CreditKarma.com Review Scam or Legit Site For Free Credit Scores

credit karmaCredit Karma was launched in 2007 and provides consumers with two free credit scores and full credit reports that update weekly. They also provide credit tools which are used to educate their customers on how credit scoring works, including how certain credit decisions will affect credit scores.

Free Credit Score

Is The Score Really Free?

Yes, the two scores Credit Karma provide are provided for free. They never ask for credit card information at any stage and don’t charge any of your accounts in anyway shape or form.

Are The Scores They Provide Accurate?

Credit Karma now provides consumers with two versions of their VantageScore (version three), one score is based on your TransUnion credit report and the other is based on your Equifax credit report. In the past they also offered the TransRisk credit score and several industry specific scores, but they no longer offer this (these scores were not used by lenders at all).

credit-karma-equifax-transunion

VantageScore V3

VantageScore is one of the few credit scores that lenders actually look at when approving or denying new loans or cards. Unfortunately it only has a market share of 6% (compared with 90%+ for FICO score). The VantageScore Credit Karma provides consumers with is Version 3 which has a range of 300-850 rather than 501-990 that Version 1 + 2 had.

When I checked my TransUnion VantageScore was 746 compared to my TransUnion FICO of 809. As you can see there is a big 63 point difference between the two, with the Vantage being much lower. This’d probably put me into two different scoring categories and is why you should always check your FICO score before applying for important loans or credit cards.

[Read: How To Get Your Free FICO Score]

When I checked my Equifax VantageScore it was 746 compared to my Equifax FICO score of 821, which is an even bigger difference of 75 points.

As you can see there is a pretty big difference between my Credit Karma scores, which is why I’d only recommend free credit monitoring websites as a guide to see if your scores are increasing or decreasing over time and for the tools themselves.

[Read: FICO Score Vs VantageScore]

Free Credit Report

In late 2014, Credit Karma announced that it’s users would now be able to access their full credit reports with TransUnion (you can now access your full Equifax report as well). These reports are updated weekly and there is no charge for this service either.

Consumers can get access to their full reports once per twelve months for free by using the website http://annualcreditreport.com/. Although it’s nice to see Credit Karma also offering this service as part of their product offering as well.

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Credit Tools

Credit Karma has a number of credit tools that are available to their members. We’ve outlined what these tools are and what they are used for below.

Credit Score Simulator

This score simulator let’s you see how credit decisions (opening or closing an account for example) will affect your credit score. They state that this is for educational purposes only, but we’ve found that it’s fairly accurate and a good way of seeing how making a credit decision will affect your Credit Karma credit scores.

Credit Monitoring

Credit monitoring notifies you whenever a major change has been made to your credit report (in this case your TransUnion credit report). This can be useful for monitoring for credit fraud or identity theft.

Account Monitoring

This is a new feature Credit Karma has added and allows you to add your online financial accounts (e.g banks, credit cards, etc). They’ll then notify you whenever a bill is due or their is suspicious activity.

Credit Report Card

This report card summarizes the key components in calculating your credit score (e.g payment history, utilization ratio, etc) and then gives you a grade from A-F – along with an overall grade.

Credit Advice Forums

They also have a credit advice section where members can ask and answer questions to each other. Often the information isn’t 100% accurate, but quite often good discussions take place there.

Calculators

Home Affordability Calculator

Enter monthly income before taxes, down payment, monthly debt payments and mortgage interest rate and it’ll return the maximum home you can afford. Unfortunately it doesn’t take into account your credit score or history so it’s a pretty vanilla calculator.

Debt Repayment Calculator

Enter balanced owed, interest rate and one of desired payoff timeframe or expected monthly payment and the calculator will tell you either the expected monthly payment (if you chose desired payoff timeframe) or expected payoff time (if you chose expected monthly payment). Again this is a vanilla calculator and doesn’t take into account your credit score/history or offer any alternatives (e.g a credit card you’d be eligible for that has a introductory APR of 0%).

Simple Loan Calculator

Enter loan amount, interest rate and number of years and this calculator tells you the monthly payment. Another simple vanilla calculator.

Amortization Calculator

Enter loan amount, interest rate and number of years and this calculator shows you the number of payments that need to be made, how much those payments are and your total payments. Also gives a chart of principal, interest and balance.

Our Final Thoughts

Credit Karma is a get way for consumers to get access to their VantageScores and credit reports for free from Equifax & TransUnion. They continue to improve their website and product offering by adding more and more features. I find their credit monitoring features the most helpful, I can keep an eye on two of my credit reports at once and see which credit card bureaus are doing a hard pull from.

If you’re unsure about whether to sign up, my suggestion would be to give it a try to see how you like it. It’s completely free and you can always cancel your account if you’re no happy with the service.

