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Credit Karma Review: What is it?


Credit Karma Review: What is it? 21.09.2019Leave a comment
Credit Karma Review: What is it?
Questions and Answers
When was founded?
in 2007
How many employees?
1000 employees
Who founded Credit Karma?
Kenneth Lin and cofounders Ryan Graciano and Nichole Mustard
Monthly Visits
76 million (SimilarWeb)
Revenue
$600 million (2018)
Platform
Web, iOS, Android
Website

CreditKarma has a unique business model that enables its visitors to benefit for free. In the simplest terms, this website gives its users the opportunity to get access to individual credit scores and reports.

Additionally, the platform gives recommendations about financial products to its users and earns its pay from banks or lenders if the recommendations are followed. And, yes, it is absolutely free. So, stay in tune to learn about the perks and benefits of using this website.

Credit Karma
Credit Karma

CreditKarma was founded in 2007 by the current CEO Kenneth Lin and cofounders Ryan Graciano and Nichole Mustard. Headquartered in San Francisco, the website is served by nearly 1,000 employees. Founded during the times of economic crisis, the founders believed that people should have free access to their financial records in order to make better informed decisions.

Kenneth Lin
Kenneth Lin

This online platform ranks 389th worldwide by traffic and 85th in the US.

Not bad, right?

Furthermore, it is considered to be the 7th best website in its own category compared to all other sites in the world.

How it works

CreditKarma divides its business model into 3 simple steps. Let’s take a look at these 3 steps:

  • Get your scores and report

In this website, you can get free access to your credit scores and credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax, including weekly updates.

  • Making recommendations

As you can probably guess, they engage in lots of data analysis as they make recommendations for you. The data they use is your credit profile and their ultimate goal is to help you save money.

  • CreditKarma gets paid by the bank/lender

This is a profit seeking business and they benefit if their customer follows their recommendations. So, if you get a product through one of CreditKarma’s recommendations, they will get paid by your bank/lender.

Credit Karma

The win-win situation

According to CreditKarma’s business model, the three parties involved in this chain – borrowers, lenders and the website itself, all win in the end.

Borrowers benefit from making better data analysis-based decisions and they save money from these decisions.

Lenders benefit by turning away fewer customers and CreditKarma benefits by getting paid by the lenders.

How To Register

  • Create an account with CreditKarma on their website

In order to register on the website, you need to create an account. As simple as it may sound, you only need to provide an email address and set a password for your account.

  • Fill in your personal information
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CreditKarma should be able to identify you as an individual in order to give you access to your credit scores. So, you need to tell them your full name, living address, date of birth and your social security number.

  • Confirm your identity

Lastly, in order to register the website will require you to prove your identity to avoid unlawful situations. You will be asked to provide a picture of your identity document to make sure you are authentic.

Registration process
Registration process

Advantages of registration

  • Truly free access to your credit score

This may be hard to believe, but the services of CreditKarma come absolutely free of charge. Some websites claim this too, but ask for payment and credit card information, which creates a creepy impression.

But, these people really prove their point by not requesting any payment information from you, not at any point in time.

  • No impact on credit score

If you know the difference between soft and hard inquiries, you will be happy to find out that checking your scores on CreditKarma constitutes a soft inquiry and, therefore, does not affect your credit score.

If you are not familiar with these terms, a hard inquiry is usually performed by lenders to check your credit score and history and takes away some points from your score, whereas soft inquiry leaves no impact on your score.

How CreditKarma members benefit from other features

  • Free credit monitoring

CreditKarma will help you spot identity thefts by sending you notifications on important changes on your TransUnion credit report.

Credit Score

  • Tools and education

As you will soon get familiar with all of them, the tools on this website are abundant with very helpful applications, information and guidance. Articles and blogs are also there if you are looking for information to read.

  • Member reviews

Some people like to form their opinions based on other people’s reviews, because they believe that they may experience something similar to what other people experience from a product.

So, the good news is that CreditKarma provides reviews on all relevant products collected from the CreditKarma community itself. You are also free to leave your own review to help other people make more informed decisions.

