Don't Trust Credit Karma? Here Are 3 Other Ways to Get Your Credit Score
- With over 110 million members, Credit Karma is an online credit service that provides users with their credit score for free.
- Recently the FTC ordered the company to pay $3 million for misleading consumers with credit card offers.
- There are other ways to get your credit score for free, including Experian, Credit Sesame, and numerous credit card companies.
Want to see your credit score for free?
Do you use Credit Karma to get your free credit score? Over 110 million members do. Credit Karma is an online credit service that provides actual credit scores pulled from two of the major consumer credit bureaus. What's the catch? Credit Karma allows you to monitor your credit information for free, but receives compensation from third-party advertisers and when customers are approved for loans or credit cards through their site.
Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just ordered the company to pay $3 million to their users. The FTC said that Credit Karma falsely claimed that consumers were "pre-approved" and had "90% approval odds" to get them to apply for a credit card. According to the FTC, nearly one-third of people who applied for those offers were ultimately denied and that misrepresentation impacted their credit scores. Credit Karma said it disagrees with the FTC but is settling to avoid disruptions. While Credit Karma, which is owned by Intuit , is one of the most popular free credit score sites, here are three other ways you can get your score for free.
Credit score vs. credit report
Your credit score is one of the most important financial numbers in your life. Financial institutions use it to determine whether you qualify for a loan or a credit card, as well as your interest rate. Your score can also determine how much you pay for your insurance premiums and many employers and landlords pull your credit as part of the screening process.
Your credit report, on the other hand, lists your bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other financial information. It shows where you worked, lived, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy.
Federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Through Dec. 2022, everyone in the U.S. can get a free credit report each week from all three nationwide credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) at AnnualCreditReport.com. It is important to note that your credit report and credit score are two different things.
Free credit reports provided by the nationwide credit reporting agencies do not include credit scores. While you are entitled to a free credit report, you are not entitled to a free credit score. To get your score you can buy it from one of the three major credit reporting agencies or other third-party companies that use one of the credit bureaus. Be careful of programs offering "free scores" if you enroll. They may offer a free trial period, but they are generally not really free. Credit Karma was one of the first sites to offer a free credit score. Here are other sites where you can also get a free score.
Experian is one of the three major credit bureaus. Experian allows you to get your FICO Score for free. Checking your credit score is considered a soft inquiry and will not lower your credit scores. If you want your VantageScore, a credit score that was developed by the three national credit bureaus, you will have to pay $7.95.
Credit Sesame is a credit and loan company, similar to Credit Karma. You can get your free credit score from TransUnion with a free Credit Sesame account. You can upgrade to a premium Credit Sesame plan for credit report and credit score info from all three bureaus. Like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame earns a small fee from financial institutions, but only after you close on a loan or credit card.
Your credit card company
Your credit card company may provide a free score. The following card issuers do:
In some cases, you don't have to be a customer to enroll. You can sign up and receive your weekly TransUnion credit score reports from Capital One even if you don't have a Capital One card. Chase also gives you a free credit score with Chase Credit Journey. It's free for everyone and you don't have to have a Chase account. Chase Credit Journey uses VantageScore 3.0® by Experian. Contact your credit card companies to see if they offer a free credit score.
With so much at stake, it is important to maintain a good credit score. Checking your credit score frequently will help you better understand your current financial situation. It can also help you detect any inaccurate information. These three ways to get your score are worth using to monitor your credit to ensure it is healthy!
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