It may sound weird, but many people underestimate the importance of knowing their credit score. Until it’s too late. Thing is, vigilance about your credit score helps you make smarter lending decisions. Whereas negligence could cost you a pretty penny.
Plan money borrowing, vehicle leasing, or apartment hunting? It may be a smart idea to know your credit score first.
Naturally, there might be so many questions that plague your mind. Where can I get my report and score for free? Are there other sites like Credit Karma?
And that’s no wonder. But first things first.
Credit Score: Your Healthy Financial Reputation in Print
Think of your credit score as a special indicator of your creditworthiness. In most cases, it can vary between 300 and 850. The higher the number, the more likely a person will pay his/her debts fully and on time. Anything 740-plus is considered excellent and lenders don’t distinguish beyond that. Whereas, a 650 credit score and below might cause trouble. Why? For a lender, a person with bad credit is under suspicion. So, he feels the need to protect his money against the greater risk of default. As a result, the higher interest rates typically apply.
Reasons for Bad Credit
Identity theft is one of the common reasons for bad credit. Personal injury, divorce proceedings, and creditor errors can also impact your credit score. The good news? You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting companies.
When calculating your credit score, companies like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame consider the following: the amount of debt you owe, timeliness of your payments, type of debt, credit lines you’ve opened, and credit history length. The latter amounts to 35 percent of your score.
Are Websites Like Credit Karma a Good Option?
When you’re on the lookout for a free credit report, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the wide choice. Thing is, most services like Credit Karma have their own nuances and unique perks.
Below you’ll check some of the best options to check your credit score for free.
There’s only one thing to consider here. The credit score you receive from Credit Karma like sites may differ from the official FICO model. Yet, it’s very similar to it.
What’s more important, lets you improve your credit score at no cost. Remember that different lenders use different formulas. From your side, it’s more important to take care of what factors make up that score.
As an alternative to Credit Karma, Credit Sesame is one of the best credit reporting agencies out there.
Being a Credit Karma alternative, Credit Sesame is a completely free credit monitoring service. It doesn’t require handing over a credit card number and lets you know your TransUnion-based credit score every month.
Even better, Credit Sesame offers you to take advantage of its analytic tools. Thus, it’s easier to find specific credit cards or loans that match your credit profile best. Sign up for alerts to get a full credit report analysis and monthly credit monitoring.
By signing up for the site, you get $50,000 in identity theft insurance and fraud resolution assistance. Credit Sesame mobile app works similar to Credit Karma. It lets you access your data on any modern mobile device that exists today. You’ll get access to an overall debt analysis which shows what you owe in loans and credit card debt.
Want some inspiration? Here’s Brandi Regan’s story
The day the former retail worker decided to go back to the school to invest in her future, an additional $30,000 was added to her debt pool. Sounds familiar?
Well, the sad reality to millions of Americans. Thus, with a 434 credit score, she signed up for a free Credit Sesame membership and began working even harder towards her financial goals. At the end of the day, Brandi was able to raise her score by over 200 points, to 641.
Have a story to share? Your help is welcomed.
In comparison to other Credit Karma competitors, Quizzle has a mission to educate as many people as possible about how credit works. Since 2008, this free online service provides access to credit reports and credit scores for over 2 million customers.
The coolest thing about Quizzle is that you can get a free VantageScore credit score and a two full free Equifax credit report. Snazzy. In fact, sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame offer only access to partial reports. So, one complete report you’ll get once you sign up and the second – after 180 days.
When it comes to credit score, the Quizzle score is a weak point. When compared to the FICO score, a Quizzle score may have a difference in approximately 50 to 70 points. Are you on the lookout for a new credit card? Or maybe planning to apply for an auto loan? Then it’s a good idea to know your FICO score first.
Like other sites similar to Credit Karma, Quizzle doesn’t require users to provide a credit card. Unless you want to upgrade your Quizzle paid plan. In 2015, Quizzle joined Bankrate.com, a leading source for expert financial news, advice, real-time financial rates and information. Curious to test out Quizzle? Visit Bankrate’s new monitoring website, complete the registration, and get both a credit score and a full report.
There are a number of Credit Karma like sites on the market today. The best thing about them is that they all promise to help you keep an eye on – and even improve – your credit. And Discover is no exception, too. It lets you check your FICO score on their website for free, even if you’re not a Discover cardholder.
Isn’t it great? You may have never even touched a Discover credit card and still take advantage of the service.
Discover gives you the FICO score from Experian, which is typically a rarity for free credit checking services. While a free credit score from Credit Karma company gives you VantageScore instead. Even though your score on the Discover Credit Scorecard might differ from an actual one available for a potential creditor, it’s still a beneficial option to keep an eye on your financial health.
As such, Discover Credit Scorecard service is a great tool for those who’re interested in their FICO score and want to see its updated monthly. In turn, if you want to get a higher level of personal finance management services, you’d better find the other sites like Credit Karma, for example.
WalletHub is the other popular player when it comes to Credit Karma competitors. Both a website and mobile app will give you access to your credit report and score for free. Even better, it’s the ‘first-ever site’ that offers free daily updates of credit scores. Compare this to free credit score sites like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, or Discover Credit Scorecard.
The best thing about WalletHub is that it lets you use its features completely for free. No paid plans! How does WalletHub make its Benjamins, you may ask? Well, the answer is pretty simple – by showing advertisements. Once you land on WalletHub website, click on ads and sign up for offers, WalletHub gets paid. A piece of cake, right?
Yet, the devil is in the details here. Since you need to give up personal info, it’s worth deciding if getting your credit history is a valuable exchange. Thing is, WalletHub is one of the major credit checking services on the market these days. That’s why the company does a decent job of protecting your data from its end.
Remember that WalletHub is neither a scam nor a front to steal your data. Thus, the company won’t sell or rent your information to third parties but use your data to provide targeted offers. Instead, the credit checking website like Credit Karma goes the other way. It anonymizes your data two years after your account is closed instead of deleting it.
Credit.com is the other credit checking service that ranks high amongst Credit Karma similar companies. Really, it’s hard not to like Credit.com for its great finance service. Even though nobody likes to work for free, Credit.com is very transparent about how that works.
Out of the above-mentioned credit checking sites similar to Credit Karma, Credit.com offers nothing unique. Yet, it does a great job. You don’t need to enter a credit card to access your free score. To be more accurate, it offers you to get 2 different scores – from the Experian credit bureau and VantageScore 3.0. Both scoring models are reputable and accurate. But expect not to get identical numbers. Each specific credit scoring repository has its own algorithms, so everything seems logical.
Mobile apps like Credit Karma and Credit.com lets you access all of your data on the go from your phone. Till now, the Credit.com app is available at the Apple App Store and is completely free to use for iPhone users.
Credit.com earns money by selling additional personal finance products and services. Would you like to buy other credit scores? You’re welcome. Credit monitoring and identity theft protection services are also available for an extra price. So, if you want to get feet wet with what’s going on with your credit. Credit.com would be right up your alley.
Are you on the lookout for a service that gives a free credit report like Credit Karma? Great for you! The number of free credit checking services is big, yet, they are definitely worth checking out. Even though each company uses its own algorithms, the credit score you get helps you stay on top of your financial health. All in all, as long as you practice good credit discipline, the door of possibilities is opened for you.