March 15th, 2012

The Ultimate Guide to Credit Karma, Part 1: The Credit Report Card

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Hot on the heels of our four-year anniversary, we’re celebrating another milestone: Credit Karma recently surpassed 5 million members! (We celebrated in our usual manner—with lots of food and drink.)

Since we already made a fun video thanking all of our members for being awesome, we decided this time to give you some helpful guidance on how to use Credit Karma to its fullest potential.

So here it is, part one of the Ultimate Guide to Credit Karma!

free credit report card

Credit Report Card – Get Schooled on Your Credit Report

The free Credit Report Card takes your long, data-rich credit report, and boils it down into a quick snapshot of the important factors.

credit report card

One of Credit Karma’s most-loved features, this report gives you a letter grade for each of the six credit-influencing factors: open credit card utilization, percent of on-time payments, average age of open credit lines, total accounts, total hard credit inquiries and number of derogatory marks. The grades are calculated by comparing your credit performance against other Credit Karma members. You even get an overall grade to see how you’re performing across the board on all six factors.

Helpful Tip: There are two other pieces of information on your Credit Report Card: your total debt and your debt-to-income ratio (or DTI). These two factors don’t contribute to your credit score, so they’re not graded. However, they do come into play when lenders evaluate loan applications and set credit limits, so it’s important to know how you’re doing in comparison to other consumers.

Next: The Ultimate Guide to Credit Karma, Part 2: My Accounts

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. If you had a judgement and paid off the time it was made, why does this go against you credit and how long? I have a litter from court this has been paid and closed, over 3 years?

    Jim at 3:48 pm on March 15, 2012
  2. Unfortunately, even if a payment has been made, a public record on your credit report can still impact your credit score. We have an in-depth article on what judgments mean for your credit:

    bethy at 5:37 pm on March 15, 2012

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