Is Credit Karma Accurate?

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Is Credit Karma Accurate?

At Credit Karma, once people see that we're really free, they usually follow up with questions like, "Are these my real scores?" or "Is the information on Credit Karma accurate?" After all, what good is free information if it's not correct, right?

Let's dive into the common questions we get regarding the accuracy of your data on Credit Karma.

Where do you get your information?

All of the scores and credit report information you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major credit bureaus. This means a couple of things:

  • The scores we provide are real credit scores pulled from major credit bureaus, not just estimates of your credit rating. (This, by the way, is one of the reasons why we ask for your social security number and other sensitive information when you create an account--so we can match you up to what the bureaus have on file for you.)
  • Credit Karma isn't a credit bureau or credit reporting agency. We don't gather information from creditors, and creditors don't report directly to Credit Karma.

Why are my scores from Credit Karma different from scores I got somewhere else?

As mentioned earlier, we pull your scores directly from TransUnion and Equifax. But did you know that you don't have just one score? That's one of the biggest credit myths we aim to dispel here at Credit Karma.

One reason why you have many scores is that the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) occasionally can have differing information about you. Errors on credit reports are actually fairly common, and even if one bureau has your information completely correct, there's no guarantee that the other two bureaus do too. In addition, some lenders may only report to one or two bureaus, not all three. Different information can understandably result in different scores. Lastly, each credit bureau uses many different scoring models that take into account dozens of factors of your credit report. Because the models emphasize different aspects of your credit history, you can sometimes get different scores from the same bureau, even though they're based on the same information.

Are these my FICO scores?

You may have read reviews that say the scores Credit Karma provides are useless or deceiving because they're "FAKO" (not FICO) scores. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are dozens of different FICO models alone--49 at last count. Even if you got a FICO score, it may not necessarily match the score your lender pulls when you apply for a loan.

At Credit Karma, we believe that because you have so many different scores, the number you get isn't of foremost importance--what really matters is the changes that you observe over time in a single score, and where that number puts you in relation to other consumers. By using Credit Karma to monitor your score over time, you can have an easy point of reference to gauge your credit health.

What should I do if I see incorrect information on Credit Karma?

If Credit Karma is showing you incorrect information, it's usually for one of two reasons. First of all, it could be because your creditors have not reported up to date information to the bureaus. Creditors typically report your updated account data to credit bureaus once a month, so seeing old balances, payment activity and credit utilization rates is pretty common, and unfortunately something you'll just need to wait out. We understand this is frustrating, so we created a way for you to connect your accounts and see a side-by-side comparison of your reported and current balances.

If the incorrect information is more than a month old, this could indicate that your credit report contains inaccurate or outdated information about your credit history. In this case, we recommend viewing your full credit report, reviewing it carefully and disputing any errors you see directly with the credit bureaus.

Bottom Line

Part of the reason why we created Credit Karma is to facilitate credit history transparency for our members. If you see incorrect information about your credit profile on our site, this could clue you in to a bigger issue. We highly recommend disputing any errors you find, as some inaccuracies may be unjustly hurting your score. Then, come back to Credit Karma frequently to see how your credit score can change over time.

About the Author: is Credit Karma's Social Media Manager. Although her specialty lies in creating witty post-it notes, she also enjoys sharing all the financial information she's learned since joining Credit Karma in February 2012. When she's not working, you can probably find her trying out a new dessert recipe or learning/perfecting any musical instrument she can get her hands on. Say "hi" @leejennaa!

Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.

Advertiser Disclosure: We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

All Comments

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1 Contribution
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Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

Here is a fact....my son has been using Credit Karma and it gave him a score of 654 and when he went to apply for a loan on a new vehicle Transunion said his score was 751....interesting.  That's a lot of points to be off don't you think?

Reply by
expmed

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

Enter Your Reply I have  similiar issue where it says my credit score was 579 for trans union and when i tried for a loan it says 621. big difference

2 Contributions
14 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

I’m a little puzzled here. I pay TransUnion a monthly fee in an effort to track and better my score. Today, is my first time on Credit Karma, I find my score with you is 644? I log on to my account with TransUnion, and my score is currently 702. So what gives?

2 Contributions
3 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

on the 05/19/2014 i pull my credit score FROM TransUnion  it is 610 but Karma is say 554

Top Contributor

Reply by
CKCharmaine

512 Contributions
1071 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 4 people

It's possible to get two different credit scores from TransUnion on the same day. They use many different scoring models.

