#Credit #karma #app #for #android
Credit karma app for android
Credit Karma (for Android)
Pulls credit report and score from two credit bureaus. Great for learning about credit. Free.
Missing some helpful tools found in web app. Weak on mobile alerts. No tools for tracking spending, budgeting, setting financial goals, or paying bills. Once enrolled, can’t fully delete your info from the database.
Credit Karma gives you your credit report and score from two credit-reporting bureaus. The web app offers more, however, and the Android app comes up light on mobile features.
Consumer credit reports and credit scores are confusing. Figuring out how to get them can be equally confounding. Credit Karma makes it easier. This free mobile finance app pulls your credit report and credit score directly from two major credit-reporting bureaus, updating them as often as once per week. The Android app has fairly limited use in the mobile context, although it does allow you to keep an eye on your credit report at any time. It doesn’t have financial-management features that would be useful on the go, such as budget-limit alerts or bill-payment services. The app is worth using if you’re a mobile-first kind of person. Otherwise, stick to the Credit Karma website instead.
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The present review looks specifically at Credit Karma’s Android app . For additional details about the service at large, see my thorough review of Credit Karma.
Price and Information Required
The Credit Karma app is free to download and use. At no point during the signup process does it even ask you to provide a credit card. But for the service to work, you need to provide some personal information, such as your date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number. You’re also asked a few questions to verify your identity, such as “which of these phone numbers have you never had?” In signing up, you also agree to let Credit Karma pull your credit report from TransUnion and Equifax.
Credit Karma takes the information you provide and information from your credit report, and uses it to show you highly targeted advertising. For example, Credit Karma knows if you have a credit card with a balance. It knows the interest rate you pay on that balance, whether you’ve been charged late fees, and so forth. The app can therefore show you an ad for, say, credit cards that offer a really good deal for people who transfer balances.
In pulling your credit reports and credit scores, Credit Karma meets a fairly niche need. And it’s not the only personal finance company to do so. WalletHub is similar. Like Credit Karma, it’s free to use and focuses on credit reports and scores. There are others, too, including Credit Sesame, NerdWallet, and Mint.
Security and Privacy
At the app level, Credit Karma requires a four-digit PIN, which is good, and you can change it to a pattern drawing code if you choose, or fingerprint ID for supported devices. By default, it prevents your phone from taking screenshots, though you can disable this feature in the settings.
The only part of Credit Karma’s policies that jumped out at me is related to canceling or deactivating your membership. You can cancel and deactivate your membership, but doing so does not wipe your data from Credit Karma’s system. Upon deactivation, the company disables your account and stops sending communications, but it keeps your data for two years, and some time after that, will anonymize it.
What’s in the Credit Karma App?
The Credit Karma app doesn’t have as much to offer as the website, focusing exclusively on credit reports and scores. Even the iPhone version of the app has a little more. Credit Karma for Android does provide a good level of detail for the information it contains, however. For example, when the home screen of the app displays a credit score, you also see the name of the source (such as TransUnion or Equifax), the date when it was last updated, and a summary of what the score means (excellent, good, etc.).
From the home screen, you can scroll down to see offers or swipe for summary details about factors that are affecting your credit score, such as the total amount of debt you owe or percent of credit card usage against total credit.
Credit Karma tells you a lot about factors that affect your credit report and score, so in that sense, it’s highly educational. It provides personalized information about you and your credit history, as well as an overall assessment of what the different factors mean. It explains what a hard inquiry is, for example, while also showing you if you have any on your credit report.
The offers are solid, and in some ways, I like them more than Mint.com ‘s offers, because Credit Karma’s give more explicit details. A credit card offer showed three key points highlighted in their own boxes: annual fee, introductory purchase APR, and regular purchase APR. Below that were additional details about the perks of the card. If you click through to read more about the offer, you’ll see Credit Karma’s Take, with a few points on “What to Like” and “Look Out For.” That information can help you spot a card that’s not a good fit. In one instance, Credit Karma flagged that a credit card would charge me international purchase fees. As much as the app knows about my financial data, it doesn’t know that the majority of my credit card spending happens overseas. I’m glad I didn’t apply for that card! Conversely, the last time I applied for a new credit card through Mint, there were no pros and cons mentioned, and I forgot to read closely for information about foreign transactions. Now I’m stuck with a card that I never use.
You also see your “approval odds” next to some of the ads, meaning Credit Karma tells you whether it thinks your application for the offer would be successful.
There is one more feature, but it’s buried and hard to find. It’s called Unclaimed Money, and it helps you search databases of unclaimed money in different states. To use it, you simply enter someone’s full name. The app will search for a match on the name and offer a suggestion for the state if unclaimed money is found. You can see the source of the funds, reason the funds are being held by the state, and a link to the site where you can try to claim it. Once you follow that link and leave Credit Karma’s app to try to claim the money, all bets are off on whether the interface will be mobile-friendly. But it’s a nice tool to have. The Credit Karma website has it, too.
What’s missing from Credit Karma’s mobile app are any features that are unique to the mobile experience. The Credit Karma website has this neat credit prediction tool that shows how your credit score might be affected if certain events occur. For example, what will happen if I apply for a loan and get denied, or open a new line of credit? The Credit Karma web app tells you what would happen and anticipates how much it would hurt or help your credit score. That would be handy on a mobile device, because you could use it the next time you’re stuck in an airport for three hours with a guy trying to push a credit card application on you. You’d know how an acceptance or rejection might affect your credit, should you apply.
The web app also has some rudimentary tools for tracking your spending, which aren’t in the Android app either. Some of these tools are in the iPhone version of Credit Karma, but they are difficult to find and seem to be a port of the web content, rather than an experience built for the mobile platform specifically. These tools are a rough facsimile of Mint’s spend-tracking tools, but Credit Karma’s are in way too early a stage to be considered useful.
Mint’s tools, however, are superb to use on a mobile app. They give you immediate insight into the balance of all your accounts, so you know before you make a purchase whether you’re going to overdraw a debit account or max out a credit card. Mint also alerts you if you’re nearing your monthly budget in any given spending category, helping you think twice before you blow $4 on a coffee.
Mint also has bill-payment features that alert you before your bills are past due. You can make a payment directly from the Mint mobile app, and in many cases, the transaction goes through within 24 hours. Because the app helps you pay bills immediately when you are reminded that they’re due, the app effectively helps you avoid late fees and other financial problems. Credit Karma doesn’t have anything like that, although if you use the web app to connect your financial accounts, it sends bill reminder emails, which isn’t nearly the same thing. All the app does is tell you your credit report and score, with a hearty side dish of financial literacy information.
Useful, but Not Daily
Credit Karma has a good app that won’t rip you off and that does provide value, but really only in limited circumstances. If you need to know your credit report and score, it can tell you. But it doesn’t have all the tools or alerts that take a personal finance mobile app from good to indispensable. Mint does, and for that reason, it’s a PCMag Editors’ Choice. Still, Credit Karma is a fine tool for what it does. There’s no reason you can’t use both it and Mint. But you’ll get more daily use from Mint, for sure.
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