Credit Karma Canada is a free credit monitoring tool that helps you track your credit score and recommend steps to improve it. By this, Credit Karma helps Canadians access low-interest loans, grow their wealth, and get the most out of everything that they do financially.
No matter what type of loan you are trying to acquire (mortgage, auto, personal), your credit score will take center stage in whether or not you qualify for these rates.
Taking advantage of tracking and understanding your credit score will benefit you tremendously.
Gone are those days of spending money to check your credit score via credit bureaus. With sites such as Credit Karma Canada, you can now check your credit score at no cost.
What is Credit Karma?
Credit Karma Canada is a multinational fintech with more than 100 million members around the world is now available in Canada. It is in most of the provinces and territories except Yukon, Quebec, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Credit Karma uses TransUnion and Equifax to provide accurate credit scores and credit reports to its members in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Credit Karma is free to use and it offers free credit report monitoring for Canadians. This service also provides your credit report card that breaks down the factors affecting your credit scores, such as on-time payments, credit utilization (how much you owe compared to how much credit you have available), number of accounts, length of credit history, recent inquiries, the total debt owed, and derogatory marks (late payments or collections).
Key Features of Credit Karma
1. Free Credit Score Monitoring Service
You can check your credit score free and have your credit report every week.
Also, Credit Karma Canada members can keep track of their credit progress on their dashboards. All for free.
Credit Karma collaborated with a Canadian loan search engine located called LoanConnect. This was in an attempt to link its members to multiple loan options such as:
- Short-term loans
- Installment or long-term loans
- Lines of credit
In addition to different loan options, Credit Karma members can also select from a range of credit cards available such as:
Secured credit cards
Unsecured credit cards
Bad credit cards
Student credit cards (in addition to others)
However, the credit card selection is based on individuals’ credit history (credit score and report).
How Does Credit Karma Canada Work?
The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come straight from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus.
The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those major bureaus.
What does this mean?:
The scores they provide are actual credit scores gotten from two of the major consumer credit bureaus, not just estimates of your credit rating.
This is one of the reasons why they request your Social Security number and other personal information in order to create a special Credit Karma account so that they can match you up to what the bureaus have on file for you in particular.
Credit Karma isn’t a credit bureau or a credit reporting establishment. They don’t gather information from creditors, and creditors don’t send information directly to Credit Karma.
Who Runs Credit Karma Canada?
Credit Karma Canada is a multinational company founded in 2007 by Kenneth Lin, Ryan Graciano, and Nichole Mustard. Currently, Lin is chief executive officer, Graciano is chief technology officer, and Mustard is chief revenue officer.
In December of 2020, Intuit, the entity backing TurboTax, bought Credit Karma for a total amount of approximately $3.4 billion in cash.
Other Services Credit Karma Offers
When you share your personal details with Credit Karma, you can search for personalized offers for a credit card, a car loan, or a home loan, and your search won’t pop up in your credit report on Credit Karma or anywhere else for that matter.
A section of credit reports is “inquiries,” which lists out requests for your report from lenders you’ve applied to for a loan. Credit Karma lets you limit the number of inquiries you make.
Also, Credit Karma will access your credit information from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit agencies.
Then it will come up with its own independent rating based on VantageScore. This will lead to you receiving your current VantageScore rating and the more information-filled credit reports behind it.
Limitations of Credit Karma:
It could increase borrowing habits
This simply means that the free recommendations on ways one can borrow that Credit Karma provides could be a negative for those hoping to get their credit back on the right track.
You might not need it
The truth is that Credit Karma can’t fix your credit. It can only help you keep an eye on your credit and give you recommendations that may be useful to you.
So, getting a free credit monitoring service like Credit Karma isn’t necessary. Some lenders and financial institutions will provide free access to your credit report when you subscribe to their services.
It is worth mentioning that if you are working towards applying for a home/vehicle loan or boosting your credit to help you get the very best car insurance rates, having constant access to your credit score can be helpful.
Credit Karma Canada Review
- It’s completely free
- You can count on their excellent user experience
- They take their time to explain the rationale for credit scores and reports
- Recommends solutions for the problem
- No-fee checking account
- Great mobile apps
- The financial product recommendations can be distracting
- It doesn’t let you import transactions
Credit Karma Canada keeps you up to date on your credit score, but also informs you of potential credit breaches and provides tools that assist you in finding and securing the very best credit card, loan, vehicle, and auto insurance deals. The best part is that it does all of this for free!
