Credit Karma is a credit services company based in San Francisco, California, that offers free credit reporting and monitoring services. This is one of the few companies that actually provides free credit reporting and monitoring services, instead of just using wild claims to bait customers. The business, which started in 2007, is structured as a corporation and has over 20 employees. Credit Karma has a C+ rating with the BBB. Its rating has recently been downgraded due to a rise in complaints and a settlement with the FTC over security issues with its mobile app.

What Services Does Credit Karma Offer?

Credit Karma offers customers free access to their TransUnion and Equifax credit reports and VantageScores, and sends them alerts whenever their scores or reports change. It also allows users to link their credit card and bank accounts to track their spending. The website includes a large database of credit-related articles and provides free access to useful credit tools, such as credit score simulators, home affordability calculators and debt repayment calculators.

However, Credit Karma does not include your FICO score: the score used by most lenders. The VantageScore 3.0, which it does offer, was developed by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, as a competitor to FICO with the purpose of providing more consistent scores. The algorithms of FICO and VantageScore 3.0 often produce similar results but there are differences in how they calculate scores. VantageScore 3.0, for instance, does not take into consideration collection accounts that have been reported as paid in full, which gives people who are trying to turn a new page after past mistakes a break.

How Does Credit Karma Work?

Customers must open an account with Credit Karma to receive their credit reports and scores. The registration process requires them to provide personal information such as name, date of birth and Social Security Number. This is to confirm the identity of customers before disclosing private financial information. If a person doesn't have enough information on their credit history to confirm their identity online, they may have to wait for their password to come by mail.

Credit Karma makes money from advertising and commissions on the products it offers its clients. Because Credit Karma has such an intimate knowledge of its customers finances and credit, it can predict which credit cards, loans and insurance products they are likely to be interested in and for which they may be eligible.

How Much Does It Cost?

Credit Karma is truly free. You do have to “endure” regular recommendations of credit cards and loan products; but there is not out-of-pocket cost for constant access to your credit reports and VantageScores: a service that would easily cost $15 a month with other companies.

How is Credit Karma Better/Worse Than Other Credit Reporting Companies?

Credit Karma provides a truly free way of monitoring your credit reports and scores. The website is full of useful information and insight on your credit situation and clearly explains how you can improve your credit. Even the ads—I mean recommendations— for credit cards and loans are worth considering as they are targeted to each customer's credit score and financial circumstances.

  • No Monthly Fees
  • Online Credit Education
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0 votes

Error kept coming up when i entered my SS# was unable to get report. Now i can post review unless I type 25 words for no reason.

0 votes

This place is truly free, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by signing up for an account. It's super easy to do so and they definitely do not ask you to put in your credit card info. When I didn't have to do that I knew that it wasn't a scam. I've been on the site for about six months and totally love it.

0 votes

I am pretty happy with this service. Since it's free, I can't expect them to compile 100 percent of my financial info. I noticed on my report that some of my credit cards weren't listed. I was a little concerned about how that could affect my overall credit score. It looks okay, though.

1 votes

I have this app, and let me tell you, its a life saver ! When my husband and I were looking for a new place to live this app helped us so much. We were able to figure out what was on our report, and what we could do to fix any issues. Not only is it easily accessible, and user friendly but its FREE !!! What more can you ask for?

1 votes

Love this site. Free credit report. We had to get a rental and instead of paying $35-40 for credit report, you can get it free on this sit. thank you Credit Karma!

0 votes

I used to go to that government site that allows you to access your credit score once a year and always felt that it was so inadequate in terms of only letting you see it once a year. Then I came across Credit Karma and I feel in love. I get to see my credit socre and report whenver I want. Now that's the way to do it.

1 votes

Easy to read credit report that includes my credit score. They do not hassle you for paying for extra services. Only drawback is that they only have information from Experian as that is their parent company.

0 votes

Credit Karma is free-no need to put in a credit card to access your credit report like some places. So that they can make money, they do offer you suggestions on low interest credit cards and that sort of thing. You can't really complain about it, since it's free. They have to make money somehow!

0 votes

Those snazzy TV ads for free credit reports are slick but misleading. They make it seem like using their services will allow you to travel internationally with an attractive companion at your side, free from money worries of any kind. What they don't tell you is that “free” usually involves a hefty charge after the trial period expires.

Credit Karma doesn't do that. Once you set up your account, Credit Karma provides you with a credit profile AND a credit score – free of charge. The service is ad ... supported but that's to be expected. And the upsell isn't that obnoxious. The reports are informative and helpful if you are working to straighten out your financial profile, which everyone really should be doing. Setting up the accounts takes some time and you must share personal information that you might not be comfortable sharing, but nothing that seemed unreasonable considering the service being offered. There is a mobile app in addition to the website based service, but I don't trust mobile apps with financial information. More Less

0 votes

I'm one of those people who never checks their credit score, for no reason other than I really don't want to have to navigate the bureaus websites. Thankfully, I don't inquire about credit often, so it isn't a big deal.

Setting up my Credit Karma account was simple, clean, and a little bit of a wake up call. I could see my score (great), but I also found cards I don't even remember opening. It really got me on board to really research my current accounts, and figure out where those ... other cards were from. Really saved me! More Less

0 votes

I love Credit Karma for lot of reasons. The most prominent being all those alerts that lets you take proactive steps before something happens. Not to mention the reports and all the other features.

0 votes

There is almost nothing better than free. Credit Karma offers a clean interface with easy to use navigation. One note, they don't provide you with a true credit score. They are using the vantagescore, which is not the FICO score.

0 votes

This website was really helpful, especially for a person like me with no tech skills at all, I really found the simple steps in this site to be a breeze, I will refer this website to many others in the near future!

0 votes

I tried this company for the first time, and I liked it better than another company that I have used. I like that this company has graphs that allow you to see where your credit stands. It also has financial tools to help you with your credit, as well as what credit is out there and how much. GREAT SITE!

0 votes

I tried Credit Karma like a month ago, I was surprised with my credit score considering I haven't really built my credit long enough. That's the only thing I am leery about but overall it's worth a try! It provides you more information that are actually very useful to improve your credit, and, it's FREE!

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