7 On Your Side
Local company offers free credit scores
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are a lot of offers out there that claim to be free, but really they aren't. So many, in fact, that when an offer truly is free, it's worth talking about.
Most of us, at one time or another, have paid to get our credit score. Now a local company has come up with a way to give you your score for free.
San Francisco-based Credit Karma believes consumers shouldn't have to pay for their own credit scores, "We're a completely free site that allows consumers to track and monitor their credit all online and all for free," said Credit Karma CEO Kenneth Lin.
Oakland resident Ian Cooper uses Credit Karma for just that purpose. The 48-year-old single dad was a victim of identity theft, "It just gave me the peace of mind that I was keeping an eye on things."
Here's how it works -- users can access their credit score for free. It's not the widely used FICO score, but Joe Ridout with Consumer Action says that's not the point, "Credit Karma gives you a score that is not very useful just by itself. If you keep track of that score and find out if it's going up or going down, that is going to be mimicking whether your real credit score, your FICO score is going up or down."
Credit Karma isn't the only such site. Credit Sesame offers a similar service. And, like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame gives you a FAKO, or free fake FICO score. But, there's a difference, "I like Credit Karma more because you can pull your report every day and find out how it changes every day," Ridout said. "With Credit Sesame, you actually have to wait a month before you can get new information."
Credit Karma is advertiser supported. That makes it possible to keep the site free for its 7.5 million users, "A lot of other free credit sites say they're free, but they're not actually free," Lin said. "So if you don't cancel, you often get charged."
Another way to get a free credit report is to go to Annualcreditreport.com; although, that report does not include a score.
7 on your side, michael finney
- Damage reported after 5.7 quake in Greenville
- I-5 bridge collapse raises Bay Area safety questions
- Bay Area man arrested for killing relatives abroad
- Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys
- Millions to hit the roads this Memorial Day weekend
- Rare Apple computer could fetch $640k at auction
- New info released about robbery in Santa Rosa
- Teen remembered 19 years after unsolved murder 31 min ago
- Clayton resident ID'd as bicyclist killed in SF
- Top 10 items found during 2012 coastal cleanup 7 min ago
- Get Free Stuff: Coffee from Gevalia
- abcnews: McDonald's CEO scolded by 9-year-old 50 min ago
- roundup: Unsolved murder vigil; Oakland shooting 44 min ago
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Friday