Ya know that old saying, what is free isn’t good and what is good isn’t free?? Well the same applies to this website.
Credit Karma has been around for years giving away free credit report and score info. Most people flock to this website because it is free. But what most don’t realize is that the information on the site can be misleading (credit scores) or just plain incorrect.
Let’s first talk about the credit scores on the site. Those scores are what are called “Vantage 3.0 Credit Scores”. To my knowledge, no bank uses this credit scoring model. So they are not only useless but can also be higher (by a lot) than a credit score that a bank will use to extend you credit (FICO score).
So to most people’s surprise, they go to Credit Karma and see a credit score of 680 for example. They then go to a bank for a mortgage or auto loan and the bank pulls a FICO score which ends up being a 620.
Next let’s talk about what Credit Karma really is, it’s an advertising site for credit cards, auto loans, mortgage loans, and even credit repair. Your information is being collected and shared with companies willing to pay for the data. When you apply for a credit card, auto loan, mortgage loan, or credit repair through the site they get paid from the advertiser.
So what’s the big deal with that? Well, in order to put you infront of their advertisers Credit Karma will send you false email alerts that your credit info has changed (for the worse).
Case in point, I was emailed an alert from Credit Karma stating that one of my credit card limits was reduced. I logged into Credit Karma to see which card’s limit was reduced. I then called my bank to see if they lowered the limit, and they hadn’t. So they use these deceit tactics to try and make money.
My advice is to pay for your credit monitoring. I personally use www.PrivacyGuard.com . It’s inexpensive ($20 per month) and has a credit score simulator built into the site that will show how much your scores will go up when you pay down credit cards, bring past due accounts current, etc… Their credit scores aren’t FICO scores, they are called CreditXpert scores which are pretty similar to FICO.
For more credit info or if you’d like me to review your credit report, please feel free to contact me direct, 7 days a week.
President and Certified Credit Expert