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
352 People Helped

Helpful to 352 out of 383 people

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that these credit ranking folks are in bed with the folks that determine your credit ranking. Why else would paying down your credit card to $ 0 balance owed and closing your account would  give you a negative rating! Rating agencies can tell if  a  company is going down the drain or  is "A" rated. Moody's and Transunion, etc are all scams that make money for the powers that be. As Moody's said after being busted, these ratings are there "opinion"!!!

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2 Contributions
5 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

Everybody seems to have the same opinion about these credit score is there a bunch of blank blankety-blank blank blankety-blank crap

4 Contributions
26 People Helped

Helpful to 22 out of 22 people

After paying off a 200k mortgage (still living in house) within 4 years my credit score drops from 780 to 764... within a few months...

No late payments, 60k credit avail.... pay cards off in full every month..

These credit scores are tuely a scam, you do everything right and you still get screwd.

Why bother, just max out your cards and file for bankruptcy....and have a 800 fico in 4 years..

Its a joke... 

1 Contribution
78 People Helped

Helpful to 78 out of 90 people

Well, there is no doubt about the fact that the entire credit scoring what-have-we-not is a scam and it is costing a lot of people a lot of money and some fat cats are making a lot of money! How about everyone is regarded as innocent until proven guilty and then they are placed in a register..... I just spent DAYS getting a bad remark off my credit because a hopsital didn't bother to check that the 80 year old woman without an address and no SSN wasn't me (a 40 year old guy!)

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11 Contributions
172 People Helped
Helpful to 73 out of 81 people

i checked my credit report and they had me living at  a company.  they had me living in arizona. how in the hell did that happen?  these credit bureaus are horrible and they need a serious makeover!

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1 Contribution
30 People Helped
Helpful to 30 out of 32 people

Yes, I have had other people that go back as far as my college roommate that I get collection calls for.  Somehow they linked that we once lived at the same address and are contacting me to try to find him.  I left college in 1995!!!!!!

8 Contributions
1779 People Helped

Helpful to 18 out of 18 people

The last time I posted my score was in the high 600's.  Two months later and lots of work it is now reporting (not on Karma but on a similar site) this week as 764.  Only one negative (5 yrs old) and I will be A+ but now it is reporting my credit as EXCELLENT.  I did not understand that your utilization was based on when your monthly account closed.  I assumed if you paid in full at the beginning of the month it was the correct thing to do and my score kept reporting me as a high credit user.  I have changed that now.  Boy of boy, this is not your Father's way of doing things but I spend hours online studying the best way to raise my score.  Even collection agencies deleted old accounts (with a letter to me) because I sent a letter to the manager, quite professional and polite) but pointing out what I considered to be discrepencies.  With originally 11 negatives on my report 5 months ago and now only one I feel all of my hard work has paid off.  I hope others have similiar experiences.

1 Contribution
19 People Helped

Helpful to 19 out of 19 people

I agree the current system is not fair, equal, or a true reflection of reality. I am 50, made mistakes early, learned the hard way and now have spent many years "on the right" track. My score is fair, mid 600's??? They have given me a "C" on my credit report card (3-A's (100%) and 3-C's (CC)), now the math I was taught meant that was a "B". Because I tried to re-finance my house in March and they pulled my credit score, it is still showing as a "C"...it's July already?? Otherwise, I would have 4-A's and 2-C's (CC utilization is 48%...this month". Per the bank, who was wonderful assisting me...the ONLY thing they could find hurting me is my student loan (interest), which is current and being paid. They said it is reporting like a credit card over it's limit...when I spoke with the student loan company asking them to correct it... Their response was "most banks make the error in 'interpreting' the way they report it like that"...hmmm and gave me a letter for them explaining it. I decided to move on from that idea...

The reality is---I obtained a $10,000 signature loan in January, with a good interest rate. All of my credit card companies doubled my credit limit in the last 6 months, but my usage did not double. Because I added my son as an authorized user to two of my cards, his credit limit is over 700 and he is closing on his first home in 10 days, with a excellent interest rate. Which is part of my 48% CC usage...mom may have gone overboard on the pre-housewarming gifts ;~).

For a while when it seemed like no matter what I did, they kept rating my credit as "poor or fair", I started feeling like maybe I JUST "poor or fair"... My reality is and continues to prove I am beyond "poor or fair"... On paper my journey may not be to have high numbers...my journey was to help my son achieve them. So I am going to continue be more "crediworthy" in my "real" world than in my "virtual" world and take the loans, credit line increases, and benefits that I am deserved.

Good luck everyone! I applaud you for taking control of your destiny!!

2 Contributions
32 People Helped

Helpful to 27 out of 32 people

Came out of BK three years ago and my score is lower now than after the BK and lower than last year. No debts, two credit cards but pay in full each month, own my car, no tickets, no collections.

The major banks are getting fed money at basically 0% interest after they did this to us. The Dems created a consumer credit agency to stop these abuses and the GOP house failed to fund it and the GOP senators filibustered to keep anyone from running it.

Good and bad Dems and GOPs, but this is all run by the same folks that it was reported have over $32 TRILLION in the off-shore accounts, equal to the GDP of America and Japan combined! These are just criminal schemes, endless ones, and any attempt to stop them is shut down by just a couple of senators or congressmen, just a couple, all getting millions in campaign donations. Don't have to corrupt everyone, just a few million to no more than a dozen people and everyone else is destroyed. 

Do believe the reporting agencies are in bed with the credit card folks to keep your score low and thus your interest high. The rich, who pay no taxes anyway, have none of these concerns. None of them. Insane!

1 Contribution
5 People Helped

Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

You can't believe the score Credit Karma gives you. I'm in the process of buying a home and credit karma scores are much lower that what the mortgage company is pulling. Credit karma wants you to believe your score is low so you will apply for their high interest loans they offer on their site. 

8 Contributions
343 People Helped

Helpful to 20 out of 21 people

How do you think I feel when my credit rating is going up and my auto insurance rating is going down? I have been driving for almost 50 years and NEVER had a ticket or accident. Then last year I stone from a passing truck hit my windshield and I had to have it replaced. First claim ever and yet that's when my rating dropped. That stinks and they know it. They use any and all excuses to raise rates or lower your ratings so your percentage on cc is higher. 

1 Contribution
12 People Helped

Helpful to 12 out of 12 people

Credit Karma is a decent source of credit information because it is free, but since it basically mirrors TransUnion then it is only as good as TransUnion and I have found them to be the least reliable of the three companies.  They have had me living in California and while I have been to California, I have never lived there.  They have had wrong addresses, wrong middle names, wrong places of employment and so forth.  For the government to allow such shoddy practices is a shame.  Maybe someone will write a "Credit Bureau's For Dummies" and the truth shall be known.

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198 Contributions
790 People Helped
Helpful to 14 out of 14 people

Did you ever consider the possiblity that your identity has been stolen?  An incorrect address is a very good clue that this may have happened.

You should correct the misinformation ASAP for your own safety.

If your information is merely out of date, you should also correct it.  The only time this information is modified is when you, or someone else, has applied for credit using your SS#.

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