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
  3. How do you report your payment history for places that only notify credit bureaus when you are in a past due status? Items such as utiility bills, rental payments? I have been paying these on time, why aren’t they included in my credit? They report them when you are behind in payments? Can I send my payment history to the credit bureaus myself?

    Linda Daniels at 11:27 am on July 29, 2015
  4. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Linda – Depending on the company and lender, not all report to the credit bureaus.


    Enola Guerrero at 12:03 pm on August 3, 2015
  5. We had a BK in 2012. We gave back our car that we bought in Sept 9 2007. My question is this….Is the bank we had the loan from allowed to phy. show on my credit report how many times we were late? I thoughts this was NOT allowed due to the BK. We still have Derogatory Marks from them after the BK. Isn’t it suppose to be cleared from date of purchase which was 8 yrs ago?

    Coral Hyatt at 1:49 pm on August 31, 2015
  6. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Carol – I’m not sure what you are referring to. Please check out our advice center to see if other members has the same concerns:


    Enola Guerrero at 6:02 pm on September 1, 2015

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