Credit Karma offers an emerging new model for free credit scores

A man posing in a lotus position

Credit Karma is one of many sites emerging on the web supported by advertising that allows users to access credit score information for free. Vramak/Flickr photo.

Credit Karma is one of many websites that have emerged offering free credit scores. Learning your credit score is easier now, thanks to the financial reform bill signed into law this month. Financial reform legislation, otherwise known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, requires lenders to show you the credit reports they used to turn you down. But you can keep that from happening by knowing your credit score beforehand and taking steps toward credit repair. Websites like Credit Karma offer to make your credit score available for free anytime, as often as you want to check on it.

Credit Karma service supported by advertising

Credit Karma is a free service supported by advertising. That makes it different from most websites that offer free credit information and then try to lure you into paying for your credit score. Consumer Commentary reports that Credit.com offers a similar free service. Among their differences, Credit Karma evaluates more categories than credit.com when assigning users their credit grade. However, credit.com offers a range for several different types of credit scores. Credit Karma only offers one score directly from one of the reporting bureaus that isn’t a FICO Score.

Is Credit Karma enough for credit repair?

When it comes to credit repair, the usefulness of the credit score available from Credit Karma is questioned by some. At mymoneyblog.com, there’s a catch: it’s not a real FICO score. Your credit score from Credit Karma is a “FICO clone” with a range from 300 to 900. FICO scores range from 300 to 850. Credit Karma, which says it pulls data from Experian, Equifax and Transunion, doesn’t say which bureau supplied the data your credit score is based upon. Plus, you only get your credit score, not who’s pulling your credit, how often they are doing it or information about your existing credit lines.

Are free credit scores really free?

Objections aside, Credit Karma and credit.com appear to be extremely helpful for building, maintaining and repairing credit. Giving up some personal information in exchange for useful credit data is much better for most people than paying $89.95 a year for FICO’s Score Watch. Free credit information is also available at the government-sponsored credit site AnnualCreditReport.com. The site will not give you a numeric credit score, but it will deliver a detailed rundown of factors that affect your credit score. Stay away from sites like creditreport.com and freecreditreport.com. They say you can sign up for free, but after seven days they start billing your credit card $14.95 per month until you make them stop.

Get professional credit repair help

Speak to a professional today and take proactive steps to repair your credit. For a FREE credit consultation, call 1-877-563-2076.

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