Credit Karma Review 2024: Is This A Legit Credit Score Or A Scam?

Credit Karma is a free service that offers users access to its TransUnion and Equifax credit information. Although it can be a helpful tool, is it worth signing up for?
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On Credit Karma's website

Credit Karma
  • Free access to credit scores and credit reports
  • Financial education and tools are available through the Help and Resource Center
  • Does not offer all three credit bureaus, only TransUnion and Equifax

You may know Credit Karma as the site that provides you with free credit scores and free credit reports. It also helps you prevent identity theft and monitor changes to your credit report with features like data breach monitoring.

Credit Karma can be a good option for most people, especially if you’re looking for an at-a-glance view of your credit score. The site also provides added features that can help users take control of their financial lives and offers easy access to some services like savings, checking, and even credit building.

Since it provides services to consumers for free, there are ads for financial products that some people may find off-putting. However, they aren’t overly distracting or intrusive.

Check out this Credit Karma review to help you understand what you can expect with this free credit monitoring service.

In this article
Credit Karma review at a glance
What does Credit Karma protect against?
Credit Karma features
Our experience with Credit Karma
Does Credit Karma keep your data safe?
Credit Karma compatibility
Credit Karma customer service
Credit Karma prices and subscriptions
Credit Karma FAQs
Bottom line: Is Credit Karma good?

Credit Karma review at a glance

Price Free
Credit monitoring Yes
Credit reports Yes — TransUnion and Equifax
Credit score Yes
Credit builder account Yes (through Credit Karma Money)
Credit score simulator Yes
Identity monitoring features Data breach monitoring, exposed password alerts, and credit protection
Mobile apps Yes — iOS and Android
Details Get Credit Karma

Data as of 4/19/2023.

Credit Karma was founded in 2007 in San Francisco, California.[1] It was then purchased in 2020 by Intuit, which also makes Mint, TurboTax, and Quickbooks.[2] The company aims to help people take control of their finances by monitoring their credit, providing insight into their financial situation, and making recommendations on products and services.

Credit Karma's primary function is to help you check your credit reports and credit scores for free at any time. While this is what Credit Karma is best at, the site also provides identity theft and credit report monitoring, credit score simulation, and it can assist you with your taxes through TurboTax.

Through third-party banks and partnerships, Credit Karma also offers a high-yield savings account called Credit Karma Money Save and a credit builder program through a Credit Karma Money Spend account. You may even save money on your car insurance through its usage-based Karma Drive program.

Those looking to monitor their credit for free every week, as opposed to the yearly free report offered directly by the credit bureaus, will likely find Credit Karma helpful. Given the potential financial disaster you may face if your identity is stolen, investing in ID theft protection is worth it, especially for free services like Credit Karma.

While Credit Karma can link to some financial institutions through its parent company, Intuit, it is not a personal finance app. It also does not prevent identity theft by removing information exposed in data breaches. It can help you monitor your identity up to a point but does not offer any sort of insurance that would compensate you for identity theft losses; it just lets you know that your data may have been compromised.

Credit Karma pros and cons

  • Free access to credit scores and credit reports
  • Scores and reports are updated weekly
  • Financial education and tools are available through the Help and Resource Center
  • Offers multiple features through third-party programs
  • Credit scores may not be 100% accurate
  • Does not offer all three credit bureaus, only TransUnion and Equifax
  • Customer support only available through chat and contact form

What does Credit Karma protect against?

Identity theft occurs when your private information is exposed online, either through a data breach or on the dark web. Depending on the information exposed, criminals may use your personal information to open new credit accounts in your name without your knowledge.

Credit Karma helps protect against identity theft threats by alerting users to changes in their credit reports. Its algorithm scans billions of online records for the email address associated with your Credit Karma account and alerts you to any unsecured locations it finds.

Credit Karma can help you discover common identity theft situations like:

  • Financial identity theft: This identity theft occurs when a criminal steals your personal information like Social Security numbers or credit card information and tries to make purchases, obtain loans, or open new credit accounts in your name.
  • Social Security identity theft: If your Social Security number is exposed in a data breach, someone may try to use it to fraudulently apply for government benefits, a job, or even obtain tax refunds in your name.
  • Child identity theft: Similar to financial identity theft, a thief may obtain your child’s personal information and try to open accounts or credit in their name. This can be especially dangerous since it can go on for years without anyone noticing, leading to your child being declined for school or auto loans and causing problems into adulthood.
  • Synthetic identity theft: When a criminal combines some of your factual information with fake information to create a new identity, it can leave you with a mess to sort out.
  • Tax identity theft: Someone filing a fraudulent tax return and receiving your tax refund can create a financial problem that takes years to correct.

Credit Karma doesn’t have a lot of identity theft features, but it can help you discover a problem early by alerting you to changes on your credit report. If you have children, it can be a good idea to periodically check on your child’s credit report using a service like Credit Karma to help prevent child identity theft.

