Is Credit Karma a Scam?

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Credit KarmaYou know the old maxim – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Does Credit Karma sound too good to be true? You can see your TransUnion credit score for free? You can get absolutely free credit monitoring? These are services that people pay good money for and Credit Karma, a company that isn’t affiliated with any of the credit bureaus, is giving it away for free. It does sound too good to be true.

That begs the question – is Credit Karma a Scam?

Is Credit Karma a Scam?

While you can never say so with 100% certainty, I don’t think they are a scam. I don’t think they are a scam because I understand the business model and you can make more money legitimately than illegitimately, plus they’ve been at it for a long time. While none of these are absolute indicators of them not being a scam, I’d find it difficult to believe that this is an elaborate ruse designed to steal personal information. 🙂

For more information about their service, here’s my Credit Karma review and video walkthrough.

How does Credit Karma Make Money?

I don’t know for sure but my guess is that they make money when someone signs up for an offer on their site. When you visit the site, you’re frequently shown banking, credit card, and other financial offers that are probably better than whatever you’re using. When I logged in, I was shown an offer for the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard and estimates that I could save $342 over a year. Since I carry no balance, I know that savings estimate is wrong but for someone who does carry a balance, $342 is good savings. If I sign up, Credit Karma may be paid for that.

What About Other Free Credit Scores?

For almost every other free credit score offer, you get your credit score in return for signing up for a credit monitoring membership service. That credit monitoring service comes with a monthly fee after the trial period and the company is betting that you’ll continue with the service, either by choice or because you forget to cancel. They aren’t scams because they tell you this up front but Credit Karma doesn’t sign you up for anything you will eventually pay for.

You will have to make your own determination as to whether Credit Karma is a scam. I’ve been using them for over a year with great results, they’re the cornerstone of my do it yourself identity theft protection system and it’s been working out so far.

{ 440 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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440 Responses to “Is Credit Karma a Scam?”

  1. henry says:

    they are not a scam. why should you have to pay to see your own credit score. if people had free access to thier credit score less people would have credit problems and how to fix them if they do. i’ve never been asked for a credit card or anything for using this site.

  2. This File says:

    You suck and are another ad scam.

  3. marylou says:

    I am trying to view my credit score and the site wants my credit card number. I though it was free

  4. Secretary716 says:

    They are totally free. I use it all the time.

  5. Dexter says:

    Got a suspicious notice from them saying I opened an account when AI had never heard of the. Emailed them to be removed from mailing list. They said they would but also asked for my full name and date of birth. Yeah, right. Avoid!

  6. Patrick Henry says:

    I have been using Credit Karma for over two years, without incident. The leads I received from Credit Karma enabled me to refinance both auto and home loans with reputable firms.

    The downside is my own, I probably shouldn’t have refinanced in both cases since I lost equity for lower payments over a longer term. Credit Karma can provide you with excellent leads from reputable firms, just be more disciplined than I was.

  7. BeverlyM says:

    Why is the Credit Karma score higher than the score that is given when it is run by a mortgage company?

    • cam says:

      Since a mortgage loan is most likely larger than any other type of credit you may apply for, the risk is greater for the lender. As a result, your credit score is adjusted to reflect this increased risk. Credit Karma is giving you a score not attached to any specific lending which is why it is higher.

    • Hill says:

      Because when your credit is run it is run through all three Credit bureaus and most Likely the other bureaus have different scores on you

  8. what a f'n joke people... get a life dont live beyond your means pay your bills and you wont have to worry whether or not they're a scam! says:

    this all is a scam let the people find out for themselves and they’ll learn whether or not it’s a scam

    • Kim says:

      My, my, my aren’t we a nasty person. Just pray that you are one of the lucky ones in this world who new fall on financial disaster through no fault of your own. You need to get a life and get your head out of your a#@! There are many people in this world who’s credit was damaged due to uncontrollable events in their lives. Who the hell are you to judge. SHAME ON YOU! FYI, “karma” can be a bitch!

