April 13th, 2012

Credit Q&A with Justine, Credit Advisor

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We asked our Facebook community to share their biggest credit questions. Justine, Credit Karma’s resident Credit Advisor, chose two questions to answer today.



“Is there any way to make your identity more secure online against fraud?” (Keenan S.)

Here are three no-cost steps to protect your identity. 1) Enable your free credit monitoring with CreditKarma.com, which you can enable following these steps. We’ll alert you when significant changes occur on your credit file, such as new fraudulent accounts. 2) Sign up for BillGuard, a free online service that scans your credit card accounts for suspicious activity and red flags early warning signs of identity theft and fraud. 3) Take these steps to lock down your password and online information. And don’t share any personal and financial information, even your full name or address, to unsecure or unfamiliar websites.

“I have a car loan at 3.99% interest at about $2,100 and a credit card at 14.24% interest with about $6,000 on it. What is the smartest move to pay off the debt? And how would this help my credit score?” (Megan B.)

Focus on paying down your credit card debt as quickly as possible first. If you only make minimum monthly payments, it’ll take you 15 years and about $3,700 in interest to pay off. So increase your card’s monthly payments beyond the minimum, which will lower your credit utilization rate and improve your credit health. Meanwhile, keep making on-time monthly payments to your car loan, which will also help build credit. Once you pay your credit card debt in full, take the monthly payment and put it towards your car loan payment. Paying your car loan sooner than scheduled saves you money on interest!


Have a question for Justine? Leave your question in the comments or share it on Facebook or Twitter!

See all of Justine’s answers!

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. I sent an email 2mths ago and you replied thank you but I’m still having the same problem my debt going down but score NOT going up I really don’t understand do I have to email every so often to get my score moving I am trying to buy my house please help . Thanks in advance

    Tikia at 3:00 pm on April 19, 2012
  2. Your credit score on Credit Karma comes directly from your TransUnion credit report; it’s not created by us. There are lots of factors that go into your credit score, not just whether or not your making payments on time. Take a look at your credit notifications in the Score Center: https://www.creditkarma.com/score

    Also, look at your Credit Report Card, which breaks down the different factors that go into your score: https://www.creditkarma.com/report

    bethy at 5:14 pm on April 19, 2012
  3. I have a question…..i have a 500 credit limit on my capitol one account so is that okay if i make a payment before a cut off day ? .Example like the cut off day is on the 15 and i make a payment like 200 out of 400 daily using and i would make a rest payment before the due date after the 15 ? is that okay to maintain my account that way ?

    Nicholas at 9:48 pm on June 5, 2012
  4. I have made payments on a suv for 28 months and it does not show on my credit report. The payments have never been late and the truck is almost paid off. I went to trade it in and the dealer said it was not even listed on my credit and the loan was from a lender.

    tommi at 11:39 pm on October 18, 2012
  5. I have charge-offs. I now have money to pay them, but I am wondering if I would be better off by paying them off completely. I have heard stories that it makes no difference on your credit if you pay off a charge-off account, and others that say it will “reopen” a bad account.
    What can I do to help my credit? And if it is not always a good idea to pay off these charge-offs, how do I know when it is a good thing?

    Mark at 8:18 am on November 16, 2012
  6. I encourage you to check out our Credit Advice Center, a community forum where you can ask your credit questions and get advice from people who have gone through similar experiences. Good luck!

    bethy at 10:19 am on November 16, 2012
  7. I have been improving my credit over the past year and improverd enough to get a home loan. My score was climbing up and all of the sudden on January 1, 2013 Credit Karma showed my score to have dropped by 74 points (WOW) with absolutly no explaination. There were no new accounts accept for my home loan from October 2012 which was suppose to increase my score by at least 20-30 points. What gives. I dont understand how a score could drop that much for no reason.

    Matt at 8:05 am on March 14, 2013
  8. Why do credit inquiries stay on your credit report for 2 years. Is there a way to get them removed?

    Maureen at 3:40 pm on June 6, 2013
  9. Jenna

    Hey Maureen, hard inquiries can only be removed if you didn’t authorize them in the first place. If they’re authorized, you’ll need to wait the two years for them to fall off your report. You can read more here: https://www.creditkarma.com/article/hard_inquiries_and_soft_inquiries

    Jenna at 4:34 pm on June 6, 2013
  10. I was on the Lender website for calculation.
    I would like to provide the required information.
    Will this effect my credit score?

    Linda B at 7:18 pm on June 25, 2013
  11. Jenna

    Hi Linda,

    If you need any help with your Credit Karma account, please email support@creditkarma.com. Thanks!

    Jenna at 10:27 am on June 26, 2013
  12. I had a bill erroneously put into collections because the provider billed the wrong insurance company… although they had the correct company, whom they should have billed, on the unpaid bill… how long does it take for them to have this removed from my credit report?

    Robert Smith at 2:28 pm on September 17, 2013
  13. Jenna

    Hey Robert,

    That’s really up to the bureau, but in most cases you can expect your information to be updated every 30 days.

    Jenna at 3:10 pm on September 17, 2013
  14. Hi my question is this, credit Karma offers recommendations to help pay dawn credit card debt. One of those recommendations is through the company Prosper. Can anyone tell me if the recommendation for a consolidation loan through this company will hurt my credit score and if so why would credit karma be offering such advice? Thank you for your time

    Corey at 3:45 am on May 1, 2014
  15. I don’t have that credit card anymore. How do I get it off my credit score.?

    Patti at 8:42 am on July 2, 2014
  16. Mike

    Hi Patti – If this card is incorrectly showing up on your report, you can file a dispute directly with TransUnion to have it removed. Check out this article for more information: https://www.creditkarma.com/article/dispute-credit-report-errors


    Mike at 9:01 am on July 2, 2014

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