Norton LifeLock vs. Credit Karma 2024: A Complete Comparison

If you’re looking for extra protection and reassurance that you won’t suffer any losses, consider investing in a LifeLock plan.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Best for Full Protection

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On LifeLock's website

LifeLock
Up to 52% off first year when paid annually
  • Top-rated identity theft protection service
  • Provides up to $3 million in coverage
  • Multiple monitoring features including dark web, home title, and social media monitoring
  • Customer support experience is lacking

Best for Credit Score Insights

3.0
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

LifeLock and Credit Karma both give their users identity theft and credit score alerts. Credit Karma’s free service and monitoring may be sufficient to give most people peace of mind.

But if you’re looking for extra protection and reassurance that you won’t suffer any financial losses if your identity is stolen, investing in a LifeLock plan may be worth the cost. With identity theft reported every 22 seconds, we believe LifeLock’s extra protections are well worth the cost.[1] Better to have protection and not need it, as they say.

Let’s compare these two services to find out which one offers the level of protection you need.

In this article
LifeLock vs. Credit Karma
LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: prices
LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: monitoring and alerts
Which is safer, LifeLock vs. Credit Karma?
LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: compatibility and ease of use
LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: customer service
LifeLock vs. Credit Karma FAQs
LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: which is better?

LifeLock vs. Credit Karma review at a glance

LifeLock and Credit Karma mainly differ on the pricing and insurance offers. While LifeLock may be expensive, it offers much more comprehensive coverage while the free Credit Karma offers valuable insights into your credit score. If you’re unsure whether to take the extra step or are unclear on why you would need this, check out our complete identity theft protection and credit monitoring guide.

LifeLock vs. Credit Karma review at a glance


LifeLock

Credit Karma
Price $8.29–$40.99/mo for first yr Free
Identity theft insurance Up to $3 million
Credit monitoring
3-bureau credit reports No, only TransUnion and Equifax
Credit score
Dark web alerts
Identity recovery
Social media account alerts
Get LifeLock
Read LifeLock Review
Get Credit Karma
Read Credit Karma Review

There are many differences between LifeLock and Credit Karma; the most obvious being the price. LifeLock has several plans that vary by the number of people protected, the amount of protection, and whether you want to pay monthly or annually. Credit Karma is free.

Credit Karma does not offer bundles to review multiple people’s credit scores and information at once like LifeLock does. Each individual will have to register for their own account. In LifeLock, you can sign up for a plan that includes up to two adults and five kids.

LifeLock provides much more in terms of identity protection. Though they both offer identity monitoring, LifeLock takes it a step further by offering several levels of insurance and more monitoring than Credit Karma does. Credit Karma provides your credit score, free credit monitoring services, and customized financial suggestions like different credit cards and loan options.

LifeLock pros and cons

Pros
  • Provides comprehensive coverage beyond basic identity theft
  • Offers flexible packages and payment plans for individuals and families
  • Ensures users for millions of dollars if identity theft were to happen
Cons
  • It is relatively expensive
  • The average person may not need this much protection and insurance

Credit Karma pros and cons

Pros
  • Gives free access to all features
  • Provides customers with recommendations and reviews for credit cards, loans, and buying/selling cars
  • Provides calculators to give estimates of buying power for cars, homes, and borrowing power
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer as many different monitoring services
  • Does not insure users against identity theft

LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: prices


LifeLock

Credit Karma
Monthly price range $8.29–$40.99/mo for first yr Free
Best value plan Advantage Plan for $8.29/mo for first yr when paid annually Basic plan
Identity theft insurance Up to $3 million
Get LifeLock
Read LifeLock Review
Get Credit Karma
Read Credit Karma Review
*Prices for individual plans. Family plan prices will vary.

Norton LifeLock plans

Lifelock offers three different plans with three tiers: individual, family (for two adults), and family (for two adults and five kids). In each tier, there are three levels of plans: standard, advantage, and ultimate plus. There is an option to pay monthly or annually for each. LifeLock offers a 30-day free trial, which does require a credit card, and a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Let’s take a closer look at what each plan offers.

Standard plan

  • $1 million lawyer and expert coverage
  • $25,000 in stolen funds reimbursement
  • $25,000 personal expense compensation
  • Identity and Social Security number alerts
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Data breach notifications
  • One-bureau credit monitoring
  • Advantage plan

    • $1 million lawyer and expert coverage
    • $100,000 in stolen funds reimbursement
    • $100,000 personal expense compensation
    • Identity lock for TransUnion and payday loans
    • Phone takeover monitoring
    • Alerts on crimes in your name
    • Buy Now Pay Later alerts
    • All features from the Standard plan

    Ultimate Plus plan

    • $1 million lawyer and expert coverage
    • $1 million in stolen funds reimbursement
    • $1 million personal expense compensation
    • Three-bureau credit monitoring
    • Credit reports and scores from one bureau (three bureaus available for annual payment plans)
    • Home title monitoring
    • Social media monitoring
    • All features from the Standard and Advantage plans

