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Credit Karma

Free + Weekly Refreshes, 4/4 Credit Scores

Our Score
6.2
User Score
8.4
Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price
Free

Trial Detail

Do they offer a trial?
Yes

Scores Provided

3 Credit Bureaus and FICO Score
4/4

Reports Provided

Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
3/3

Refreshes

How often is info updated
Weekly

Daily Monitoring

Frequency & options of alerts
Yes

Error Dispute

Options to dispute errors
No

Data Security

Is my information safe?
High

ID Theft Protection

Included?
No

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on TBC
19

This San Francisco based company, has been featured in multiple news articles including MSNBC, SmartMoney, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and TechCrunch. Credit Karma is committed to providing consumers with the free resources and information they need to take control of their financial health. Beginning with a free credit score and report, the heart of personal finance, Credit Karma brings more transparency and certainty to credit and finance with free monitoring, data-driven resources and personalized recommendations.

credit-karma-homecredit-karma-featurescredit-karma-building

The Good

Credit Karma offers basic credit education and monitoring for their members without a subscription charge. They have a number of features which are designed to help their members make more educated financial decisions, specifically about their debt and credit cards. The company’s revenue is derived 100% from partnerships with financial companies which pay Credit Karma a percentage of all business from the new accounts, etc. which comes as a result of Credit Karma members using these services.

Credit Karma has several helpful tools for their members which include ways to simulate changes to one’s credit score with different behaviors (paying down debt, adding a new credit account, etc.), a mortgage calculator, and debt repayment calculator.

Credit Karma has mobile applications available for Android and iOS which allow members to track their credit from their mobile device.

Credit reports and scores offered on Credit Karma are refreshed weekly and members enjoy daily credit monitoring by TransUnion. Members do not receive all three credit reports when signing up for a membership with Credit Karma. They receive their Equifax and TransUnion reports and scores for all three credit bureaus.

The Bad

There are a significant number of complaints against Credit Karma with the Better Business Bureau. The company attempts to respond and solve these complaints, which usually involves some education about the company and its services. There is no customer support available via telephone, which is problematic. The fact that customers are taking the time to complain with the BBB for a free service merits examination and consideration.

There are several anecdotal reports to an increase in the receipt of postal junk mail and SPAM after signing up for a free Credit Karma membership. While the company states that they do not and will not sell their members’ private information, members also agree to being contacted by Credit Karma and their partners, which would increase the amount of solicitation by external companies by definition.

Credit Karma has had their problems with their mobile apps as well. In March, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission accused the company of violating their member’s rights to privacy in that their apps were not secure. There were no reports of parties being injured by the lack of security, but the FTC found that the applications were not as secure as the company led their members to believe. As such, the FTC and Credit Karma entered into a settlement, which has since been approved by a Federal judge stating that the problems must be addressed immediately (they have been) and that the company must submit to annual independent tests to verify that the apps are secure for the next 20 years.

The Bottom Line

One can save hundreds of dollars on credit monitoring services by using Credit Karma. Their approach is unique to the industry in that they don’t charge high monthly subscriptions to their members. For the most part, the credit reports and scores are quite similar to that which is offered by paid credit monitoring services. Credit Karma offers their members reports from 2 of 3 of the major credit bureaus and their Vantage 3.0 score. Credit Karma refreshes their members’ credit reports weekly, which is unusual for the industry.

There are significant concerns about the state of ongoing privacy with the mobile apps however, and the lack of telephone support is a glaring absence. The very fact that nearly 300 complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau during the last 3 years is interesting as far as Credit Karma offers a free service.

One should evaluate carefully and assess the weaknesses and strengths for Credit Karma and make an educated decision before signing up for a free membership.

Price Range

Credit Karma is free for all members and never requires a credit card.

Trial Details

Credit Karma does not offer trials.  The service is free to all customers.

Scores & Reports Provided

Credit Karma offers each member a copy of their Equifax and TransUnion credit reports, scores from all three major credit bureaus and their Vantage 3.0 score.

Error Dispute

Credit Karma does not offer assistance in error dispute.  Members with errors on their credit report(s) need to contact the credit bureau(s) directly.

Monitoring

Credit Karma send members alerts when their credit score or reports change which can be seen in their member profile.

Credit Score and Report Refreshes

Credit Karma offers their members weekly updates to members’ Equifax and TransUnion credit reports and scores.

Data Security

Credit Karma uses 128-bit encryption for their website and protects the transmission of customer data to their site.  Their data center is staffed 24/7 with security personnel.

