Most people have become thoroughly annoyed with so called 'free credit' report offers. Virtually all of these offers require your credit card number and enrollment in a 'trial membership.' If you don't remember to cancel, you end up taking on yet another monthly obligation (about $10 to $15 monthly). A couple of years ago I wrote an article on how to get your credit report for free without a trial membership. Today I am going to take things a step further and share with you a couple of ways to get your credit score and credit monitoring for free (again no trial membership required).
I know I am writing here for Christians, so rest assured there is no religious connotation in the use of the word Karma (just a clever Internet branding). The site provides your credit score for free and also 24/7 credit monitoring. If you are not already familiar with the term, credit monitoring alerts you if your credit report is pulled by a third party. This is great insurance against identity theft, as you would know within a matter of hours if someone is accessing your credit file.
In addition to your credit score and credit monitoring, the site offers a host of other tools that will help you to understand what factors are most directly affecting your score. They also have a credit simulator that may help you to decide what your next step is in increasing your score.
Overall, I found the site very easy to use and was able to set up an account and view my credit data in about five minutes. One drawback of this site is that it is based solely on credit data from TransUnion. Remember, there are three credit bureaus, and while this will likely give you a good overview of your credit profile it will not be 100% complete.
This site is equally as useful, although not as well known as Credit Karma. One major difference here is that the data comes from Experian, not TransUnion. By signing up for Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, you would effectively be able to garner the information on two thirds of your overall credit profile.
Since both of these services are free, I see no reason not to sign up for both of them. It will take a few minutes to explore each site and you will notice a great deal of similarity in the features, but each has components unique to their site.
Smart Phone Apps
Both of these sites offer smart phone apps allowing you to monitor your credit while away from your main computer.
Your 'Real' Credit Score?
The credit score you get from any online service is not your actual credit score. It is a good general idea of your credit standing, but will not necessarily match the credit score a lender will receive when pulling up your credit. The credit bureaus have gone to great lengths in recent years to make sure that consumers understand this, but it is still a source of confusion.
My e Book, Credit Scoring Secrets, will be free on Amazon from September 4th through the 9th 2013 - Click Here.
Helping you make the most of God's money!James L. Paris
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