Thanks to its creative marketing campaigns, almost everyone knows Credit Karma and the service it provides to check your up-to-the-minute credit score.
But even with the barrage of ads nudging us to look at our score, how many of us are actually doing this on a regular basis?
The answer is that most people aren’t taking their credit score as seriously as they should when it comes to maintaining and improving our financial health.
A credit score is a specific number, based on the information in your credit reports, of how risky you will be as a borrower for things like mortgages, car loans and even credit cards. In other words, it tells lenders how likely you are to pay back the amount you take on as debt within the timetable you both agree to.
Credit scores have an enormous impact on your financial future. Most, if not all, lenders look at your score to decide whether or not to lend to you. A good credit score can help open doors to get you access to a greater variety of loan offers. Most importantly, if a lender approves your application for credit, a good or excellent credit score can help you qualify for lower interest rates and better terms.
This can bring significant savings for you over the life of the loan.
There are many credit score sources with different ranges out there. But for the major consumer credit scores, generally the highest credit score you can reach is 850.
Regardless of your scores, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your credit reports so that you’ll know what lenders will see once you apply. Credit Karma offers access to your free credit scores and free credit reports from Equifax and TransUnion, with weekly updates to help you stay on top of your credit.
It will take you time to build a good credit score. Here are some tips that can help you stay on the right track:
The company puts tools into your hands to take control of your credit score.
The credit score simulator, for example, shows several actions that may trigger a change in your score, such as getting a new loan, letting your accounts go past due, or receiving a credit limit increase. To use the simulator, you click on the action and a chart will be displayed showing what your new credit score might be.
Other tools available include interactive calculators for refinancing a mortgage or repaying debt, with recommendations based on your current financial situation. You can also search for credit cards with filters like low-interest or transfer a balance from another card.
Credit Karma has a fairly extensive Help Center with many FAQs. If you require more help, they offer a messaging option to contact customer support. There is not a toll-free number or live chat available.
If you need help with a tax topic or your Credit Karma Tax account, there is a separate option for sending a message to them.
Establishing a good credit score takes time but is well worth the effort. The more you know about maintaining a healthy score, the better.
Credit Karma lets you view your score from Equifax and TransUnion free of charge.
Contacting Credit Karma is limited to a messaging option under the Help Center. There are no details about how long you can expect it to take for Customer Service to return your message.