changes to your TransUnion credit report. You will receive notifications on your profile, as well as by email.

So, what do you need to look out for when you're watching your credit?

First, make sure that all the information currently listed on your profile is accurate. Then, keep an eye on your notifications to keep track of changes to your report.

Basically, you want to make sure that none of the monitoring notifications that you receive surprise you. You should especially be keeping an eye on the following:

  • Hard Credit Inquiries: If you receive a new hard inquiry, it should mean that you have given your explicit permission for someone to run you credit. This could be a lender, landlord or employer, but they must always receive your permission. Hard inquiries are one of the first indicators of an application for credit, so it is important to follow up on unrecognized inquiries promptly. You can view your current hard inquiries on your full credit report.
  • New Accounts: You should always keep an eye out for accounts that you do not recognize. However, if you have recently received a new card for an existing account, don't be alarmed if you get a new account notification. This can be triggered by the new card number you are assigned. It can also take some time for your lender to report new accounts to the credit bureaus. You may receive a new account notification over a month after receiving a new card, so don't worry about delays.
  • Delinquent Accounts and Late Payments: Delinquent accounts and late payments can be damaging, so it's important to make sure they don't get listed in error. Even if you know that you were late on a payment, it's worth it to verify that your information is listed correctly when you receive the notification.
  • Derogatory Marks: These can indicate a number of negative credit issues, such as a bankruptcy or an account in collection. Again, even if you're expecting one to show up, you should make sure that it's listed correctly when it does. You can read more about derogatory marks in our articles section and see your reported derogatory marks on your full credit report.
  • Uncharacteristic Transactions: Monitoring your accounts for unfamiliar transactions can help you recognize suspicious activity, which may indicate identity theft, as soon as it happens. Use Credit Karma to keep on top of your transactions by connecting your accounts.

What if you find an error?

As soon as you see an inaccuracy on your credit report, it is important to act quickly. Sometimes inaccuracies can be due to a clerical error or mistaken identity, but other times they can be the result of identity theft. Either way, it is usually in your best interest to address inaccuracies on your credit as quickly as possible.

To correct errors on your report, you will need to contact TransUnion directly and file a formal dispute.

If someone was able to open an account in your name, they may still be able to misuse your identity, so if you believe that an error on your report may be fraudulent activity you may want to take some defensive measures.

Make Sure to Reap All the Benefits

By regularly watching your credit score and report activity, you will be able to maintain the accuracy of your information and make sure that you're being judged fairly by lenders. This isn't the only benefit, though. When you monitor your credit regularly, you have the opportunity to build a more comprehensive understanding of how credit works. There's no better way to learn about a complex system than by consistent observation, so take note of when your score changes and of recent activity that has taken place on your profile. Use your past observations to guide your future decisions and keep working your way to healthy credit.

About the Author: has been a Member Support Specialist at Credit Karma since December 2013. She can usually be found riding bikes around town late at night, communing with animals and eating sweets.

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.

All Comments

Results 1-10 of 27Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 3   Previous | Next
1 Contribution
16 People Helped

Helpful to 16 out of 17 people

I started with Credit Karma over 4 years ago. I have been reading their recommendations and finally got a credit card soon after getting on board. They helped me grow from a low 500 ( maybe worse) to over 740 now! You need patience, pay your bills on time religiously and understand they update about every two weeks if you check your score. Use your head, buy only what you can afford, pay your bills and you will see how helpful this free tool is! It's true you really can get something for free that will help you and good credit is priceless when you need it! I recommend this site to everybody all the time! I will be over an 800 soon, thanks Credit Karma!!! 

1 Contribution
20 People Helped

Helpful to 18 out of 22 people

I can only speak for my own reports and my wife's reports.  I do see when creditKarma gets their updates each month/week won't always match when I get my reports.  Individual accounts will reflect different time periods slightly but they all are correct within a one month time period regardless.  At least, they are with me and my wife's accounts.  Updates appear to match what Equifax and Transunion are reporting on their credit reports.  All balances are accurate and reflect correctly.  I realize they are updated only monthly, or as often as each creditor reports a newer balance.  I also realize any items that show up incorrectly can flag me to contact the individual credit reporting firm to request a correction.  I see a lot of reviews pointing to creditKarma for errors but I have matched mine with actual credit reports so, I don't have that bad experience.  I'm glad that I no longer have to pay my $24/yr on both me and my wife's credit monitoring via TransUnion.  I'm going to signup now for the monitoring for free here.

