In the words of Twitter comedians, “Checking your credit score on Credit Karma is like checking your symptoms on WebMD,” meaning the finance company has a rep for inflating credit scores.
And while that may sound like a good deal to you, it’s not when you apply for a loan or apartment thinking you have a good credit score, as shown by your Credit Karma report, just to find out it’s actually lower than you thought. So the question on everyone’s mind still is:
How accurate is Credit Karma?
Are they truly gassing us up out here thinking our credit scores are excellent when in reality, they’re not? Or is Credit Karma a company that we can actually trust?
According to the company’s website, they use the VantageScore 3.0 model system to weigh credit scores, which differs slightly from the commonly used FICO Scores. As a result, your credit score may appear different on Credit Karma’s reports because the VantageScore 3.0 model assigns different weight to certain factors that make up your score.
But have no fear if your Credit Karma scores appear slightly off because your score still gives you “a good idea of where your credit stands.” However, if “good” isn’t enough for you, experts suggest directly viewing your score through credit bureaus since FICO Scores are still widely used.
So, is Credit Karma worth the hype?
If you want a free way to stay on top of your credit score, then the answer is yes. No credit score will be exactly the same, no matter where you get it, because there are so many scoring models out there.
If you have financial goals in the future that you want to work towards, using Credit Karma can help you get in control of your finances. And if you’re wondering, no, looking at your credit score on the platform won’t make your score go down!
The website has tools that can help you simulate changes to your score, and once again, it’s 100% free. So yes, Credit Karma might gas you up just a bit because they want to apply for credit cards through their platform. All in all, it’s a quality financial tool to have at your fingertips.
Love this article as I recently asked myself the same question last year before closing on our second new home. Bottom line: Do not get hopes up on your credit karma score if you’re looking to purchase a home. Most lenders are using a more traditional scoring model.