Step 1: Sign up.
There are three steps in the Credit Karma sign-up process:
- Create your account. Here, you'll create your login information. Be sure to choose a secure password by following these password creation tips. Also, use a reliable, personal email address, instead of a work or school email account (that might be cancelled) or an email address that you share with a spouse or other family member.
- Confirm your identity. In order to verify your identity and receive your free credit scores, you'll be asked to answer a series of questions based on information on file with the credit bureaus. You must answer these correctly in order to access your free credit score.
Credit Karma will never ask for your credit card information, since all of our services are free. You'll never be charged to get your credit score from Credit Karma.
When you've completed the sign-up process and your identity is verified, you'll be able to get your free credit score .
Step 2: Get your free credit score and credit report.
Credit Karma provides several different ways to view your credit:
- Dashboard: Here, you'll see your score and how recently it was updated. When you log into your Credit Karma account, your score will automatically update if it's been more than seven days since your last update. All you have to do is log in to initiate this process.
- Credit Scores: This is where you can view your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores, along with your Auto Insurance Score and Home Insurance Score. You can track your scores from the first month you become a Credit Karma member.
- Full Credit Report: Check your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports any time and update them up to once a week. Full credit reports come in an easy-to-understand format complete with educational blurbs and related reading.
- Credit Factors: Find more details about important factors that contribute to your credit score.
- Credit Simulator: This feature allows you to simulate real-world financial actions to see how they may impact your credit score. You can see how a new loan might affect your credit, or how much your score would decrease with a few new hard inquiries on your credit report.
Take note that checking your credit score on Credit Karma will never hurt your credit, since it initiates a soft inquiry. Read more about hard and soft inquiries.
Step 3: Connect and relate your accounts
After you connect and relate your accounts, Credit Karma can become a one-stop site to review your credit lines and bank accounts. As you'll be able to view both your financial accounts and credit scores in one place, it'll give you a 360-degree view of your financial health and present more relevant suggestions on how to improve your financial situation. Not only will connecting your accounts allow you to be able to check all of your accounts in one place, but it'll also enable you to use other awesome features of the site, such as:
- My Spending: A tool that tracks where your money is coming from and where it's going. Easily identify what you spend the most money on and how you can fix those areas.
- Email alerts: If you're the forgetful type, Credit Karma has a variety of reminders that you can choose to be sent to you, such as bill reminders, low balance alerts and credit limit changes.
- Money-saving offers and recommendations: With your accounts connected, Credit Karma will be better able to understand your financial situation and alert you to products and services that are a better fit for your needs.
Step 4: Monitor your accounts.
The My Accounts section of Credit Karma aggregates all of your lines of credit into one place so you can track your overall credit balances. In the Credit Cards section, Credit Karma shows your overall credit card balances as well as your overall credit card limits, and calculates your credit card utilization rate. Since credit card utilization has a large impact on your credit score, it's important to keep it below 30 percent on average.
Step 5: Make moves to build your credit score.
With the help of on CreditKarma.com's recommendations and resources, make choices to help build your credit. These may include:
Opening the right credit card for you
Refinancing a loan
Correcting a credit report error
Maintaining your credit card utilization rate
Credit Karma and its tools will always be free, so use them as often as you like to update and monitor your credit score. There are other useful features on CreditKarma.com to better your financial life. Read credit card reviews before applying for a new card. Use the Credit Advice Center to ask and answer any questions you have about credit and other financial matters. Use My Savings to find potential ways to save money on financial products. Read through the articles in Credit News and the Credit Karma blog for regularly updated information on credit and personal finance.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this site is not provided by the bank or issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank or issuer. Credit Karma may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. It is this compensation that enables Credit Karma to provide its members with services like free access to your credit scores and free monitoring of credit and financial accounts at no charge.
Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.