Overview: Is Credit Karma Legit? What You Should Know About Credit Karma

If you need to find out your credit score, you’ve probably heard of Credit Karma and are wondering, “Is Credit Karma legit?” Navigating the world of credit reports and credit scores can be incredibly confusing, especially when you’re dealing with all of the potential scams that are out there on the internet.

is credit karma a scam

Image Source: Credit Karma

You may also be reluctant to give away your personal information and Social Security number online. In the age of highly skilled hackers and frequent data breaches, you should definitely be concerned with answering the question, “Is Credit Karma safe and legit?”

On the surface Credit Karma seems almost too good to be true. They promise to give you your credit score and credit report for free with no strings attached. But how are they able to do this? Is Credit Karma a scam or is Credit Karma legit?

This review provides an in-depth analysis of CreditKarma.com and whether Credit Karma is legitimate. Read on to find out what they offer and to find the answer to the question, “Is Credit Karma legit and safe?”


What Is Credit Karma, and Is Credit Karma Legit? 

Credit Karma is a website and mobile app that gives you access to your credit score and your credit report, completely free. They also provide financial education, an active user forum, and product recommendations based on your information.

But is Credit Karma a legitimate site? Many people have gotten burned by “free” credit reporting websites that trick you into giving up your credit card number, only to be billed for a monthly membership. Many of these sites give you your credit score for free initially, but then automatically enroll you in ongoing credit monitoring for a fee. If you’ve fallen victim to one of these sites, you should definitely be asking “Is Credit Karma safe and legit, or is Credit Karma a scam?”

Credit Karma says they are different and that they will never ask you for your credit card number. When asked the question, “Is Credit Karma legit and safe, or is Credit Karma a scam?” many users and reviewers agree that Credit Karma is a legit site and that it’s safe to use.

Credit Karma was founded by Ken Lin in 2007 with the goal of revolutionizing the credit industry, which he saw as prioritizing the needs of banks and lenders over the needs of consumers. Today, Credit Karma is a legitimate site that provides free credit scores to over 60 million active users, including many millenials.

See Also: Experian Reviews – What Is Experian? What You Need to Know (How to Read & Get a Free Credit Report & Review)

Is Credit Karma Legit, and What Services Do They Offer?

Credit Karma offers a variety of services to help you understand your credit report and to  find loans that make sense for you.

They offer:

  • Credit reports and insights that are helpful and easy to read
  • Resources to help you understand your credit and next steps to improve your score
  • Free ongoing credit monitoring to help you stop identity theft in its tracks

is credit karma legitimateImage Source: Credit Karma

They provide easy credit monitoring, but is Credit Karma a legit site? In addition to their credit reporting and credit monitoring services, their website also has many articles to educate you about personal finance and financial advice, a forum that has a very active user base, and custom loan offers presented to you based on your personal information and what you’re likely to qualify for.

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How Do They Make Money? Is Credit Karma a Scam?

Credit Karma’s website states that their services will always be completely free, and they will never ask you for a credit card number. But how is it possible for a site like this to exist? They need to make money somehow. Is Credit Karma a legitimate site, or is Credit Karma a scam?

Credit Karma has a very straightforward business model and they are very transparent about how it works. They summarize it in the below graphic, found on their site:

is credit karma safe and legitImage Source: Credit Karma

So is Credit Karma legit? Here’s how it works: you get free access to your credit score, credit reports, and ongoing credit monitoring. Credit Karma presents relevant offers for loans, credit cards, and bank accounts from their advertisers based on the information in your credit report. Advertisers get hyper-targeted advertising, and Credit Karma gets paid if you sign up for an offer.

Everybody benefits in some why with Credit Karma’s business model, but is Credit Karma a scam? It’s important to note that you never have to sign up for any of the offers presented to you, and Credit Karma never charges you for their services, so the answer to the question, “Is Credit Karma legitimate?” appears to be “Yes.”

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Is Credit Karma Safe And Legit to Give Your Information to?