They also introduced the Relief Roadmap, a feature that provides links to local resources for Canadian consumers struggling with getting their finances in order.
Credit Karma Canada only takes a few minutes of your time when you’re trying to sign up. You have to provide your name, address, and a few financial personal info such as your Social Security number. As a result of the site holding so much sensitive information, it provides several security features.
We would recommend using all these features. You can request a texted code to verify your identity with two-factor authentication if you log in from a different device. You can switch credit and identity monitoring off or on, ask for email notifications for special promotions, changes to your credit score, etc.
As for the user interface on their website, they keep it pretty simple and efficient. Nothing super fancy, but gets the job done. At the top of the dashboard is your credit score, as declared by two of the three bureaus. Some other credit management platforms only provide one at its free level.
Credit Karma’s Android and iOS apps are cleverly built in the sense that they give you a feel of how the site looks on a desktop. In there, you’ll find calculators, the Credit Score Simulator, and other important features you can leverage to work on improving your credit.
The apps offer rapid access to your credit scores and reports, suggestions for financial products, comparison shopping, and recommendations for improving your credit scores. They also let you take deep dives into the details of your accounts. If you look at the bottom of your screen there, you will see four of our icons that are useful for navigation.
You should also remember that Credit Karma’s two credit scores come from TransUnion and Equifax. It may come as a total surprise to find out that both credit bureaus are providing two entirely different scores. There are reasons for this, and a lot of it rests on your lenders.
They may not be reporting to all three credit bureaus. Some don’t even report at all, or their updates may show up at different times. So, if you see different credit scores on the Credit Karma site, just know it isn’t Credit Karma’s fault.
We would recommend Credit Karma, but just in case you are looking for some variety or you want alternatives, you can check out Mint and Quicken Deluxe. They offer credit score information, and they also give income and expense management, budgeting, and bill-monitoring tools. Whatever you choose, we are certain you are now equipped to make a decision suited to you.
Is Credit Karma Canada Safe?
There is no 100% guarantee of safety when you’re online, but Credit Karma has a pretty good track record for protecting people’s information.
Credit Karma Canada uses 128-bit or higher encryption to protect the transmission of your data to their site, and they do not share your personal information with unaffiliated third parties for marketing purposes. You don’t have to enter your credit card information or Social Insurance Number.
The only time you’ll receive emails from them will probably be in reference to credit card offers, which you can choose to ignore.
So yes! You don’t have to be anxious. However, the internet is the internet, and anything can happen. There have been reports in the past of credit bureaus being hacked, so there are no iron-clad guarantees anywhere.
If you are trying to get involved in credit for the first time and you’re not sure of how you will keep track of all the necessary confusing stuff, or you want to improve your credit score and reach a higher tier, you should take a few free minutes and get started with checking your credit score.
By knowing where you stand, you can make small improvements that will have massive impacts over time.
Tools like Credit Karma app help to make these endeavours easier and more efficient.
With advancements in fintech, one does not have to sweat to get one’s financial affairs in order, especially when it comes to debt management. Do your research about what works for you and take that leap.
Will Using Credit Karma Lower Your Credit Score?
No, it won’t. Credit score inquiries that you make for yourself are regarded as soft inquiries and do not affect your credit score in one way or another.
Does Credit Karma Require a Credit Card To Sign Up?
No, it doesn’t. Your credit card information is not required and there is no fee whatsoever for getting access to your free credit score in Canada or anywhere else.
Do You Need Your Social Insurance Number To Check Your Credit Score?
No, you don’t. Giving Credit Karma your social insurance number (SIN) is optional and you can access your free credit score even if you do not make it known during the sign-up process.
What is Credit Karma Canada’s Phone Number?
They currently do not offer phone support. If you want to reach them, you can submit your questions through their website support page and they will respond to you by email.
Hi, I'm Adeola Adegoke. I am a licensed Insurance Broker in Manitoba, and I hold a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences (with a major in Financial Modeling) from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Tanzania.
Also, I have a second master's degree in Statistics from the University of Regina, and I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Manitoba.
The primary purpose of Money Reverie is to help everyday Canadians make better financial decisions by providing up-to-date financial news and information, reports, product reviews, and government programs.