The website has 5 main categories where you can find credit information and advice:

  • Credit Cards

There is a ton of information on credit cards on CreditKarma.com. You can search among Best Credit Cards, Secured Credit Cards and Low Interest Credit Cards and find the right fit for you.

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You can also find information about Balance Transfer, Cash Back and Rewards. If you are registered in the website, CreditKarma will make you recommendations among these products.

  • Loans

The website is not short of information on loans. You can choose and find the best personal, home or auto loans for yourself.

Based on your information (including your credit score), the site will offer you loans from different lenders and reveal your periodic payments and all other important loan details.

Personal Loans
Personal Loans
  • Auto

Auto loans have a special spot in CreditKarma.com. They will help you with refinancing your auto loan or getting a new one. Another feature of this section is the auto insurance. CreditKarma will help you find the cheapest quotes on auto insurance.

Insurance marketplace
Insurance marketplace
  • Resources

Identity monitoring – this is a wonderful tool that will give you alerts to help you spot any identity theft related to you.

Unclaimed money – when a business owes you money, but is unable to send it to you, the money is transferred into the custody of the government. On average, there are more than 40 billion USD of unclaimed funds sitting in the government. With this CreditKarma tool you will be notified if you have any unclaimed money.

Reviews – CreditKarma collects reviews for all products relevant to their website content. You can view review scores and comments written by people like yourself. You can also write a review yourself to help other people make opinions.

Reviews
Reviews

Articles – the website publishes articles about Credit Cards. You can find reviews about specific Credit Cards from specific card issuers. You can also find articles about the perks of owning different types of cards.

Tools – there are 4 tools in this section to help you with your finances.

  • Credit Score Simulator – this tool enables you to play with credit choices and see their impact on your credit scores. This is a decision tool to help you get the most out of your decisions and keep your credit score high.
  • Debt Repayment Calculator – this tool will ask you to provide the following parameters: balance owed, interest rate, expected monthly payment and desired payoff time frame in months. As an end result you will be shown the time it will take you to repay your debt balance.
  • Simple Loan Calculator – the simple loan calculator helps you see the amount of equal payments you will make for a loan given different loan parameters, i.e. loan amount, interest rate and the number of loan years.
  • Amortization Calculator – amortization is the periodic reduction of your debt. This tool will give you a table showing how your debt is being amortized. You will see the beginning and ending balances of your debt for each payment period and will also see how much of your payment is being allocated among principal and interest payments.
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Community – this is the space where you can connect with your CreditKarma counterparts. This is basically a forum that allows users to ask questions to the community and get friendly answers. You can also help other users to find the answer to the question they are looking for.

Blog – having so many website resources, CreditKarma also publishes blogs within 4 broad topics (latest stories, product updates, company news and engineering).

How it works – finally, in its Resources section, CreditKarma explains visitors how their business works.

  • Tax

You can file your taxes through CreditKarma.com. Credit Karma Tax is a premium product, but attention, it’s free again.

Tax Page
Tax Page

Credit Karma Tax guarantees you the accuracy of your tax calculations given you provide them with true information.

This product also manages your tax refunds and, in fact, guarantees you to receive your refund fully.

Based on 764,928 reviews from Credit Karma Tax survey, the product has received a rating of 4.8 out of 5.

Security and privacy of information

CreditKarma uses 128-bit encryption to make data transmission in the website safe and secure. If you wonder what a 128-bit encryption is, it is one of the best secure encryption mechanisms available in the modern digital world. This type of data encryption is considered to be logically unbreakable. So, you can rest assured that whatever information you put on this website will transmit securely without leaks.

Security Page
Security Page

You may also be wondering who will use your information after you input your data. The information is only used by CreditKarma or its affiliated companies (owned by CreditKarma, so essentially the same company) for obtaining your scores and reports from TransUnion, Equifax and more. However, CreditKarma makes it clear that they will not share your information with any third party for marketing purposes of these third parties.