Credit Karma features

Credit Karma offers several features besides credit scores, such as the Credit Builder program, which users can access through Credit Karma Money. Savings accounts are also available through Credit Karma Money Save bank accounts that are offered through MVB Bank.

Through its auto insurance partnership with Progressive and Allstate, called Karma Drive, you may save money on your premium based on your mileage, when and how you drive, and your average speed, which Credit Karma monitors through your phone.

Although these features are helpful, Credit Karma’s strength is its credit report and credit score features.

Credit monitoring

Credit Karma’s credit monitoring features can help you spot errors and suspicious activity on your credit report before it can cause too much damage. Credit monitoring is included with a Credit Karma account and can be turned on or off through the Settings tab on its website or the app.

When credit monitoring notifications are turned on, you’ll receive email or push notifications on your phone when changes to your TransUnion or Equifax credit reports are found.

The credit monitoring alerts on Credit Karma can help you discover potential issues like:

  • Misreported personal information, including your name and address history
  • Payments you didn’t make on existing financial accounts
  • Hard credit pulls from financial institutions and lenders you don’t recognize or didn’t authorize
  • If newly opened accounts have been added to your credit report, like a new credit card

If you discover an error on your TransUnion report, you may be able to dispute it directly through Credit Karma. You must dispute errors on your Equifax report through the credit bureau’s website.

Credit Karma's providing the user's Equifax credit score.

Credit Karma analyzing the credit score high-impact factors: payment history, credit card use, derogatory marks, credit age, total accounts, and hard inquiries.

Credit reports and credit scores

Your credit score is how lenders decide if they should offer you credit and at what interest rate. Understanding your credit report and score can ensure your data is safe and help you know where your credit stands.

The FICO and VantageScore credit scores are two of the most common types. Credit Karma only tracks your VantageScore and offers credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax. If you need to check your FICO score or your Experian credit report, you need to contact Experian directly. It's a good idea to check your credit reports regularly since that is one of the easiest ways to determine if you are a victim of identity theft.

On Credit Karma, your TransUnion score is updated daily while your Equifax report and score are updated every seven days. Select Credit Karma members may see their Equifax scores updated daily, but that feature is not widely available.

An excellent way to prevent identity theft is to freeze your credit with each credit bureau and keep it frozen until you need to open a new credit account. But as of August 2022, users cannot lock or freeze their credit directly through Credit Karma and must contact each credit bureau individually.

If your credit is already frozen, you must remove the freeze on it before signing up for Credit Karma. Once you have an active account, you can refreeze your credit without affecting your Credit Karma account.

Credit Karma offers Vantage 3.0 credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax. On the Vantage scale, scores from 700 to 749 are considered good, while those from 750-850 are considered excellent.

Credit Karma comparison of a TransUnion credit score and an Equifax credit score.

Credit Karma analysis of an Equifax credit score.


Many identity theft protection services offer alerts when there is a change to your credit report information. Although paying attention to a change on your credit report is always important, it doesn’t always indicate a problem.

Credit Karma will alert you to things like:

  • A bank changing the way they report your information to the credit bureaus
  • If you add an authorized user to one of your credit or loan accounts
  • If a new loan is added to your account, or if a lender adds a new hard inquiry to your credit reports
  • If a new credit card is added to your credit report

If you receive an alert, it’s essential to check your credit reports and confirm that everything is correct. Doing so can help you catch issues before they create financial problems that take years to correct.

Credit Karma alerts for data breaches and exposed passwords.

Credit Karma financial alerts for credit locking.

Our experience with Credit Karma

Credit Karma is easy to set up and use. To sign up, you’ll need to provide personal information like:

  • Your full name
  • Current address
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number

You’ll also be required to verify your identity by answering questions about your employment, previous addresses, and other identifying information.

When you first log in to your account, the Today dashboard with your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores is displayed, along with offers for credit cards or other financial products.

Clicking on either of the credit scores will show you more detailed information from that credit bureau and give you insight into how your payment history, length of credit, and the number of recent hard inquiries affect your current score.

Menus at the top allow you to see available actions, including viewing your credit score, opening a checking or savings account, exploring the tools and calculators available, or reviewing recommendations from third-party financial partners.

Credit Karma menu with actions for credit cards, personal loans, auto insurance, and more.

Before you click on any links for a credit card or loan through Credit Karma, be aware that any notice of guaranteed approval or pre-approval for third-party credit products may not be accurate. Several customers noted that they wasted time applying for credit products that Credit Karma said they were pre-approved for, only to be rejected by the lender.

In fact, in January 2023, Credit Karma was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay a $3 million settlement and stop using deceptive pre-approved claims to entice consumers to apply for financial products.[3]

Does Credit Karma keep your data safe?

Credit Karma uses 128-bit encryption to store and protect the data you provide. Data transmission uses AES-256, an industry standard. Additionally, Credit Karma uses firewalls and other security precautions to protect your identity, and it uses third-party experts to assess the site for vulnerabilities.

While two-factor authentication is available on Credit Karma, it's not automatically turned on for standard accounts. Users can enable the feature under Settings either by visiting the website on the desktop or the app.