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42 Responses to CreditKarma.com Review Scam or Legit Site For Free Credit Scores

  1. Ed says:

    I’ve used Credit Sesame and CK, but I prefer CS because they offer free identity theft insurance.

    • Crystal Briggs says:

      Thank you I needed this advice.

    • Gail says:

      Hi tried to login to CK last week put in my password iam a member and 1st time this happened it wouldn’t let me in asked for my password again, again couldn’t login so 3 days later come up on my yahoo email to passcode so this week getting letter in mail saying I owe a lot on settlement I don’t even owe not sure what happened might get lawyer involved but yes I got rerouted somehow can u check what happened

  2. Kevin says:

    I like Credit Karma much better! They not only provide scores but also free full credit reports every week (unlike Credit Sesame/Quizzle who provide it every other month/180 days and charge you for more frequent updates)

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  4. Sidney Koloc says:

    Credit karma is not accurate. I paid a loan off two weeks ago and it is still showing me with a balance of over $3400. It also shows that I have a balance of $64 on an American Express card and this isn’t accurate either. The American Express card balance is 0. The Post Office Employees Credit Union amount for the loan is 0.

    • Jeff says:

      While CreditKarma updates weekly, the credit bureaus that they pull the information from usually only update individual card accounts monthly. Depending on when a card issuer transmits updates, it can be up to maybe 8 weeks to reflect what Mr. Koloc says..
      Mr. Koloc’s comments about those specific cards is reasonable and probable as of the day he looked. No surprise there.

  5. Aaron says:

    Credit karma scores are incorrect. My scores say 677 and 633. I applied for a car loan and easy approved for 41,000 dollar truck. The sales manager said my credit is in the mid 700-711. After my purchase I would get in the mail credit reports from the banks that looked at my credit and the lowest one out of three was 711. So how can credit Karma be off that much.

    • Mou says:

      3 weeks ago I apply to buy a house. Credit Karma said that my score was 670. When the lender pull my score from FICO said 590 I almost did get the loan.

      • Angie Wilt says:

        Agree, Equifax via CK was actually over 100 points lower! Really sccrewed up my hopes of getting a used car😣

    • Jon says:

      I’m sure Credit Karma accurately calculated your VantageScore. It just isn’t as useful because your lender probably used one of the FICO scores (there are several of them too). You don’t have just one credit score. There are several scoring models and several sources of your credit data to calculate a score from.

    • big bopper says:

      it might be they pulled another score. there is a third credit bureau

  6. Jeff says:

    While Credit Karma scores are frequently low for many users (not all), I have found the trend lines useful.
    More recently, the alerts they offer have been viable and useful. I received alerts each time my new card hit one of the two systems CK monitors inside the same week. Each email that I responded to provided a link for fresh scores and updated credit report access. I ended up with three score reports and updated data inside a week compared to the current schedule of only one update per seven day period.

  7. Ms. Lopez says:

    Not sure of the accuracy of CK, but it showed my score to be 90 points different from another site that I was pulling it from (Trans union) . CK score was the lower one basically over night! My cards are paid up to date and I haven’t applied for any credit at all.

  8. Roger D White says:

    You don’t have 3 of my debts listed.one is my home loan. They are in good stamding. Would these helpmy score? If so how can you add them.

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  11. Teresa Wade says:

    I haven’t used KC for years. Now I’d like to better monitor my credit but because I forgot my password I can’t get back into it. First I get the message my password is incorrect. Then trying to reset my password told my email address doesn’t exist.

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  13. Jason says:

    I have officially stopped using credit karma for good and am not recommending it to my real estate clients anymore either. Twice in the past year I have gone to a bank to get a loan expecting my score to be somewhat close to what credit karma says and it was 120-150 points BELOW what their site said.
    I don’t trust it and won’t ever use it again!

    • Jeff H says:

      Interesting observation. I agree CreditKarma and the real world are seldom on the same plain. However in my case, CreditKarma is often 40 to 50 points low compared to all the real metrics when I apply for credit in the real world … Car Dealer/bank financing car or Credit Cards or FICO8 provided by many CC issuers.

      • Cara says:

        My transunion score from credit karma is 733. Just went in for a home loan and they pulled my credit at 618. That’s a huge difference. 🙁

    • Sorry to say same thing my friend ck showed my cs if 648 when it was actually 591 and was denied a loan. Will not use this site anymore. I’m upset. And tired of being lied too.

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  15. Diàne says:

    Because my score on ck was a little high,when I was actually a little lower I missed out on getting my house loan.Thanks for nothing…no excuses credit karma.

    • Jim says:

      So if you knew up front your score was lower the loan would have been approved? This makes no sense how people keep saying it cost them the loan. What??

