NEW: Grab Your Free Credit Report

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aaron_image1I remember one of the first times my credit report was pulled for an auto loan (yes, that one that I should have never gotten into). After it came back clean, I remember feeling a sense of pride that I was “staying on the straight and narrow”. I remember the loan officer talking about how it was costing the dealership money to pull it but it was something they needed to do to check my “credit-worthiness”. Do you recall the first time your report got pulled?

FREE credit reports?

Which leads me to tell you about another new offering that our friends at Credit Karma just came up for their users: FREE credit reports. Right now, Credit Karma offers free credit scores to those who sign-up on their website.  So, the credit report is an added bonus to users. 

What’s the difference between a credit score and credit report?

An article by Rob Berger (from the Doughroller) had some great insight about the differences.

Did you know 33% of American’s have never checked a credit report?
Basically, the credit score is a number given to you based on your history of paying bills, debt amounts, length of credit history, mix of credit and new credit. FICO is the “main” score that many lenders pay attention too. You typically have to pay for this score (between $7-12) – but there are credit score providers (that pull information from the big 3 credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), like Credit Karma, that offer it to folks for free. Your credit report is the history of all your past financial dealings, jobs held and places you’ve lived. Other items it details are:

  • Types of credit you use
  • When you opened a loan or line of credit
  • The balances and available credit on your credit cards and other lines of credit
  • Information about whether you pay your bills on time
  • Information about any accounts passed to a collection’s agency
  • How much new credit you’ve opened recently
  • Records related to bankruptcy, tax liens or court judgments

It really gives people (especially those looking to see how faithful / trustworthy you are) a good sense of your financial lifestyle. You’re entitled to view your report once every 12 months which you can get at for free (or now, at Credit Karma).

Benefits of a report

Credit Karma announced the addition of offering your credit report at the end of July and I logged in to see some of its features and offerings. credit karma free credit reports If you’re new to Credit Karma – they already offer you several unique benefits including the ability to see your credit score as well as simulate how different financial actions might affect your score.

Now, with the report being offered at the site, you are able to see if lenders made any remarks on your accounts, check any recent activity and Credit Karma will be able to personalize their education resources more closely to users with the added information.The site will also show you how to improve your credit through “next steps” categories.

Your report is updated on a weekly basis – so whenever you login, you will have the freshest report available (no waiting 12 months to grab your free one)! The benefit here is that if a lender makes any incorrect reporting / remarks on your account, you’ll have the ability to try and change it right away.

Now, I don’t think it’s crucial you need to be a hyper-vigilant with your credit score or report, especially if you are being wise with your money, not taking on too much debt and paying your bills on-time. Having the ability to see past credit reports (even from when you first registered at Credit Karma), as well as any remarks and activity added to it in real-time, is a huge benefit to folks.

Have you grabbed your free credit score yet AND viewed your credit report at Credit Karma yet?

This post was made possible by our site sponsor, Credit Karma

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