Important to note is that in March, 2014, Credit Karma entered into an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to address the security of their mobile apps (Android and iOS).  The settlement included the company’s acknowledgement that they did not take proper and appropriate steps to ensure that their mobile apps were secure and could transmit sensitive consumer data over a non-secure channel.  Credit Karma made adjustments and their apps were certified to be secure.  The company must comply with annual security checks of their mobile apps for the next twenty years to verify that the apps remain secure.

Identity Theft Protection

Credit Karma does not provide identity protection beyond a customer being able to self-monitor their credit reports for changes which can signal that they may have been a victim of identity theft.  They do not offer identity protection insurance at this time.

Alert Options

Alerts for members of Credit Karma are sent to the member’s online profile.  These are not sent via SMS or email at this time.

Better Business Bureau Score

Credit Karma is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a rating of C+.  The company has received many complaints in the last three years which were filed with the BBB – 282 complaints were filed in the last three years, with 108 of them being filed in the last 12 months.  These complaints are balanced fairly evenly between problems with the product, advertising, and warranty.  Being that the company offers a free product, it is significant that there are such a large number of complaints which members felt the need to go through the process of filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau.

Time in Business

March 2007

 

Contact Information

  • (415) 692-5722
  • support@creditkarma.com
  • PO Box 520, San Francisco, CA 94104-0520

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Visit our Request Reconsideration page and send us your feedback today!

19 Credit Karma Reviews

Select Your Rating:

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  1. User Score
    10
    lance
    August 28th, 2015 at 10:02 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    It was awesome, easy to set up an account and a lot of cool features

  2. User Score
    10
    LaShonda Charlton
    June 29th, 2014 at 7:03 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Love this site used it to find my starting point and cleaned up my credit so I could buy my house.

  3. User Score
    9
    therealkhandij@gmail.com
    June 25th, 2014 at 12:40 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    The credit karma is the next best tool I have for changing my credit future and I am glad that it is around and I will continue to share and speed the word.

  4. User Score
    9
    Jay Wilder
    June 22nd, 2014 at 11:20 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Excellent credit tool !

  5. User Score
    10
    Maria
    June 21st, 2014 at 10:09 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    This site has helped me so much. I’m so glad I decided to try it. Maybe soon I’ll be able to bring my score up thanks to you guys.

  6. User Score
    8
    tammy
    June 21st, 2014 at 3:16 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    I like being able to see my score with out having to pay .I just wonder what you can buy with on the higher side of good credit.

  7. User Score
    10
    John
    June 20th, 2014 at 2:34 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Works great for me!

  8. User Score
    10
    Heather
    June 19th, 2014 at 1:07 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Credit score averages a little lower than the big 3 (which motivates me to improve it)and I have used a few of their offers and the credit building recommendations.

  9. User Score
    0
    Kemp
    June 17th, 2014 at 2:32 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Not accurate

  10. User Score
    8
    Nata Clegg
    June 15th, 2014 at 3:09 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Its a good guideline for your credit.

  11. User Score
    9
    dave
    June 10th, 2014 at 1:22 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    So far..pretty decent. Scores seem pretty close tp what I’ve obtained elsewhere.

  12. User Score
    9
    Amanda Shipwash
    June 8th, 2014 at 4:31 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    I absolutely love it! Bottom line it’s the best!

  13. User Score
    9
    Diver
    June 7th, 2014 at 10:35 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    FREE,,,,,what’s not to like?

  14. User Score
    10
    Kaitie
    June 6th, 2014 at 2:03 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Amazing! It has truly helped me raise my score 100 points! Showing me my score, report, and best areas to work on for maximum improvement!

  15. User Score
    9
    Tracy
    June 5th, 2014 at 4:09 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    I love receiving alerts about new account activity.

  16. User Score
    10
    Ramirez
    June 5th, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Awesome site I have already got two credit offers highly recommend

  17. User Score
    9
    kia ford
    June 1st, 2014 at 5:13 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    I think its a good website thats free and beneficial

  18. User Score
    0
    Homer Johnson
    May 29th, 2014 at 4:38 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Every credit report company seems to think they know your e-mail address and passwords better then you, No matter what I use, they do not like them. So keep your reports, I don’t really need the hassle in order to have a report.

  19. User Score
    10
    Jasmine Novotny
    August 22nd, 2013 at 3:11 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Awesome

Our Score
6.2
User Score
8.4
Rank this Company
Ratings Breakdown

Price

Monthly Price
Free

Trial Detail

Do they offer a trial?
Yes

Scores Provided

3 Credit Bureaus and FICO Score
4/4

Reports Provided

Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
3/3

Refreshes

How often is info updated
Weekly

Daily Monitoring

Frequency & options of alerts
Yes

Error Dispute

Options to dispute errors
No

Data Security

Is my information safe?
High

ID Theft Protection

Included?
No

C+

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on TBC
19

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Review Last Updated: June 15, 2015

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