      • Amy says:

        Unfortunately Jim, a lot of people will find fault with and blame anything/ anyone besides themselves. CK didn’t cost this person their loan – they cost themselves the loan by having a too low credit score. If I was going to make that kind of major purchase, I would certainly do more than consult with one credit scoring service. Just when I thought I’d seen everything, I read another reader post on the internet.

  16. Michelle Thomas says:

    Credit Karma score are not incorrent i am lookinf at my score and it 680 and come to find out its lower SMH i will not be using Credit Karma anymore False hope,.

  17. K.G. says:

    Credit Karma is or cannot be giving the right information, in two days!! Not only do I have 2 credit cards, but don’t miss payments and how is it my score went from ( 634 to 554?) I mean “73” points? No sense at all, I don’t have any other accounts, wish I could call them to dispute what they are showing

  18. Andy says:

    Im not sure what everyone is saying about there credit score is lowwer on credit Karma.I beleive its actually higher than others.My report is right and both scores arre exactly the same at 693.I seen where the one guys is off as an example.My credit card company only report to one credit agentcy Ex.So my Trans Union is some how picking it up because there both the same.Haven’t checked the 3rd one in a few months and im getting ready to now.I dont think its BS at all.Maybe you should heep your utalazation down to 3 or 2 percent like mine is.2 months ago I paid all my old debts off and a few got taken off and I had no score at all.2 months later I opened a secured card at my bank so I get my money back in 18 months but dont use but a few dollars a month because Im 42 and never finaced anything in my life because I beleive in no intrest BS.Save if y want a car then get a shitty car untill y can save enough for a good one.Now a house is different its probable better to finace because your HO insurance is in on payment and reguardless your going to pay taxes anyway when its paid off.So you might as well finace if you can aford a home.I personally dont see anything wrong with the score I beleive its to high actually.

  19. Joel McNicholas says:

    Credit Karma……STINKS….go somewhere else….i ask about a loan and now every back in the country is sending me letters….i did NOT apply for any…just asked about it…now my score is paying the price….down we go…..thanks for nothing but problems…..

  20. Harv says:

    I use 5 free credit score sites to get an idea of what my Non-FICO credit scores are. Credit Karma monitors both Trans Union and Equifax and updates weekly. Credit.com monitors Experian and updates twice a month. WalletHub.com monitors TransUnion and updates daily. CreditSesame and Bankrate.com monitor TransUnion and update once or more a month. None of these are supplying the FICO score. Since they are all free, I appreciate all the collective input that they supply.

    • VL says:

      Finally a sane person comment here!!!
      Thnk you.

      For many other comments:
      Please use the tool for what it is designed for an you save yourself a lot of trouble.

  21. CCM says:

    My biggest problem with CK is there one size fits all offers. They claim I should apply for the exact same credit cards that I already have. Also, some of their recommendations (i.e. Chase) are often wrong. I know even with a relatively high credit score (at almost 800) Chase will not approve me because of too many hard hits (6) and that I burned them over ten years ago.BTW: I did recently contact Chase and offered to pay the balance in full (it is/was a disputed item), but Chase never sent me any statement of what they claimed I owed.

    • DMC says:

      I agree. The Offers section, I avoid. The positive takeaway from Credit Karma for me is seeing any major changes weekly like a credit pull. They do offer a one size fits all prequal for credit cards which could be a plus, but honestly, one must educate themselves on if they should apply for a card or not on their own research not from Credit Karma’s Good, Fair, Poor system.
      The internet has answers if you can find them…

    • Chris says:

      They aren’t looking at all the details of your personal report to generate those offers. It’s likely just done off your score, as well as who’s paying them the most money to advertise their credit cards. Remember, it’s an ad. CreditKarma’s software presumably knows nothing about the fine print and banks’ internal policies like Chase’s 5/24. They don’t even know what specific credit card products you have; all they see on a credit report is “credit card from XYZ bank”.

  22. kenny says:

    They lie to all of us they will not help or work with me. I will give them a big fat F-, don’t use them.

  23. Layla says:

    I also am unimpressed by ck and the scores I see I went to apply for a car loan was denied due to my scores being off almost 100 points then what credit karma is saying how can they give ppl such inaccurate info and it b ok FREE or NOT it’s frustrating and embarrassing to say the least I would NOT recommend them….

    • Chloe says:

      Once again, people are blaming CK for their not getting a loan. People they only report…they do not make you apply for a loan or lower your credit score. It is YOUR fault your score is so low you are denied loans. Take a little responsibility for your self for one. CK is a tool nothing more. Do you blame your hammer for hitting your finger?

  24. Antonio Anderson says:

    I tried to setup an account, but based on my information they responded that I already have an account.

  25. Jacque O'toole says:

    Why doesn’t CK report from experian, as this seem to be the one that keeps the lowest scores and then screws you when you go for a loan??

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