Your credit score is one of the most crucial components of your financial profile. Because of this, Credit Karma believes you have the right to access your credit information for free, anytime. In addition to offering free credit scores, Credit Karma also provides its members with full credit reports and helpful tools and resources to help you better understand your unique situation.
Here's a step-by-step approach for using Credit Karma to help monitor and build your credit.
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 and a personal email address (instead of a work or school address that might be cancelled). As we may send emails regarding your credit situation, try not to choose an email address that you share with a spouse or other family member.
- Tell us who you are. In order to identify you with the credit bureau, we need you to provide some personal information, including your Social Security number. Please rest assured that we are committed to securing your data.
- Confirm your identity. Here, you'll be asked to answer a series of questions based on information on file with the credit bureaus. We use these questions to verify your identity.
When you've completed the sign-up process and your identity is verified, you'll be able to get your free credit scores--no credit card required.
Step 2: Get your free credit scores and credit reports.
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 Score Details: 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.
- Full Credit Reports: 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.
Remember 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 your accounts.
After you connect 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 can give you a 360-degree view of your financial health. Not only can connecting your accounts allow you to be able to check 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 can track where your money is coming from and where it's going. Easily identify what you spend the most money on so you can work on your budget.
- 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.
Step 4: Make moves to build your credit score.
With the help of Credit Karma, make choices to work on building your credit, whether it means opening a new credit card, refinancing a loan, disputing a credit report error or taking steps to lower your credit 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. Also, keep in mind that we provide other tools that could help you work on your financial situation. Read credit card reviews before applying for a new card, use the Credit Advice Center to discuss questions about credit with the Credit Karma community, read through our articles for regularly updated information on credit and personal finance, and keep exploring our site--we're always adding cool new features.
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.