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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.

{ 430 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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430 Responses to “Is Credit Karma a Scam?”

  1. STEVEN says:

    Is Credit Karma Credit Score same as all others, Equifax, Trans. Union.?

  2. Carol says:

    No it’s not a scam. I have checked out my scores with different ones and the are right there within a few points of the others. Yes I think they make money by telling you which credit cards you might qualify for. If you click on it and apply from there sight they probably get a specified amount from the card company. Just always remember when you apply for a card weather you get it or not it will take you points down a little. this is true weather or not it’s thru credit karma or any other place. I use CK all the time and I think they are really good and have never charged me a dime.

  3. Walter hughes says:

    They tell me im to new, to have a credit report, but im, 66 years old, sounds like crap to me, they say I need a secured credit card, no just a free report ,like it says.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Walter,if you don’t use credit cards, or have a car or house payment,for more then ten years.Your credit score goes down to zero points, and it will show you that your to new to credit report.If you been paying cash for everything you buy, this won’t build your credit. It doesn’t mader if you 20 years old or 60,70,or 100 years old. Hope this helps you.

    • Newt says:

      Walter. You need to realize something before you go calling stuff scams. They have technology that pulls credit scores DIRECTLY from the same firms that report credit to any lender. Transunion / Equifax etc…

      The company has been funded over $20 million from private equity groups. That’s a lot of money to be lent to a scam. Not to mention, all of it is thoroughly scrutinized. Think just a little “one time”.

  4. sjkeck says:

    any site that asks me for a credit card number when it says free is a scam. Lots of people don’t have credit cards or like me just don’t have money I get disability and have children to support on very little money. I have also been charged money for free things before and it has been a hassel trying to get it back.So in my opion it is a scam.

  5. Tim says:

    In the personal information they wanted my full social security #.That raised suspicion

  6. El Dragon says:

    Whether Credit Karma is a scam or not is a matter of some debate, but I believe the real issue is this: Since our credit scores define us and become our absolute financial identity, why are they not available to us for free anytime we wish to see them? Why are we forced to wade through the hundreds of “free credit score” websites in an attempt to get something for free that we shouldn’t have to pay for in the first place.

    • bomusic says:

      You have said a mouthful there !!!

      WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO PAY TO SEE IT IF ITS OUR SCORE

      ANOTHER GOVERMENT RACKET!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You actually have the right to a free report from the major agencies 1 time a year. It’s just you have to know where to look

      • WillU says:

        Please tell me where you get a free score. I know I can get a free report once a year from each of the reporting companies but I have to pay if I want to see my actual score.

  7. Tonya Fower says:

    Credit Karma has now hooked up with Chase Bank…You decide, after being able to use them for years. I am no longer able to access my credit score because they are claiming thin file…Sucks!

  8. Greg L says:

    After the crap I have put up with at freecreditreport.com, Credit Karma is way better. They DO NOT ask for credit card information like the scammers at frecreditreport.com. On freecreditreport.com, they keep your credit card info in the system FOREVER even if you no longer have an account. Do not use freecreditreport.com. Use Credit Karma.

  9. peggy says:

    Ok after reading the information, I decided to try creditkarma.com, I entered the required information and now being told I already have an account set up and would not allow me to continue. My question being, how do I get this resolved and find out who set this account up????

    • Anonymous says:

      Check with your financial institutions. Perhaps they already set you up with one. I know that Sears recently shut down their credit monitoring service with Chase Bank, and now I’m getting notices from Credit Karma that my account has been activated.

  10. hannahbanana26 says:

    For the ones who are saying creditkarma.com is a scam because it asks for full social and credit card? You obviously have gone to the wrong site. i just signed up and it didn’t ask for a credit card and it didn’t ask for my full social, just the last 4 digits of it. In my opinion credit karma is a good place to get a quick credit report.

