Know Thy Credit: Average Joe Arbitrage 101.

I am an Average Joe who has not had the best of luck with my credit. I confess, my credit score had more in common with my bowling scores than anything else. But, I have persevered and fought to rebuild it, one mysterious credit score point at a time.

One day my girlfriend asked if I used Credit Karma.  I replied, “No, why would I need Credit Karma?”  She then proceeded me to set me straight on the credit knowledge information super highway.

And, I have never looked back.

Credit Karma is a free app.  Download it, enter some basic information, and be prepared to be amazed. At no cost to you, you can check two (of the three) credit agencies; Transunion and Equifax.  Each week the credit agencies update your credit score as your credit situation evolves. Take out a loan, it will quickly show up. Rack up your charges on your credit card on a party weekend, and those expenses will show up (and affect) your credit. Credit Karma is all seeing and all knowing on credit matters.

Your credit is a shadow of yourself and it moves as you do. Using my Credit Karma app I now check this app every single day watching for false credit card charges, adjustments to my credit score, early warning signs of trouble (credit utilization getting too high) and suggestions on how to improve my credit score.

When I first got into credit arbitrage, I had only one credit card. And, it only had a $500.00 limit. By using Credit Karma, I learned what I was doing wrong (maxing out the credit card chasing those rebates), I challenged those entries I thought were errors (easily done on Credit Karma), I cut back on my credit card spending (recommended by Credit Karma) and before long, my credit score was taking off to the low 700’s.

Then the credit card offers started coming in. And, I was ready for them. I cherry picked the best offers, applied and starting getting new credit cards. And then those cards were followed by the free flights, free hotel rooms, and the cash rebates.

I still tell thank my girlfriend for this recommendation. And, I thank Credit Karma! And, if you download Credit Karma and start using it, you will be thanking me!

If you are an Average Joe and are going to break into the credit arbitrage game, “know your credit.” This one tip will be the most important one you receive.

This Average Joe gets no compensation for recommending Credit Karma, I am just a thankful user!