Summary: Your credit score can make or break your finances. But can you rely on the credit score you get from Credit Karma? Here’s what you need to know.
Credit Karma promises easy and free access to your credit score.
You also get your credit report from two of the big named credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax.
That sounds good, right?
Well, ask yourself:
Is Credit Karma safe?
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In a recent study at Credit Knocks, we found that *48% of clients who used a credit repair company got a credit score increase of 100+ points.
Consultation is quick, easy, and free.
After all, you have to share some of your most sensitive information for them to deliver your credit score on a silver platter.
And then there’s the issue of whether you can trust the score they give you.
I can hear you now:
It’s a credit score. What’s the big deal?
Did you know there are 35 types of credit scores?
And if that wasn’t overwhelming enough…
Applying for a mortgage uses a different credit score than if you applied for a credit card.
What about an auto loan?
Yep, you guessed it…
There’s a different type of credit score for that, too.
But don’t worry.
By the time you’re done with this article, you’ll know:
- What information Credit Karma needs from you
- What they do with your sensitive data
- The truth about Credit Karma’s free credit score
Is Credit Karma Safe? 3 Warnings to Consider
It’s important to know that Credit Karma isn’t a scam. The company is legit and does its best to keep your information safe and secure.
But the company isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Did you know that 90% of lenders use FICO credit scores for underwriting decisions rather than the free scores you get from Credit Karma? Learn more.
Before you sign up, here are three things to consider.
1. Credit Karma Can Access Your Sensitive Financial Data
Checking your credit score with Credit Karma won’t hurt your credit score. To set up your account, it requires you to share some of your most sensitive information.
For starters, you must enter:
- Your full name
- Your street address
- Your date of birth
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security number
This is usually enough to match you with your credit file.
But not always.
Sometimes, Credit Karma will require your full Social Security number to verify you are who you say you are.
So, is Credit Karma Safe and accurate?
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What do they do with all that info?
Mostly, they keep it to themselves.
But there’s a catch.
Credit Karma makes money by pairing you with products and services. That might include a mortgage, debt consolidation loans, or credit cards based on your credit score.
And you know what that means?
Your information is sent to other companies.
Credit Karma sends your sensitive financial data to companies that provide those loans and credit cards.
2. How Secure is Credit Karma?
To get access to your credit history, Credit Karma needs to verify your identity using your personal information.
But here’s the thing.
Your identity is pretty serious business.
A 2019 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research reported 14.4 million victims of identity fraud.
Understanding FICO Scores
Did you know lenders pull different FICO scores when you apply for a car loan vs a home loan? And yet another for credit cards? And the scores can vary (a LOT!) Learn more about your FICO credit scores in this guide.
That brings up a good question:
Is Credit Karma safe and secure?
Credit Karma protects your data with the same level of encryption that banks use.
But it isn’t a guarantee.
As you’ve seen with Equifax, breaches happen.
Over half of all Americans had their private information compromised in an enormous Equifax data breach in 2017.
And back in 2019, a technical glitch exposed other people’s sensitive data to some users. Credit Karma never admitted how many users were affected, but said the problem wasn’t because of a data breach.
Still, Credit Karma takes precautions.
Besides the bank-grade encryption, the company uses site security protection from Digicert, which protects some of the world’s top brands, like IBM and Verizon.
3. The Truth About Credit Karma's Free Credit Score
Based on encryption and security, Credit Karma is a safe bet.
But there’s one area they fall short.
And it’s a biggie.
While it’s true you get a free credit score with Credit Karma…
There’s just one problem.
Your credit score from Credit Karma is almost worthless.
Why is that?
Credit Karma doesn’t give you a FICO Score.
Instead, they give you a VantageScore.
FICO Scores are used by 90% of the top lenders.
That means your credit score from Credit Karma is irrelevant in almost all lending decisions. It’s mostly only for education.
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But there’s one more thing.
FICO has 28 different types of scores, and each kind of lender can use a different version to evaluate your eligibility when applying for a mortgage, loan, or credit card.
So, where can you get your FICO Score?
The answer is simple.
You go straight to the source by accessing your credit score with MyFICO.
Is Credit Karma Safe Reddit Reviews
Whether Credit Karma is safe or not is up for debate.
Looking to Reddit, we asked, 'Is Credit Karma Safe Reddit' and found that it the answer depends on your definition of 'safe'.
While the company is known to be reputable that doesn't mean they are not subject to the same data breaches and mistakes that other large corporations have had.
In fact, in August of 2019, a 'data glitch' at Credit Karma revealed other customers private credit information that was definitely 'not safe'.
This makes it difficult to answer, 'Is Credit Karma safe reddit' readers?
A Better Alternative to Credit Karma
Credit Karma is okay if you want a ballpark idea of what your credit score might be.
But it could be off by as much as 100 points.
Yes, you read that right.
Your FICO Score could be up to 100 points higher or lower than the VantageScore you get from Credit Karma.
If you’re in the market to buy a house, a car, or to get a cash back or rewards credit card, you don’t want to go in blind.
To know what credit score lenders are looking at, you need to know your FICO Score.
*Study found 48% of professional credit repair clients who stuck with their service for 6+ months saw an average of 100+ points to their credit score. Source.