Credit Karma offers an array of interesting information about your credit situation, based on your TransUnion credit report.
And now, Credit Karma is offering free daily credit monitoring.
Features of Free Daily Credit Monitoring
The idea behind the free daily credit monitoring offered by Credit Karma is that you can receive updates about what is happening with your credit profile. It's pretty straightforward: All you have to do is sign up for Credit Karma — for free. Once you are signed up, you will be alerted, by email, when any of the following changes occur to your credit profile:
- New credit inquiry
- Improvement in payment history
- Missed payment
- New account opened
Any major changes to your credit report are sent to you. Each day, Credit Karma looks through your information and alerts you to changes that are likely to have an impact on your credit score. This means that you can be alerted about events that could indicate that your identity has been stolen, or that indicate errors in reporting. You won't be inundated with emails, though; you're only supposed to receive the emails if something changes.
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Signing up is easy. All you have to do is sign up for Credit Karma. You will be asked for personal information, though, including your name and address, as well as Social Security Number, since Credit Karma will be accessing your TransUnion credit report. If you are already a member of Credit Karma, you will be asked if you want emailed alerts when you login. In the profile area, there is a “Credit Monitoring Preferences” option to the left. You can check the box, or un-check it, depending on whether or not you want to receive the updates. It's very easy to opt in or opt out of the emails.
Remember, though, that the Credit Karma free monitoring isn't going to cover all of your credit reports. Only the TransUnion credit report is reflected, so you will still need to check your other credit reports for a comprehensive look at your credit picture. You can visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get a free credit report from each of the bureaus each year. Additionally, there are sites like Quizzle and Credit Sesame that can provide you access to your Experian score and report.
Other Credit Features of Credit Karma
Credit Karma also features a number of other credit information and tools. Your performance is tracked over time so that you are able to identify trends in your credit and in your finances. You can also compare your situation to others' situations, and see how you stack up. It's very a helpful snapshot of what your financial habits look like.
It's not a bad idea to sign up for free information about your credit score, and get access to free credit monitoring. Being able to review your credit information, and get a general idea of where you stand can be helpful as you plan your finances. However, remember that these free sites offer you their own scores, and it is not the same as a FICO score.