In this day and age, you need to think twice before you give anyone your personal information, especially when it comes to your Social Security number. Scammers on the internet may try to get ahold of your information, and hackers may try to breach security walls to access your data, so is Credit Karma a legitimate site to give your personal and confidential information to?

Based on our examination of Credit Karma so far, we can safely answer “no” to the question: “Is Credit Karma a scam?”

They are a trustworthy operation that will only use your information to pull your credit reports and present you with relevant offers. Credit Karma does not sell your information to third parties.

Credit Karma uses 128-bit encryption to make sure your data stays protected, and they hire third-party companies to test their system for vulnerabilities. They also automatically log you out of your account after a period of inactivity, and even if someone did gain access to your account, there is no way for them to move funds or view your personal information.

So, is Credit Karma legit and safe to give your information to, and is Credit Karma a legit site? While you always need to be careful sharing your personal details online, Credit Karma is at least as safe as any bank or lending institution.

How Does Credit Karma Calculate Your Score?

Is Credit Karma legit with the scores it shows you? Credit Karma shows you your credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion, two of the three major credit bureaus. But it may not be the score you’re used to seeing.

When you pull your credit scores from most places, you’ll get your FICO score, which is the most commonly shown credit score available. But there are actually many different models and methods for calculating credit scores, and many lenders use their own proprietary calculation methods. With all the different scores out there, is Credit Karma a legit site with the scores it uses, or is Credit Karma a scam?

The score Credit Karma uses is called VantageScore 3.0, which is a scoring system that was actually developed by the credit reporting bureaus and is meant to be more detailed and inclusive than your FICO score.

Related: CreditRepair.com Reviews and Overview (Before You Sign-up)

Is Credit Karma Legit for Using VantageScore?

FICO is by far the most well-known credit score, but VantageScore is still widely used. Recent data shows that over 6 billion VantageScore credit scores per year are used by lenders, including 7 out of the 10 largest financial firms.

But that’s much less than the 11 billion FICO scores used during a similar period. Is Credit Karma legitimate for using VantageScore, or is Credit Karma a scam that only shows you information that isn’t useful to you?

VantageScore claims that their model is more predictive than other credit scores and incorporates data that lets them score people who are not able to be scored using other methods.

To really dig into the question, “Is Credit Karma legit?” we must ask, “Does it really matter which score you use to keep track of your own credit?” There are many different credit scores available, and there’s no way to predict which one any given lender is using. Besides, if you have a good VantageScore, it’s likely that you also have a good FICO score and a good score in other credit reporting models.

So, is VantageScore a legitimate tracking method, and is Credit Karma legitimate for using it? Even though it may not be the specific score a lender uses to assess your creditworthiness, it’s still a valuable tool for tracking changes to your credit over time and getting insights into how you can improve it.

The Credit Karma User Experience

Is Credit Karma legit with its user interface? Signing up is an easy process. Simply enter basic information like your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number and answer a few questions to verify your identity. Credit Karma will then calculate your scores and load your dashboard:

is credit karma legit

Image Source: Credit Karma

The simplicity of the Credit Karma dashboard should show you that Credit Karma is a legitimate site. Your VantageScores from Transunion and Equifax are clearly displayed, and you can view the factors affecting your score and detailed information about your credit report.

Is Credit Karma a scam with its credit monitoring, or is Credit Karma safe and legit? The credit monitoring feature is actually very helpful. Any time there is a change to your credit report, you immediately get an email and a notification through the mobile app. This lets you stay on top of your credit score and catch potential identity thieves. And as we discussed above, Credit Karma will never charge you.


So, is Credit Karma legit, or is Credit Karma a scam? Credit Karma provides free credit scores and access to your credit report. They also provide easy and useful credit monitoring. They don’t charge you for these services or scam you into paying a monthly fee. They make money by presenting you with targeted advertising, which you are completely free to ignore.

If you need to keep track of your credit score and learn how to go about improving it, Credit Karma is a great service. Based on Credit Karma reviews, we can confidently answer “yes” to the question, “Is Credit Karma safe and legit?”

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