Is Credit Karma Really Free?

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated November 24, 2019

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January 24, 2016

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Reader Question: I keep seeing commercials for Credit Karma, and I was wondering if it really was free or if you ended up having to pay at some point?

Answer: The simple answer to your question is that if you just want your credit score, then Credit Karma is completely free. No credit cards. No signing up for certain services. Just your credit score, updated every month so you can keep track of it.

Credit Card Offers: Credit Karma has an extensive list of credit card offers and ways to sign up for those cards. Of course, you could do that just by going to the credit card lenders site, but Credit Karma has them all in one place, which is convenient.

Loan Offer Comparisons: If you are looking for a loan, especially a home loan, they have tools and calculators to help you determine which loan is right for you.

Reviews: Credit Karma also offers reviews of financial services, like loan companies, credit cards, insurance companies, etc. If you are trying to decide on a financial service, they can give you some insight on which is best. Just keep in mind that they do get paid for referrals, so take the advice with a grain of salt.

Credit Karma isn’t going to make any money just handing out free credit scores, right? So they make some of their money charging for your full credit report. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t charge for it, since most companies charge for a credit report anyway. And Credit Karma does offer a three-bureau credit report, so you can check all of your credit reports at once.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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