    • natalie says:

      just tried credit karma today for the first time for myself and for my husband; (THEY NEVER ASKED FOR A CREDIT CARD NUMBER OR EVEN HAD A POP-UP REQUESTING ONE FOR FUTURE USE as some other commenters stated) for my info it only asked for my last four of ssn; for my husband it asked for last four then came back and needed the full 9 digits but i believe it was because he’s had blocks put on to his accounts b/c of ex-wives and drama; what they showed as my outstanding credit card debt was spot on with my statements and my crdit score was right where it should be…hopefully i don’t get played and they try to charge me for something after the fact

  11. Anonymous says:

    Credit Karma SAYS its free, until you get to the last page, then they want your credit card number. If its free, why ask for a CC#? This site is BS, and I think it’s a scam

  12. MSLILL says:

    CREDIT KARME IS A LIE IT SAID NO, NO, NO, CREDIT CARD REQUIRED..LIE, LIE, LIE

    • natalie says:

      apparently you are not going to the true credit karma site because no where does it ask for any type of credit card info and i was able to get my FREE credit score in minutes.

      • JB says:

        Official Site is where you need to be. There are several sites, but look for the official site logo.

  13. CJ says:

    I can tell you their customer support sucks!!! I forgot my password,and have been trying to get a reset for several weeks. It takes almost a week to hear from them once you submit any email to them. I wish I could delete my information from their site, but I cant even get there.

  14. KC says:

    Been using credit Karma for years and have never had a problem. You should be aware that you’re only getting one report for free… that other reports may have other information and a different score.

    Also be aware, you can check your credit for each of the credit agencies free once a year, you can file challenges to credit items on-line. I had a company who was trying to tell us that we owed ebay $150 or so… I found the debt listed through credit karma, but couldn’t find proof I owed the debt other than the negative file on my credit. When I tried to talk to them and tell them to send me proof of the debt, they refused and said they would add that I was unwilling to work with them because of a disagreement on the debt and hung up on me.

    I filed online with all three agencies and within 30 days all reference to the debt was removed.

    It does work.

  15. Kevin says:

    I just watched a commercial about this site so I thought I would try it. The commercial said absolutely no credit card needed but when I got to the last page of the application to get a “free score” they wanted my credit card information.

  16. Anonymous says:

    You guys are going to the wrong site if they’re asking for a credit card. I just signed up and nowhere did they ever ask for a credit card number.

    • Roxanne says:

      Some comments were that people were going to the wrong site. I want to check it out myself so what is the address for the correct site? Thanks.

  17. Anonymous says:

    credit karma is not a scam as far as I can tell but some of their info that they use to get your score is not current and it can effect your numbers my score with them was as much as 20 to 30 points lower than other reporting links they need to keep their info current. my house payment info is over a year old and two of my credit cards have been paid off for nearly 6 months.

  18. Neubie3 says:

    http://www.creditkarma.com is the website. As others are saying it is free. I signed up a week ago and never gave a credit card number. It gave me my report and has great calculators to see how paying of debt or late payments effect your score. I think some people may be spelling Karma with a “c” and going to a different site. Try it you will love it!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Best app ever and totally accurate.

  20. Joan says:

    i just got the app on my phone. asked for my ss, i got my score and no cc info asked for. i don’t know seems to be ok

  21. Rio says:

    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.

    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.

    Two of the dumbest comments every…….

  22. Andrew says:

    I just signed up and they didn’t ask me for a credit card or my full SS. They have all the credit scores I needed.

  23. Virlee says:

    I am the Credit Manager at my job. I have used Credit Karma now for about 2 years, it has not been exactly accurate with my FICO score but has been a great tool for monitoring my credit. The site is secure and you can link your accounts to be more accurate. They have never ask for a credit card or payment and I agree that they make their profit from the offers. Based on some comments, remember this is a tool to HELP you monitor and track information that is out there, it won’t improve your score or credit, one main thing that will lower your score is to much revolving (credit cards) debt, if you have $2000.00 in credit with $1500 charged, your at 75% utilized, it needs to be at or below 35% or you will see the score drop, also collections and past due payments, judgements, etc. applying for credit to often or with to many places will lower. For those who seriously want to improve, it will help, for those looking without their on dedication to managing their financial stability, probably not gonna help you! No, nothing is free and everything has to be worked for!

  24. Virlee says:

    Also…. Another way to get your report, (no score) is : http://www.annualcreditreport.com
    Once per year with each bureau

  25. Bob Hennessey says:

    Well I have been trying to get my scores from them for several days and they ignore my emails. Apparently I previously signed up with them but lost password now they completely ignore my requests to furnish me password or new account so in that respect they are a scam as far as I am concerned


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