Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

How to Check My Credit Score

Credit Karma works with Equifax and TransUnion, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus, to give you access to free credit scores and free credit reports. (Experian is the third largest consumer credit bureau.)

Credit Karma can offer free credit scores and reports because we make money in other ways. For example, we use the information in your credit profile to make product recommendations that can help you save money. If you use these referrals to apply for a product, credit karma may be paid by the bank or lender.

What kind of free credit score does Credit Karma offer?

In Credit Karma, you'll see credit scores and reports from Equifax and TransUnion, both of which use the VantageScore 3.0 scoring form. VantageScore was created in cooperation with all three major credit bureaus, and its version 3.0 is used extensively in loan decisions today.

Does Credit Karma offer free FICO® credit scores?

Credit Karma does not offer FICO® credit scores, which are calculated differently than VantageScore credit scores. While the three major credit bureaus collaborated to create the VantageScore model, FICO is a separate organization that has its own scoring forms.

The VantageScore and FICO models differ in many ways, but that doesn't mean one is better or more accurate than the other. Lenders may rely on different registration forms when evaluating an application and may take other considerations into account.

We recommend that you view your credit score as a guide to your credit health rather than a final number that determines whether you will be approved or denied for credit.

How often should you check your free credit score?

Checking your free credit score on Credit Karma is not a one-time task. Your score can be updated frequently as your credit history changes, so checking regularly can help you keep track of important changes in your credit profile.

Since you can check your free credit score without hurting your score, feel free to check it as often as you like. If you see your credit score steadily rising, this can motivate you on your credit building journey. And when you're ready to apply for credit, getting a better idea of ​​your overall credit health beforehand can give you a better idea of ​​where you stand.

Why your free credit score from Equifax and TransUnion may be different

You might think that your VantageScore 3.0 credit score from Equifax and TransUnion should be the same, but that's not always the case.

Remember, VantageScore 3.0 is ultimately just a scoring form. The three-digit number you produce depends largely on the information lenders provide to each credit bureau.

When credit scores using the same model differ between credit reporting bureaus, it's usually because they don't have the same information. Here are some of the reasons you may see different credit scores.

Your score from different dates. Different offices receive information from lenders at different times. If the new information counts toward one credit score but not the other, the scores may differ.

Your score is calculated using various credit reports. It is up to the lenders to decide which credit bureaus they report your information to 2. Some report to all three major credit bureaus, while others only report to one or two. If your Equifax credit report contains information that is not included in your TransUnion report (or vice versa), your score may vary.

Your credit reports contain incorrect information. One or more of your credit reports may contain errors. That's why we recommend that you regularly check your credit reports for errors that could affect your score—and dispute those errors, if necessary.

It's perfectly normal for your various credit scores to not be the same number at all times. Lenders usually understand why your credit scores are different—and they may also consider factors other than your credit score when reviewing your loan application.

How to read and understand your free credit score

Your credit score can be a useful reflection of your overall credit health. But to get the most out of your score, you must first understand how it works, what it is, and what a good credit score actually is.

VantageScore 3.0 Credit Score Range

Credit score ranges vary by application form, and lenders may display ranges in different ways. VantageScore 3.0 credit scores.