    Credit Karma plans

    Credit Karma is free and has no plan tiers like LifeLock has. Once you make an account, you can gain all sorts of insight into your credit score, including:

    • Credit Score: Credit Karma lets you see your TransUnion and Equifax credit scores, along with history on how your credit score has changed, what factors affected changes in the score, and tips on how to help your credit score go up.
    • Credit Karma Money Spend: An online checking account offered by Credit Karma, it is free to open and has no penalties or minimum balance requirements. It also can deliver paychecks up to two days early with direct deposit, give cashback rewards, offer free withdrawals at more than 50,000 ATMs across the country, and is FDIC insured.
    • Credit Karma Money Save: Credit Karma’s savings account that offers automatic saving, no fees, a 4.10% APY (as of 8/25/2023), and is FDIC insured.
    • Recommendations: Using your credit score and income data, Credit Karma offers suggestions and calculators to help you figure out your loan borrowing power, your vehicle or home buying power, and more.

    Winner: LifeLock

    LifeLock offers much more value and protection against identity theft than Credit Karma. Although Credit Karma gives a lot of information about your credit score, it does not offer the reassurances that LifeLock does.

    LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: protection features

    Feature
    LifeLock

    Credit Karma
    Credit monitoring
    Financial activity alerts
    3-bureau credit reports No – Equifax and TransUnion only
    Credit score
    FICO score
    Credit lock and freeze
    Identity recovery
    Dark web alerts
    Social media account alerts
    Social Security number monitoring
    Home title monitoring
    Address change alerts
    Get LifeLock
    Read LifeLock Review
    Get Credit Karma
    Read Credit Karma Review

    LifeLock and Credit Karma are very different in terms of what identity theft protection services they offer. While both are credit monitoring services that watch for and alert you of suspicious activity and a VantageScore credit score, LifeLock offers identity theft insurance and other protections that Credit Karma does not.

    What’s a VantageScore?

    VantageScore is one of a few different methods credit agencies use to assign a number based on the information in your credit reports. You may see some services offer myFICO scores, which is another method for scoring your credit profile.

    LifeLock provides information from all three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, with a subscription to the Ultimate Plus plan, but for the other two lower-tier plans there is only one-bureau monitoring. With Credit Karma, which is free and does not have different plans, you get two-bureau monitoring. So, you’ll only get more information if you use LifeLock’s most expensive and most comprehensive plan.

    LifeLock also offers identity locking, which is important if you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft. Credit locks differ from credit freezes. Both services prevent new lenders from accessing your credit report, at your request. But a credit lock is a paid service offered by credit bureaus and companies like LifeLock. Credit locks are convenient and can be lifted instantly. A credit freeze is a free service governed by federal law. You’ll have more legal protections, but lifting a freeze takes more time.

    You can access your dashboard after logging in to your account on the LifeLock website.

    LifeLock monitoring dashboard


    LifeLock also offers several other ways to monitor your identity online, such as Buy Now, Pay Later alerts, 401(K) and investment account activity, home title monitoring, social media monitoring, and phone takeover monitoring. These go beyond what Credit Karma offers, which is just your credit score and links so you can freeze and lock your credit yourself.

    Credit Karma analysis of an Equifax credit score.

    One other feature of LifeLock that we found valuable was its identity restoration services. If you just found out you've been scammed, chances are you're in a panic and aren't sure what to do next. LifeLock offers restoration services with all of its plans, which means you'll have someone in your corner right away to help you combat identity fraud and remove fraudulent activity from your credit report. 

    Credit Karma offers suggestions based on your credit score and income, like offering information on credit cards, a calculator to estimate buying power, loans, and taxes, and a checking and savings account option. These tools, like its credit simulator, can help you decide whether you should open a new credit card or not.

    Winner: LifeLock

    LifeLock offers several more services than Credit Karma. Most people probably only need Credit Karma — it’s free and provides enough information for the average person. But for those wanting to add an extra layer of protection, LifeLock clearly comes out on top with its suite of monitoring features and insurance coverage.

    Which is safer, LifeLock vs. Credit Karma?

    If you’re trusting a company to help protect and monitor your identity, that company's security determines whether you’re choosing the best place for ID theft protection. We look for specific features while evaluating a company's safety, such as two-factor and multi-factor authentication, data collection, and data sharing policies. There is some data collection and sharing needed for account administration purposes, payment, and monitoring. But we’re skeptical of anything beyond required use, such as sharing data with third parties.

    LifeLock vs. Credit Karma data security


    LifeLock

    Credit Karma
    Two-factor authentication
    Multi-factor authentication
    Collects data Minimal Minimal
    Shares data with third parties
    Get LifeLock
    Read LifeLock Review
    Get Credit Karma
    Read Credit Karma Review

    Credit Karma collects data, but says in its private policy statement that it does not sell its data to third parties for marketing or advertising. However, it does state that it shares data with third-party partners. You can read more in our Credit Karma review.

