How to get the most out of Credit Karma
Credit is one of the most important financial tools, outside of monetary value and assets. Good credit is necessary for getting approved of loans, whether they’re loans for personal use, a vehicle purchase, the purchase of a home, or a business loan. Some people go on the theory that having good credit is not necessary to achieve wealth. If you’re one of those people, you probably won’t find any value in this post. However, if you’re someone who’s interested in good credit and a helpful tool that assist you with it, then continue.
Years back, when I first gained interest in improving my personal credit score, I came across a website called Credit Karma. I was reading information on the web, and I came across a link to the Credit Karma website. Upon arriving on the Credit Karma website, I discovered how simple it was to navigate the site. In the top menu of their website, they have a list of tools for credit such as credit cards, loans, as well as resources to assist you with improving your credit. I was impressed, because at that time, I wasn’t aware of the 3 credit bureaus offering free credit monitoring. In fact, I’m not sure if the bureaus were offering free credit monitoring back then.
Creating an account with Credit Karma is free. You simply create an account, which takes a few minutes and you gain access to things such as your credit report and even your Vantage 3.0 credit score. I will discuss the credit score that Credit Karma provides, later in this post.
When you first sign into the website and automatically land on the main page, it provides you with both your Transunion and Equifax credit scores. The numbers range from 300 to 850. On each credit score, you can click on “View score details” and it will give you your updated credit report. The cool thing about Credit Karma is they provide an update of your report every 7 days, or every time you log in if it’s after a period of 7 days. Once you’re in the “View score details” section, they have a list of all of your credit factors that either help or hurt your credit. They list your credit card usage, if you have any. They list your payment history of your current opened accounts. They have a list of your derogatory accounts (if any accounts are in collections). The also list your credit age (Age of your credit accounts), the total number of accounts you have, and your hard inquiries.
Earlier in the post I mentioned the Vantage 3.0 score. Your Vantage 3.0 score is totally different from your FICO scores. The numbers may be close in range, and they may even be similar, but they’re based on a totally different scoring model. Just a heads up, most banks and financial institutions use your FICO score. I’m sure there are some that may use the Vantage 3.0 score, but at the time the percentage of those that do is small. For that reason, I use other websites to keep up with my FICO score. Discover has a free score card via Transunion which provides you with your free Transunion FICO 8 credit score.
I use Credit Karma for updates on my credit report, to monitor my credit report, use the free resources they offer such as the credit score simulator, simple loan calculator, as well as articles and reviews. My advice to anyone that signs up for a free Credit Karma account is to make sure you keep track of your FICO score as well. You don’t want to go applying for loans and think they’re gonna use your Vantage 3.0 score that’s provided by Credit Karma. So many people get trapped into that thinking. Your FICO score can be higher or lower than your Vantage 3.0 score; it simply all depends on your credit history.
Me personally, I think Credit Karma is an excellent tool for people who are interested in monitoring their credit. It was the first credit monitoring site I’ve used and it helped me a lot. I’m just passing it on to you because it was very beneficial to me. Please take my advice regarding the difference in the Vantage 3.0 and FICO scores. If you do decide to open a Credit Karma account, use it as a helpful tool for staying up to date with your Equifax and Transunion credit reports. Another thing to keep in mind, make sure you head over to Experian and keep up with your Experian score as well, as Credit Karma does not list a report for Experian. I hope this post helped you out. If you’re new to credit, attempting to build or repair your credit, or simply want to enhance it; I recommend a few of the books below. They helped me a great deal when I first started out.