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Credit unions working with members to help them become more aware of the credit scores might find a company called Credit Karma a useful information source. Credit Karma, which maintains a Web site at creditkarma.com, bills itself as a “pro-consumer credit score company.” The firm provides consumers access to their credit scores at no cost. The cost of providing the scores is covered by firms which make consumers offers based on those credit scores. In addition to the credit score, which consumers can access as often as they like for free, the firm also provides tools which, in plain language, allow consumers to better understand their credit scores and even see how an impending action, such as opening or closing a credit account, could impact their credit score. “Consumers not only learn their score, but they can identify what behaviors will positively impact their score and then gain preferred product pricing based on their credit score range,” the firm said. Ken Lin, founder and CEO of Credit Karma, said he strongly endorses the philosophy and approach of credit unions and that he would welcome their participation in the service, including everything from private labeling a site for a given credit union or credit union league to having credit unions sponsor loan products that could be offered to Credit Karma visitors. “We aim to empower consumers by demystifying their credit scores and believe we can make money by helping them come to better loan products,” Lin said. He said he has had talks with credit unions in the past about possibly participating in Credit Karma,

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Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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