Today is a super short video just to give props to an awesome tool: Credit Karma. FYI, for my non-US followers, this probably isn't going to be a useful post for y'all, sorry.
So, before I dig in, I just want to be clear with this: I am not getting paid anything by Credit Karma and, while I will for sure tag them on social media once I post this, I didn't even connect with them about writing this post in advance. I am literally just talking about them because they kick ass and there are two reasons why:
Number one: Every entrepreneur should know his or her credit score. You have to keep track of this stuff because your personal financial situation is going to affect your business' ability to secure the funding it needs to grow. Is Credit Karma 100% accurate, no, it didn't exactly match the scores that came up when the mortgage lender pulled my credit, but was it close enough that I knew the range I fell into? Yes.
Additionally, as an entrepreneur, your information tends to just get out there more often than it would for the average person so it's important to keep track of what's going on with your credit so you catch any errors or identity theft earlier. I actually have one of those LifeLock credit guard things that was given to me for free when Target got hacked, and Credit Karma always beats them in alerting me when there was a new pull or other blip on my credit. That's just Credit Karma kicking ass and taking names. If I were actually paying for that other service, I would be pissed that Credit Karma, which is free, was beating them every single time.
Secondly, this year Credit Karma released its tax prep software, which is just as good if not better than any of the others I have used over the years, and it's free to file both federal and state returns, and yes, that includes your Schedule C if you have a pass-through entity, as many entrepreneurs do. Now, don't get me wrong, if you have complicated taxes you should get a solid accounting professional to help. If you have a more basic return though, Credit Karma should absolutely be your go-to.
Not only this great in the short term because you save money by getting to file for free, it's also great in the long term because, hopefully, Credit Karma will start to steal some of the business away from Intuit, which owns TurboTax, and H&R Block. Those two companies spend crap tons of money lobbying to keep the tax code as complicated as possible so I like anything that pulls business away from them.
I know this video wasn't exactly the normal New Venture Mentor, but I wanted to share this awesome, free, tool with y'all because it's stuff like this that makes the life an entrepreneur easier that allows us to focus on the strategic planning and actually building a successful, sustainable business.
Source: Cate Costa