Credit is a mysterious and oftentimes frustrating entity that exists out there and yet affects us.
- If you don’t use credit you won’t have a credit score, which means you won’t be able to get credit when you need it.
- If you use credit but go through a tough patch or for whatever reason get some dings on your credit you’ll experience skyrocketing interest rates and a rampant tightening of available credit.
- If someone happens to steal your credit card – physically or virtually – you may not know until significant funds have been expended.
For a long time it was very difficult to even know what your credit score was…sure you could send away for one in the mail, but it cost money. Only in recent years did government regulations require the credit agencies to provide consumers with a copy of their credit report for free annually (if they requested it).
Thankfully, as in so many other industries, a technology company has managed to turn the established industry on its head overnight…Yes, I’m talking about CreditKarma.
CreditKarma is a nifty little site I’ve been using since whenever they came out – ohh, might have been a year or two or three ago. I joined b/c they offered free credit scores. Now granted, this is a little different from a credit report. This tells you what your credit score is (numeric) but not all the nitty gritty on whom your lenders are, how much you owe them, and so on….but for most purposes this is plentiful and unlike Quizzle (owned by Intuit/Quicken) you can refresh your score as often as you want for free.
Now they have made available free credit monitoring. Used to be you had to pay between $5-$20/mo. to get credit monitoring to make sure someone wasn’t stealing your identity or that false charges weren’t being added to your report. Now CreditKarma has made it free.
CreditKarma has a bunch of other nifty features…but instead of me describing them all why not just go sign up and try it out for yourself? Its 100% free and it takes less than five minutes from start to “hey, that is my credit score and I’m getting free credit monitoring.”