  9. Janet says:

    It does NOT ask for a credit card!!!!!!!!! Its totally free n the score is very accurate i just made a account n got the same score i received about 1 month ago when i got my apartment…… It seems very lagit n does not seem like a scam i have reaf many great reviews from people using it 🙂

  10. Schwdbe says: DOES ASK FOR YOUR CREDIT CARD!!!
    If its free it should not be asking for credit card number..

    • Rapsongmo says:

      i’ve been using credit karma for months, never once asked for a credit card number. you must have the wrong site.

    • Kim says:

      I have been using them for over a year and have never had to give them a credit card number.

    • Sandra says: DOES NOT ask for credit card. Many people are mistaking other features linked on site wheee you can get credit monitoring or all three scores. This is not from credit karma, it is from the other credit bureaus. When you get your score (FICO) from you are receiving your transunion score.

  11. jan Calhoun says:

    I ask for my credit score, did the hole thing till the end. Then it asked me for my credit card number.

  12. Janie says:

    i just tried to get my credit score and they asked which credit card i would be using. i thought it was free

  13. learntospell says:

    not kama

  14. Anonymous says:

  15. LaTonya says:

    So I see a commercial stating credit karma is free liars. So I give all my information & what do you no before I can see my report it ask for credit card or debit card information! Liars!

  16. Donna says: wanted the credit card # I used to buy my Dell PC with. That is asking for a credit card since it is the only one I have still active.

  17. poopshot says:

    who in there right mind gives ssn in any form then gets ripped off and needs help to fix there bad name?

  18. K. says:

    I tried to get my credit score too and they did ask me for my credit card/debit card info. I canceled my request.

  19. After all info is entered, you’re asked which credit card you’ll be using to receive your $1.00 refundable processing fee. If you read the fine print to the lower right of the page, it reads, after the 7-day free trial period, your card will be charged $29.95 a month for credit monitoring/reporting.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are wrong. I’ve been with Karma for six months and I don’t own a credit card. You must be on a different site.

  20. Thom says:

    If I wanted to have my credit checked, I simply go to my bank, and they do it for me. I have been at the same bank for about 19 years. The personal that work their KNOW me and I KNOW them. They do it for FREE and I KNOW that THERE is NO scam going on there. TO get your credit checked over the internet these days, (imo), is plain STUPID! Don’t do it. To much an to many ways to leave cookies and spyware and malware,just NOT safe. But, do as you wish. I prefer to do it my way. SAFELY! Oh yeah, I never have to give my credit card information to a complete “stranger” either, lol, like all you “fools” that do this online stuff,. but, I’m only 33, young and $$ smart, rest of you need to take heed. and, get off this web page, my internet security blocker is popping up like crazy,.. goodbye !

    • Faye says:

      This is the only reasonable posting I’ve seen…these people have all your personal information, and can use at their own will…
      If you need to enter your SS#, it can be used to gather any other info they need to scam…BEWARE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you think your bank is phoning a friend for the information? They are using the internet to get the information for you. Everything is electronic these days and can be stolen at any time.

  21. Kim says:

    What the heck site are you people going to? I have never had to pay a dime! Never had to give them a credit card number either. Maybe you people don’t know how to type and are going to the wrong site…..

  22. Len says:

    What a ploy to get you to buy a credit monitoring service. They advertise “free” then hound you to buy there service. They advertise no credit card numbers are asked for ,but then they ask for a credit card # to give you the credit score. I don’t trust them. Too shady a way to get business buy false advertising.

  23. Anonymous says:

    no no no no no no no no no don’t do it!

  24. mike mallow says:

    before you ever see credit score they want to tap your credit card free or ???

  25. Bossier Ben says:

    OK, credit Karma may be free, but it is far from accurate. I went to their site, which by the way is run by Transunion. And they show my credit score as 724, BUT if I go Transunion’s site and get my score it is 785, why the difference. SAME thing goes for that Target gave us because of what happened there. I go to protectmyid and it shows all three scores lower by 50 or 60 points than the actual individual sites. It is all a scam

    • Sandra says:

      Double check your score, you have three scores. Credit Karma using transunion. So, it you check your transunion score outside of credit karma, you will it is the same score.

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