I recently refinanced my mortgage, which provided me with my real credit scores from all three repositories: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. For a while I’ve wanted to try out Credit Karma’s free credit reporting service. This is a perfect opportunity to compare Credit Karma’s score with my real credit score.
How it Works
Credit Karma provides free credit scores because they believe the credit score is necessary to maintain and improve your financial health, so they give it out for free. The site is secured through VeriSign and Hackersafe. Your social security number is the only critical piece of information that is needed to access your credit score, and it’s only request once.
Credit Karma provides a graph that allows for easy tracking of your credit score.
Credit Karma provides more than just your credit score. They provide you with information regarding how your credit score compares with others. Credit Karma provides the following charts.
A quick distribution shows that I fall into the largest category with 17% of the nation. Compared to US consumers I fall in the 68th percentile. Apparently, my credit score in the eyes of a lender ranks between fair and good, yet my mortgage broker says I’m in the highest bracket, which qualified me for the lowest rate on my mortgage. All of the FICO scores that I’ve received in the past year all provide me with higher credit scores, percentiles and lender rankings. Again, Credit Karma appears to be a bit low with regards to statistical analysis rankings.
I don’t know how useful the following information is, but Credit Karma provides you with credit score comparisons with the Credit Karma community, your state, age and email domain. I find this information to be very useless when compared to information about the total US consumer base.
The most interesting aspect of Credit Karma is the credit simulator. The following categories can be modified and you will receive a simulated credit score.
- New credit cards
- New loans
- Credit inquiries
- Increased credit lines
- Close your oldest credit card
- Balance transfers from another credit card
- Increase or decrease your credit card balances
- Pay off all credit card balances
- Allow monthly accounts to become overdue
- Make your payments on-time
- Public records (liens, foreclosure, etc.)
- Go to collections
- Declare bankruptcy