Pros / There’s no cost to sign up.
Cons / Credit Karma only gives you reports from two of the three bureaus.
Verdict / With no cost to sign up, Credit Karma is a good option for tracking your scores and credit reports. However, its identity protection features aren’t as effective as other services we reviewed.
Credit Karma offers credit monitoring as a free service; you just need to sign up and you’ll get immediate access to you credit scores and reports. Credit Karma has a wide range of services, including free tax software that lets you file your federal and state returns. With no cost involved, it’s the best value option for credit reporting.
When you log in to your Credit Karma account, the main dashboard will display your credit scores for TransUnion and Equifax. One of Credit Karma’s flaws is that it only provides information from two of the three bureaus. Generally, the scores from each of the bureaus are close, but there is some regional variance. This will only affect you if you get loans or credit cards from smaller local lenders, and even then you’ll only see a small variance.
This service is simple to use and does a good job educating you about what makes up your credit score. It breaks your score down into sections and shows what areas affect it the most and where you can work to improve it. Everything is color coded, with green being good and red bad.
You’ll also be able to check your credit report. One advantage of Credit Karma is you’ll be able to see your report anytime you want. Some services provide credit reports on a monthly or quarterly basis, so having constant access is an advantage.
This site has an extensive array of notifications you can customize to your liking. You can elect to get notified when something new shows up on your credit report, when a payment is made on a loan or credit card, when you have a low balance or for many other scenarios. The notifications are email only; there are no text notifications.
One area where Credit Karma is lacking is in the identity protection it offers. You can check to see if your information has been exposed by a data breach, and it will tell you what breaches your information may have been compromised by. But it doesn’t offer the same ID protection services as other companies we reviewed. It doesn’t provide any lost wallet protection or help resolve any issues if your information is compromised.
As a free service, Credit Karma is appealing. It’s very easy to use and provides a lot of useful information about your credit scores and reports. It only provides information from two of the three bureaus, and it doesn’t offer much in the way of additional ID protection, but it is great for keeping tabs on your credit.