A Guide to Credit Karma's Free Credit Scores

A Guide to Credit Karma's Free Credit Scores

As a Credit Karma member, you have access to free VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from two major bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax. We also provide an auto insurance score and home insurance score from TransUnion. Aside from the VantageScore 3.0 score provided by Equifax, which uses your Equifax credit report, each score is calculated using the data in your TransUnion credit report.


VantageScore 3.0, which ranges from 300-850, is a credit scoring model created collaboratively by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. With this score, the credit bureaus aim to make credit scoring more consistent and accurate across all the bureaus.

Traditional credit scoring models weigh credit history heavily, and consumers with shorter credit histories often generate a "thin file." The VantageScore model tries to remedy this by putting more weight and emphasis on the past 24 months of credit history.

Auto Insurance Score

Your Auto Insurance Score, with ranges from 150 to 950, is calculated using data from your TransUnion credit report and is used primarily by auto insurance companies. It helps insurance companies assess the risk of insuring a consumer by measuring the likelihood that a claim might be filed.

The fact that data in your credit report can affect your auto insurance rates may seem unfair, but studies show that there is a correlation between credit behavior and the likelihood a consumer will file a claim. In other words, consumers with higher credit scores tend to file fewer insurance claims and, as a result, are typically given better rates. Note that your insurance score is only based off of credit report information. It doesn't matter if you don't own a car, have never filed an insurance claim and have a clean driving record.

Your Auto Insurance Score is used by the 15 largest auto insurers to measure insurability and price your rates.

Home Insurance Score

Like the Auto Insurance Score, the Home Insurance Score ranges from 150 to 950 and is calculated using data from your TransUnion credit report. It is used primarily by home insurance companies to help assess the likelihood that you'll file an insurance claim. It is also only based off of credit report information. Whether you own a home or have a mortgage or have never filed an insurance claim doesn't factor into the calculation of this score.

Bottom Line

Remember that these scores will differ from one another because they weigh the data in your credit report differently. Therefore, it's important to pay attention to and track the factors influencing your score, rather than just the three-digit number. Working on improving the individual factors could result in improved credit health across the board. Credit Karma provides these scores free of charge, so come back to check your progress.

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.

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1 Contribution
4927 People Helped

Helpful to 4927 out of 5192 people

I find the credit bureau to be about as logical and meaningful as the banks...  I am 71 with a credit history which is over 53 years old and has always been perfect.  They reduce my credit rating and say the history is only 3 years 8 months average.. how rediculous.  They can see on all of the credit report paid off loans, closed accounts, etc. that go back 19  years or more..  The value of the number is not based upon the credit worthiness of the person, but the inability of the person who wrote the program which does the evaluation to paint the true picture.  Neither  is your balance sheet nor your income considered.   Having high worth and large liquid holdings are unimportant...   I only use credit cards for accounting and record keeping purposes.. But my utilization is higher than "normal" so that is a bad thing.    Big Brother and his invasion into our personal lives continues unabated doing its damage along the way with no recourse..

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1 Contribution
2311 People Helped
Helpful to 2311 out of 2439 people

I agree. These people and their added scoring are a shame. I purposely use my cards like you, to avoid fraud and theft. Then I pay well over the minimum to keep my accounts in check. Still drops my score "9" points on one list and "48" on another. Completely set up to manipulate someone....

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8 Contributions
1779 People Helped
Helpful to 1276 out of 1444 people

I have your exact situation.  I am 70 and have a rating of high 600's.  Who knew???

1 Contribution
3387 People Helped

Helpful to 3387 out of 3545 people

My FICO score has changed from the mid-600's to the low 700's, and back - with no change in my finances or the way I pay my bills.  In fact, my score should be getting better.  I had some trouble a few years ago, but resolved that debt and have been on time with everything since then.  The formula - whatever it is - seems to get a different answer depending on what day the question is asked.  I think it's time to make anyone who offers credit to give you the FICO and/or other scores used to determine your suitability for their credit product or the amount of credit you can get.  And all of these scores should be free to the consumer any time, not just once a year.  All of those credit card offers or checks offering to let you transfer balances should be accompanied by the credit score used to make the offer, or if the offer is only an invitation to apply, then the credit score needed to get the invitation should be given.  It is clear that different companies use different scoring mechanisms.  I have credit cards with lines over ten thousand - and cards with only $500 or a thousand.  How am I a good bet to repay $10,000 to some card issuers, but a major risk that merits a low credit line with somebody else?  These numbers may make sense to the people that devised them, but they make no common sense to consumers.  That needs to change.

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2 Contributions
2546 People Helped
Helpful to 2545 out of 2688 people

I totally agree - I have close to zero debt and always pay my bills on time but can't get my credit score over 700. So the whole sytem is set up to keep everyone in debt and paying high interest.

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1 Contribution
1759 People Helped
Helpful to 1759 out of 1871 people

I agree with you 100%. I have similar experiences. How is anyone supposed to know where they stand when this system is so complex. It does not really measure anyone's credit worthiness.

1 Contribution
2190 People Helped

Helpful to 2190 out of 2292 people

I personally feel if an agent is going to base your payment off of your credit score they should be required to report payments made on time to your credit reporting agencies. Such as insurance, rent and utilities. 

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5 Contributions
1619 People Helped
Helpful to 1584 out of 1664 people

if a good history cant be used [from rent utilites ins.] then why is negitive ones used. also medical with all its billing fiascos [double dipping, over charging, ghost charging] should not be included at all

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1 Contribution
1343 People Helped
Helpful to 1343 out of 1394 people

I say if a company can run a credit check on you, then they should be required to report all payments to the credit bureau. Not just deliquent or non-payments. 

2 Contributions
1205 People Helped

Helpful to 1203 out of 1273 people


 I have scores of 

  • Credit utilization (A)
  • Payment history (A)
  • Age of Credit (C)
  • Total Accounts (A)
  • Credit Inquiries (C)
  • Derogatory (B)

Then how come my Overall score is (D) ?

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