March 26th, 2013
We are back with another Credit Q&A Series post… and one just in time for tax season! As we have mentioned before, our CEO and founder Ken Lin continues to make weekly appearances on the Ed Shultz Radio Talk Show. Ken uses his expertise to help educate Ed’s listeners on the impact credit scores have on consumers’ overall financial health. Today’s question tackles paying the tax man on time.
“Can not paying the IRS affect your credit score? Does the IRS report to the credit bureaus? ”
March 11th, 2013
Welcome to another installment of the Credit Q&A Series on the Credit Karma Blog! As we shared with you last time Ken Lin our founder and CEO has been making weekly appearances on the Ed Shultz Talk Radio Show. Ken brings credit and finance knowledge to Ed’s listeners. Lately Ken’s been answering questions from the show’s listeners. Today's question is all about credit limit increases.
February 25th, 2013
Our very own founder and CEO Ken Lin has been making weekly appearances on The Ed Shultz Radio Show. He brings his knowledge of credit and finances to Ed’s listeners. Recently Ken started answering listeners’ credit questions. We thought we would share those questions and answers here on our blog since we figure many others might have the same questions. Read on!
October 19th, 2012
We tapped our Facebook followers once again to answer this member’s tough question: “I am wondering if having high limits on credit cards is good or bad? Is it better to request higher limits?" Here’s what you had to say!
March 28th, 2012
We asked our Facebook community to share their biggest credit questions. Justine, Credit Karma’s resident Credit Advisor, chose three questions to answer today.
June 29th, 2010
Guess which question is heard most often around the water cooler at the Credit Advice Center.
“How do I improve my credit score?”
This question pops up frequently because the Credit Advice Center is becoming a real community forum for discussions around the topic of credit, especially the mystery surrounding credit scores. So, we will be bringing you even more credit score and credit advice posts here at the blog, so stay tuned…
In the meanwhile, consumers at the Credit Advice Center are helping each other navigate these tricky financial issues. Check out the conversations buzzing at the Credit Advice Center right now:
June 15th, 2010
Have a nagging credit-related question? Or know a thing or two about credit cards, credit scores, loans, and more that you want to share? Whether you have questions or wisdom, we invite you to Credit Karma’s newest tool, the Credit Advice Center, a forum for us to share our experiences and learn from other savvy credit consumers.
It works like this: at the Credit Advice Center, Credit Karma members can ask a question or share wisdom they’ve gained through their own financial experiences. The best answers are voted and ranked to the top. Plus, Credit Karma moderators are also active participants in the forum, sharing their guidance and expertise.
March 16th, 2010
Dear Credit Karma,
Is Credit Karma really a free service?
Absolutely.Credit Karma is free and is available at absolutely no cost to you. Credit Karma has no catch, gimmick, or secret subscription, and will never charge you now or later down the road. Become a Credit Karma member for free, and you can use the site as often as you want, play around with our financial tools, and pull your credit score daily without ever having to worry about getting hit with a subscription fee or any type of charge. We do promote money-saving offers featured by our advertisers that are specifically tailored to your credit profile, but you are never required to click on an ad or participate in an offer.
What’s in it for us? We’re supported by advertisers. The ads on our site enable us to make this service free for you, the consumer. Rest assured Credit Karma is truly a pro-consumer site interested in helping you manage healthy finances and healthy credit at NO COST to you.
December 9th, 2009
Dear Credit Karma,
I just graduated from college and I have a lot of student loans to pay off. Is a student loan consolidation a good option for me? What should I look for when choosing the right fit for me?
Student loan consolidation is a “right fit” for your financial life if, with all costs and calculations considered, it is worth it to extend the life and overall cost of your loan in order to save on your monthly payments now.
The biggest benefits of loan consolidation are reduced monthly payments, the convenience of paying one check a month and managing one repayment plan, and the opportunity to lock in lower interest rates than your original loan. But it comes at the cost of spreading out your loan over a longer repayment period, so the added interest on extended payments will add up to a higher overall cost for your college education.
For new graduates like yourself, the benefit of paying less a month, especially if you might not have stable employment or be able to afford paying your current monthly student debt, paying less monthly for loans could make consolidation worthwhile.
To determine if its the right fit for you, calculate the overall cost you will expect to pay if you consolidate your multiple loans, and consider if the money you save in monthly payments is worth the longer payment plan. For example, lets say loans A, B, and C cost you $212.00 monthly for a 10 year repayment plan. You decide to consolidate your loans to a single 15 year repayment plan with a reduced monthly payment of $166.00 monthly. You will spare the extra $46 a month, but you are also paying for loans 5 extra years and could end up paying, lets say, $5,000 more in interest over the life of your loan.
Also, consider the interest rate your lender offers you. If your current loans have variable interest rates and you want to refinance to lock in a low fixed rate now, then consolidation might be a good idea that could end up saving you more money. While federal student loan consolidation does not require a credit score check, lenders for private student loan consolidations do run a hard credit inquiry. So if you are consolidating private student loans and have poor credit, your lender may only offer high interest rates that could end up costing you thousands in the long run; is it worth it to refinance to a much greater overall loan cost for a monthly savings of $25-$50?
If you only have a few more years to pay off or only owe a couple thousand dollars to pay off your loan, then consolidation may be more hassle than its worth if your current payment plan is manageable for you. It comes down to whether you are willing to pay more in the long-run in order to have extra money now to furnish your new apartment or buy your first car.
Check out more resources available online, such as Bankrate’s FAQs on student loan consolidation, to educate yourself more about student loan consolidation before making a decision.
Submit a question now, and maybe Credit Karma will answer your question on our next Q & A blog post!