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July 12, 2011


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Is this a paid advertisement?

Mark --

No, but thanks for being cynical. I'll put you down for the "never try to offer him anything free" list.

The service is already free it seems.

"The company simply offered me free accounts..."

As SamCates pointed out, this is already a free service, so the company duped you into giving them an advertisement.

After satisfying myself Credit Karma isn't an ID theft scam, I signed up. Thanks for the invite! The scores it's estimating for me are believable, but I've never accessed a "real" FICO score, so I have nothing to benchmark it against. I'll post again once I've seen how the monitoring works.

@SamCates, cmadler

I don't see anything about credit alerts/monitoring in Credit Karma's public marketing material. I think that's the service we're getting for free (or, more cynically, beta testing) through FMF's link.


This is not a "real" FICO score. It is Transunion's proprietary score called TransRisk. There's no real way to know if this is actually the score used by/given to lenders when making making an evaluation of your credit worthiness. In fact I'm a little skeptical since I just had my score pulled as part of a refi inquiry and it was 795...CreditKarma shows the score @ 732 which is a huge difference in less than two weeks time.

From their FAQs:

I received a credit score from another service and it was different. Why is that?

There are many, different types of credit scores available from different lenders, credit bureaus, and credit score providers. The three major credit bureaus each offer their own brand of credit score, such as TransUnion's TransRisk score, based on their individual proprietary models for calculating a credit score. Each credit score model derives information from your credit report as provided by that particular bureau, and credit report data can also vary from bureau to bureau. Additionally, independent companies such as Fair, Issac and Company and its FICO score, distribute their own credit score based on their proprietary model that takes into consideration credit reports from all three major credit bureaus. Credit Karma provides the TransRisk New Account Score, VantageScore, and Auto Insurance Risk Score from TransUnion.

The common thread among all credit score models is that they are a measurement of your creditworthiness, each with their own scale, factors, and credit report data taken into consideration. It is hard to say which model is superior, but picking a single credit score model and tracking it over time will help you understand and manage your credit health. This is a significant reason why we encourage you to come back and check your score often at Credit Karma.

Oh an to add to my previous comment. There have been some lawsuits in the past over companies giving FAKO scores instead of FICO scores to consumers who pay for their score. The latest is from (Experian).

So while this may be a decent indicator of you credit worthiness take it with a grain of salt.

I had a credit karma account already, this added the monitoring service. Thanks! Yes it's not an exact score, but it did give me some info the other free ones weren't giving me.

I have been a member of Credit Karma for a while and have been pretty happy with them. This was a no brainer to sign up for free notifications. Thanks FMF. There's only about 70 left.

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