My Favorite Tools: Credit Karma

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This is my third of a few posts I’ll be doing that highlights some tools I use for “travel hacking.” The first is here. The second is here.

If you’ve ever wondered what you’re credit score is, but you don’t want to have to pay for it, well look no further, go to CreditKarma.com and get your FREE credit score from two of the three credit profile companies out there.

If you don’t know, your credit score is important – unless you live don’t spend money.  Your credit score is a three digit number calculated from your data-rich credit report and is one factor used by lenders to determine your creditworthiness for a mortgage, loan or credit card.  Your score can affect whether or not you are approved as well as what interest rate you are charged.  Lame enough, your credit can even determine if you get a job or not.

Credit Karma is a great tool out there that lets you get a snapshot of your credit report.  Not as detailed as your full one that you’d get every year, but enough to let you know if you have a problem.  One nice thing about Credit Karma is that it lets you compare your report between both TransUnion and Equifax.  Before it use to just be TransUnion.  Since these are two of the three companies that track your credit, it is great to have something to compare them.  If you see discrepancies, then take the time to get them to match (though don’t go crazy with this).

I’ve been using Credit Karma for a few years now and it is a great way to see how credit cards effect your credit score.  They have little built in tools to see how signing up for a credit card would help or hurt your current score.  Don’t take this as a reason not to sign up, just take it as a recommendation.

There are other tools out there like CreditSesame.com which handles the other, but I find it doesn’t work as smoothly as Credit Karma.  Some credit cards will also let you see your FICO score for free also, and that’s awesome.  Whatever you use, be sure to use something to keep track of your credit.  The worst thing is applying to get a loan eventually and being unsure of why it is you didn’t get that loan or perhaps that job…ouch.

Please let me know what your thoughts of are of either Credit Karma or other tools that are out there.  Hopefully your info will help the next person!

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