Based out of California, Credit Karma has been featured in multiple news articles including MSNBC, SmartMoney, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and TechCrunch. Beginning with two credit reports and scores, the heart of personal finance, the company brings more transparency and certainty to credit and finance with free monitoring, data-driven resources, and personalized recommendations.
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- Two official credit reports
- Credit scores
- Sleek mobile app
- Excellent credit education
- Outstanding tools
Credit Karma's biggest selling point is that it is free. At absolutely no cost, it will provide members with unlimited free access to their credit reports from both TransUnion and Equifax. Even more impressive, the company refreshes these reports on a weekly basis.
Two Official Credit Reports
Straight from Equifax and TransUnion, these fully-functional reports are updated every week. Credit Karma provides users with an easy-to-use interface for navigating and understanding their credit report, including suggestions for improving their credit.
Although CreditKarma, unfortunately, does not provide official FICO scores (more on that in a minute), the company does provide a VantageScore 3.0 for each credit report. VantageScore is a newer scoring model that has gained traction but is still not necessarily the most popular or accurate measure of one's creditworthiness. Either way, you can see your VantageScore go up and down over time on well-presented graphs and reports, which can give you an indication as to whether you're on the right track. Another cool feature is that you can actually compare your credit scores to others in your area, age group, and so forth.
Credit Karma provides a fully-configurable alerts panel to notify you by email of anything from a change in one of your credit reports to large purchases, withdrawals, interest rate changes, and so forth. Every time you log into your account, you can check for changes on your credit report since the last refresh.
Sleek Mobile App
Credit Karma has a well-designed mobile app for both Android and Apple devices which allows you to access all information on your credit reports, scores, and alerts while on the go. The app currently has an average rating of 4.5/5 stars in both the Apple and Android app stores.
Excellent Credit Education
Credit Karma maintains an up-to-date library of credit-specific educational resources that are well-written, informative, and accurate. Additionally, the company has an active community where you can get advice on all aspects of your credit and scores.
Credit Karma provides everything from debt repayment and loan calculators to fully-featured credit score simulators powered by TransUnion. The Credit Score Simulator allows you to see how different decisions, like paying off part of your credit card debt or getting a home loan, might affect your credit score in the future.
- Missing credit report
- No FICO scores
- Privacy and security
Missing Credit Report
The service has absolutely no way of pulling your credit report from Experian, which is a significant blind spot in any comprehensive credit monitoring strategy.
No FICO Scores
The credit scores provided by Credit Karma aren't true FICO scores, so they aren't the same credit scores most lenders will see when they pull your credit. There have been reports of Credit Karma's VantageScore being off by as much as 100 points from what a lender saw when they pulled that customer's FICO score from the same bureau.
Privacy and Security
There have been a significant privacy questions raised by the FTC in regards to Credit Karma's mobile app not being as secure as the company claimed, resulting in a settlement in 2014, wherein the company agreed to submit to annual independent tests to verify that its apps are secure for the next 20 years.