Finally, the site will automatically log you off after a period of inactivity as another level of security.

According to their privacy policy, Credit Karma collects your personal information through various means. Some of the data they collect includes:

  • Personal information, including your name, address, email address, Social Security number, and phone number
  • Non-identifying information like your gender, income, and the types of financial products you’re interested in
  • Device information such as your operating system, hardware model, application or browser type and version, and unique identifiers associated with your device
  • Log information like your IP address, browser or device configuration, date and time you accessed the site, and cookie information
  • Location information through GPS or Wi-Fi, but only after you grant consent

Credit Karma collects a lot of information, but the company says it does not sell personal information or share it with unaffiliated third parties for marketing or advertising. However, they may share your data with third-party partners and financial institutions. If you click through to a third-party site, your information is handled according to that company’s privacy policy.

Credit Karma compatibility

Credit Karma is available through desktop and mobile apps on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

On the Apple App Store, Credit Karma has a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating, with over 5.9 million reviews. Users must have iOS 14.0 or later, and the Credit Karma app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

On the Google Play Store, Credit Karma has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, with over 10 million downloads and 2.5 million reviews. Android users must have version 8.0 and up.

Credit Karma customer service

Credit Karma doesn’t have great customer service features. There isn’t a phone number to contact Credit Karma directly, but it has a customer service contact form and chat feature on its website.

Credit Karma does have a Help Center that provides information to frequently asked questions and how-tos for accessing features like two-factor authentication and credit monitoring alerts. You can also find helpful information explaining how to read a credit report.

Credit Karma prices and subscriptions

All of Credit Karma’s services are free, and the site makes money through the financial products it recommends from its partners.

If you accept one of the recommendations or sign up for an additional service like Credit Builder or Credit Karma Money Save through MVB Bank, the partner company may pay Credit Karma a commission.

Credit Karma features at a glance

Credit Karma
Who can apply Anyone 18 and over
Credit monitoring
Financial activity alerts
Credit reports Yes — TransUnion and Equifax
Credit score
Credit score simulator
Credit builder account
FICO score
Credit lock
Data breach monitoring
Details Learn More

Prices as of 4/19/2023.

Credit Karma’s services are free to consumers. It makes money by showing users personalized recommendations for financial products like credit cards or car loans. If you click on an offer through Credit Karma, the financial partner will compensate Credit Karma.

Credit Karma FAQs


Is Credit Karma worth it?

Credit Karma is worth it if you want an easy way to track your credit score and review your credit report. As a free service that's updated weekly, it can help you monitor your credit report and credit score from the TransUnion and Equifax credit bureaus.


Is it safe to use Credit Karma?

Yes, it is safe to use Credit Karma. The site uses 128-bit encryption to protect the data you provide. It also uses firewalls and other security precautions to protect your identity.

According to its privacy policy, Credit Karma collects personal data about its users, including full name, address, email address, and Social Security numbers, but doesn’t sell that information to third parties.


Is Credit Karma a reliable source?

Any information you see in Credit Karma has been reported to the TransUnion and Equifax credit bureaus and has not been modified. Credit Karma acts as an intermediary that displays the reported information but does not change what it receives from the credit bureaus.


Does Credit Karma hurt your credit score?

Signing up with Credit Karma does not hurt your credit score. It is considered a soft inquiry by the credit bureaus. However, applying for a new credit card or loan through its recommendations may result in a hard pull on your credit, which can drop your score by a few points with each inquiry.


How do I contact Credit Karma?

You can contact Credit Karma through its online contact form or chat feature. Credit Karma does not have a direct customer service phone number or email address.

Bottom line: Is Credit Karma good?

While some of the features offered by Credit Karma might help you save money or find a credit card, its true strength is in assisting consumers in quickly accessing their credit reports and score.

If you are looking for an app or platform with more financial features, like budgeting, you may need to look elsewhere. Additionally, while it offers you weekly access to your credit scores and reports from two of the three credit bureaus, you’ll still need to access your Experian credit report and FICO credit score separately.

Protecting your identity from criminals who are looking for an easy target is one of many reasons to review your credit report and score regularly. Credit Karma is a good option for people who want to access their credit score and alerts frequently.

Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Credit Karma's website
Credit Karma
  • Free access to credit scores and credit reports
  • Financial education and tools are available through the Help and Resource Center
  • Does not offer all three credit bureaus, only TransUnion and Equifax
Author Details
Kate Daugherty, a Denver-based professional writer with a B.A. from the University of Colorado, specializes in personal finance, digital security, and personal privacy. Inspired by her own credit theft experience, Kate is passionate about helping people stay safe online. Through her engaging articles in Finance Buzz, Success Magazine, and the Family Money Adventure blog, she shares easy-to-follow tips for boosting online security and financial well-being.


[1] Credit Karma

[2] Intuit Completes Acquisition of Credit Karma

[3] FTC Finalizes Order Requiring Credit Karma to Pay $3 Million and Halt Deceptive ‘Pre-Approved’ Claims