The company has a dedicated team of security experts that will respond to you promptly if you encounter any technical issues on the website. They pass external security assessments and external security auditing to make sure that the security of information is on the highest possible standards.

User content rules

CreditKarma.com sets out ground rules to guide its users towards the most beneficial behavior for all. This is to set out positive experiences for all users.

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Having platforms for reviews and forums, there is a lot of room for misbehavior and it is important to learn about these rules and their consequences. You are also advised to read the Terms of Use before using CreditKarma.

  • Do not impersonate other individuals – do not misrepresent your identity and present information in a true and fair manner
  • Don’t infringe – make sure you have the rights to any content you publish. Any suspicious material may be investigated and CreditKarma has the right to remove any material it perceives as an infringement.
  • Do not publish other people’s confidential information – this relates to publishing personal information of other people such as addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, credit card information, etc.
  • Do not use threatening behavior – the content published by you may not be abusive to an individual’s gender, race, origin, religion, disability, age, marital status, etc.
  • No violence, sexually explicit materials – do not post any materials with sexual or violent content
  • No illegal activity – the services of CreditKarma such as the forums cannot be used to promote or commit illegal acts, otherwise the company may report such behavior to the authorities.
  • No spam
  • No viruses, phishing, malicious material

It is the Auto-Assistant Dashboard of CreditKarma that shocked the media as the dashboard was unveiled in 2017. CNBC and TechCrunch published news articles to introduce this to the public.

Techcrunch
Techcrunch

Since CreditKarma estimated that 4.7 million people overpay on their vehicle loans, the Auto-Assistant Dashboard was launched. The main function of this dashboard is to notify users if their credit score improvement can qualify them for a cheaper auto loan or auto insurance deal.

Other features of the Auto-Assistant Dashboard include viewing the details of your vehicle loan or lease, estimating the value of your car, checking your DMV profile and viewing your auto insurance score.

Interesting facts about CreditKarma.com

After reading so much about this website, read some important facts and statistics about the company and compare them with your expectations:

  • As of 21 June 2019, CreditKarma has reached 100 million users.
  • As of the same date, CreditKarma has 30 million weekly active users.
  • 98% of these users are from the US, with Canada, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom and India completing the tops in that order.
  • The average visit duration on this website is 3 minutes, 2 seconds with 5.07 pages viewed per visit.
  • The estimated value of the company is $4 billion.

The wrap up

By the end of reading all this information, we have all probably lost count of the advantages of CreditKarma and its numerous tools.

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Frankly speaking, there is an impression that CreditKarma really cares about its users. It’s like a personal finance manager, which requires you to just give personal information and get high quality results.

There is a huge emphasis on education with its countless articles and blogs about all topics and products that you could be interested in. It is very nice of the website to publish materials, which help its community to become more educated, hence aiding their decision-making skills.

Credit Karma
Credit Karma

The community is quite solid. With 100 million users, it gives us large enough samples for having good reviews for products and enough comments. CreditKarma has created a platform for people to share opinions and try to help each other.

These guys also take security very very seriously. Providing personal information online is no joke. Believe me, every time you input a piece of personal information on the web, you should give it a good thought, because the consequences can be severe. But, CreditKarma.com has convinced us enough that they care about our security and they have systems in place to protect our data. What’s more, they don’t just keep your data secure, they also promise to keep you alert if potential signs of identity theft can be spotted.

Basically, the mission of the company speaks for itself and I think their resources are sufficient to help them fulfill their mission of providing users information and recommendations to make the best decisions.

And when you think whether you should give CreditKarma a try, remember its greatest advantage – it’s free!!! All of this, free of charge. CreditKarma is a recommended website to use for the management of your finances. Especially if you are far away from the financial industries, let CreditKarma.com take care of your needs.

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Andrei Shilkov

Blog author. I am well versed in Finance and Digital Marketing. I have two bachelors degrees in Finance. Born in Russia, but later moved to the USA, to western Pennsylvania, the city of Pittsburgh. I have a Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) certificate. I also worked at IRS and Microsoft.

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