    LifeLock states in its private policy it doesn’t sell your data, though it will share data with its partners for certain features to work. You can read more about this in our LifeLock review.

    Winner: Tie

    LifeLock and Credit Karma’s data security are about equal. They each collect data, state they don’t sell it, but do share your data with third parties to use some of the features they offer.

    LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: compatibility and ease of use

    Platform
    LifeLock

    Credit Karma
    Windows
    macOS
    Android
    iOS

    Both LifeLock and Credit Karma work on different browsers. Each also has its own mobile app available for both iOS and Android.

    Winner: Both. Each one was easy and intuitive to use on both desktop and mobile.

    LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: customer service


    LifeLock

    Credit Karma
    24/7 live chat
    Phone
    Email
    Support forums
    Online guides

    Though many of us prefer to help ourselves with online guides or live chat, some problems are best resolved by picking up the phone and speaking to an agent directly. LifeLock offers phone support all day, every day. Credit Karma, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a phone number.

    Both providers have help centers with extensive FAQ and informative guides.

    Winner: LifeLock. Sometimes you need help from a human and not a bot. LifeLock has a phone line open 24/7.

    LifeLock vs. Credit Karma FAQs


    +

    Is there a difference between credit monitoring and identity theft protection?

    Yes, there is. Credit monitoring is when you receive an alert whenever a company notices suspicious activity in your credit reports. Identity theft protection also sends you notifications about suspicious activity but takes it a step further. It can monitor and alert you for suspicious activity in your bank accounts, credit cards, criminal databases, social media, and more.


    +

    Do I need credit monitoring?

    Yes, credit monitoring is great to have to ensure that nobody is stealing your identity and possibly your money. There are many websites, such as Credit Karma, that will do it for free, so it doesn’t cost anything for you to have that added security. Or you can request a free copy of your credit report on your own through AnnualCreditReport.com every 12 months.

    There are also paid credit monitoring services you can use if you feel that extra ID theft protection is worth the money.


    +

    Do I need to monitor all three credit bureaus?

    No, you don’t. Though your credit score may vary slightly from each bureau, there’s so much overlapping data used to calculate your credit score that it won’t make much of a difference. Most people will be fine monitoring just one or two of the three major credit bureaus.


    +

    Is LifeLock worth the money?

    That depends on your situation and how much extra precaution you want to take. Though LifeLock provides a ton of extra security measures for monitoring your identity, many people find that paying for credit monitoring and insurance isn’t worth the money, especially because there are so many free options out there. However, if you are worried about identity theft and want that extra layer of security, or don’t feel like doing a little extra research to figure out free alternatives, then LifeLock could be worth it to you and your family.

    LifeLock vs. Credit Karma: which is better?

    Well, that depends. If you just want to monitor your credit score, get insights into how to improve it, and basic monitoring for identity theft, Credit Karma may be enough.

    But if you're at higher risk for identity theft or want extra insurance and peace of mind, LifeLock clearly comes out on top. There are a ton of different ways in which LifeLock monitors your identity online that Credit Karma lacks, like dark web alerts, social media monitoring, and more. For a bit of extra money every month, this could be worth it to you.

    LifeLock vs. Credit Karma alternatives

    If neither of these identity theft protection services offer what you need, here are a few more of the best identity theft protection services we recommend.

    • McAfee: You may know McAfee from its antivirus software, and its identity protection services are just as reputable. You'll get help monitoring your bank accounts and credit records so fraud can be spotted and stopped quickly. Plus, you can bundle its ID theft protection with antivirus for double coverage.

      Get McAfee
    • Aura: Looking for a full identity and digital security suite? Aura delivers. It uses AI to block spam calls and texts while monitoring your financial accounts for anything out of sorts. Parents also get a helping hand with the Safe Gaming feature, which helps keep kiddos safe online.

      Get Aura
    • Identity Guard: Another option for mid-level identity protection, Identity Guard is a budget-friendly service that also uses AI to monitor your accounts and alert you if it spots suspicious activities. As a bonus, Identity Guard also includes extra security features like a password manager.

      Get Identity Guard

    If you're looking for basic credit monitoring services similar to Credit Karma, be sure to check out our Credit Sesame and myFICO reviews as well.

    4.9
    Editorial Rating
    Learn More
    On LifeLock's website
    LifeLock
    Up to 52% off first year when paid annually
    • Top-rated identity theft protection service
    • Provides up to $3 million in coverage
    • Multiple monitoring features including dark web, home title, and social media monitoring
    • Customer support experience is lacking
    Author Details
    Waverly Colville is a Brooklyn-based journalist and producer. She holds a B.J. in Investigative Journalism and a B.A. in International Peace Studies from the University of Missouri.

    Citations

    [1] 2023 Identity Theft Facts and Statistics