Reply by
kuhnelam

1 Contribution
9 People Helped
Helpful to 9 out of 11 people

Enter Your Reply

I agree totally they have always updated our accounts on a regular basis.  I have been with them for many years.

9 Contributions
185 People Helped

Helpful to 40 out of 50 people

Arguably their information is so far behind it is almost useless.  I find on my scores and usage it is 90-150 days behind and so it is not even close to accurate.  They showed me with a score of 623 four months ago and I waited another 30 days to buy a new vehicle.  When Ford ran my credit it was 729 yet Karma still showed 623.  Why bother trying to keep up?

Reply by
Crutchy211

1 Contribution
37 People Helped
Helpful to 37 out of 42 people

I HAVE WRONG NAMES AND OLD,IRREVALENT INFORMATION IN MY CREDIT REPORT THAT NEED TO BE UPDATED.

Reply by
GovyGirl

2 Contributions
38 People Helped
Helpful to 10 out of 16 people

Copy that.............KC is not timely in their reporting ; in fact, sesame.com reflects a more accurate portrial of what's gong on with a profile.  I'm very disappointed with  KC.  My profile at this time is outdated by almost  3 months.  I've stymied my car buying experience base on their reporting mechanism however, based on cajanone's input, I think I may take the initiative towards ignoring KC's outdated information.

Reply by
duked5

1 Contribution
12 People Helped
Helpful to 12 out of 17 people

I agree they dont update  as they should,  I'm trying tofind somewhere else to go.

Reply by
hammer573

2 Contributions
5 People Helped

Enter Your Reply

9 Contributions
185 People Helped

Helpful to 22 out of 25 people

Why is Karma always 90-120 days behind on an update?  Their information on my Karma has been changed over four months and still they show the old usage and percentages which were history then

Reply by
ricanguy007

7 Contributions
20 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

cause its  a free service, and what they try to do is sell you on their credit cards and mortgage companies to get more bussiness .

Top Contributor
13 Contributions
11 People Helped

Helpful to 7 out of 8 people

I can't speak for others but KC is always accurate and up to date for me.  All my balances are generally very close, sometimes there's a little lag but not too bad.

Credit Karma Team
Top Contributor
2949 Contributions
4643 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

Thanks for posting!

1 Contribution
5 People Helped

Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

PNC BANK informed me on 7/11/2015 that my Credit Score from Experian is 690.

Credit Karma lists my Credit Score based on Experian is 817.

how can there be such a huge discrepancy between the  scores from Experian? This is not child's play.

ritchie 646

Reply by
Razorbackjohn

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 3 people

Mine is the opposite Credit Carma religiously says my credit is 753..... But the times that my credit has been run, it has been 817 to 835. I think this site is to show your credit score low, you panic and buy there products to repair great credit.......SCAM! Why do you think it's free? Because they just want to help people?

1 Contribution
5 People Helped

Helpful to 5 out of 6 people

My score on here shows 717 and 715, ,,but when trying to lower my house payment, they told me my real score is only 625. . .what's the deal?  Hiow do you explain this?  I have never made a late mapayment, and only keep one credit card active, and pay it off in full each month. . .Can you answer this, please????

1 Contribution
6 People Helped

Helpful to 6 out of 8 people

How do I get Accts off my credit report that were paid off months ago?

Reply by
mcguy33

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 5 people

If your old accounts were timely and good it is better to leave them on because the longer credit history  you have the better it is. 

A short credit history is not good.

Reply by
walkerjohnt

2 Contributions
3 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

You don't need to get them off your credit file just because they are paid.  However if they are showing balances, just dispute them as status incorrect and they will be updated.  

7 Contributions
3 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

Two weeks ago i checked my credit score,(transunion 628), Today i check it 7-14-15 (transunion 485)????? How does that happen, I have not applied for a loan of any kind. Have not falling behind on any payments. I wished some one can explain.

1 Contribution
8 People Helped

Helpful to 8 out of 13 people

It seems that I'm not sure on how this works.  I have been paying my bills on time, but yet my credit score keeps going down.  Is it because I don't have credit card dept?  Or is it the past overdue accumulates even if the dept has been paid in full? I just don't understand the grading system this program has.

Results 1-10 of 27Results per page: 5 | 10 | 25Page 1 of 3   Previous | Next

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