1 Contribution
3 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

In my case I am a little puzzled. I have a 638 score, pretty much unchanged in the last 6 months, and I am rated a "D" credit overall.  Yet, when I look at my individual grades in each category: I have a "B" on credit card utilization; a "A" on payment history; a "C" on age of credit history; an "A" on total accounts; a "B" on credit inquiries; and a "B" on derogatory remarks. So, I have two A's; three B's, and only one C.  So, to me, it looks like my average grade is clearly a "B".  How in the world could the "average" of all those grades add up to a "D", when not a single one of those grades is less than a C ?????? And I only have one "C" at that, out of 6 grades.  Even if you say that well, not all those 6 factors are weighted the same, and I agree, wouldn't you think that the overall grade would be a weighted average of all the grades? How can you get a D overall score, with no D's at all in the individual grades? Mathematically that is impossible!  So, it just doesn't make any sense at all whatsoever; something is mathematically worng with the formulas that Credit Karma is using.  That needs to be checked out.

Top Contributor

Reply by
CKCharmaine

512 Contributions
1071 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

The overall grade only reflects where your credit score falls on the scoring scale. It doesn't reflect any of the grades in your Credit Report. It's a little confusing, I'll admit.

Reply by
starofsd

3 Contributions
9 People Helped
Helpful to 7 out of 7 people

If TransUnion is not updating for over 6 months why would anyone use them or Credit Karma?  It seems that there are many others like creditsesame.com and credit.com that are much more helpful.  I really liked Credit Karma until this year when nothing seemed to be changing.

Reply by
baylorkidd

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

The website rates the impact of these categories upon your credit score overall, so even though your total accounts is an A, the category doesnt carry as much weight as a derogatory mark. So even though you have an A, this A, in theory, only affects 10% of the overall credit score

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Well, I know one thing, all of my scores here dropped like a rock. We haven`t made any claims against our house insurance or our car insurance. And now it shows that our score here went from fair to poor. I have a few accounts that we keep paid up every month because of the small balances. We need it for John medical supplies. But I think I am not going to use credit karma because when we applied for a bank loan , my husband has 3 accounts that needs taking care of they are medical bills. But other than that. He said I have  excellent A plus credit. Hubby is fair. So once we take care of those, we`ll be able to get our loan. So I`m not sure why it`s showing that I have a poor credit rating when I know for a fact , that it`s excellent and that was from the bank . Credit Karma makes it looks like I`m a high risk and very bad credit. I thank God they are not a reporting credit company I wouldn`t be able to get anything with them then lol.

3 Contributions
4 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

i USE A CREDIT UNION FOR ALL MY BANKING AND LOANS ETC.  CHEAPER AND BETTER RATES FOR ALL MY LOANS

WHY DOESN'T CREDIT KARMA  FURNISH THE REPORTS AND SCORES OF CREDIT UNIONS LOANS ETC.

Top Contributor

Reply by
CKCharmaine

512 Contributions
1071 People Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Hi there, I'm sorry for the confusion. We're not a credit reporting agency. We only display information that's reported by TransUnion, so it's possible that your credit union isn't reporting to TransUnion.

Reply by
starofsd

3 Contributions
9 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

I also use a credit union and they have faithfully reported my loans and credit card with them for many years.  You might want to ask your credit union who they are reporting to because Credit Karma is only representing TransUnion reporting as far as I can tell.  Most creditors seem to use Experian and very little seem to use Equifax.

3 Contributions
9 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

I've noticed, at least in my case, that Credit Karma has not updated some of my information this year.  I'm wondering if there is an update problem?

Top Contributor

Reply by
CKCharmaine

512 Contributions
1071 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Could be or it could be that TransUnion hasn't updated Credit Karma. You can read more here (https://www.creditkarma.com/article/credit-report-lag) or email support (https://www.creditkarma.com/about/help).

2 Contributions
5 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 3 people

Credit Karma is not accurate but it is pretty close.  I have been tracking my score changes with Score Watch from MyFico.com.  When I have a change in my Equifax score from Score Watch I pull all 3 Fico scores.  Credit Karma is always around 30 points lower than my true Transunion Fico score.  I have to pay a monthly fee for score watch and a substantial fee to pull all 3 true fico scores versus Credit Karma being free.  Credit Karma does an amazing job of presenting all your information.  The only time this is really an issue is when looking for new credit cards and your chance of getting a specific card.  It would be nice if a customer could manually update their true Fico score.  This could also be a data source for Credit Karma's algorithm to more accurately estimate a user's Fico score.  I'm thankful for the utility and information of this site so just take this as a kind suggestion.

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I agree with starofsd's.  Credit Karma's credit informations isn't accurate.  

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

If you are getting scores from TransUnion on a monthly basis, how come TransUnion and Credit Karma reports differ so much? Credit Karma has given me a 772 since I registered on Credit Karma, while TransUnion gives me a 665?

This has been the case since April - when I signed up on Credit Karma. 

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