Experian is one of the big three credit reporting bureaus, along with Equifax and TransUnion. Credit Karma is a free website that provides credit scores and reports to its members, along with financial articles and advice. Everything on Credit Karma is free if you sign up for its membership.
Experian also operates freecreditscore.com, another place where you get your free Experian FICO score once a month. Some banks and credit card issuers, like Discover, also offer complimentary Experian-based FICO® credit scores.
Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.
The most accurate credit scores are the latest versions of the FICO Score and VantageScore credit-scoring models: FICO Score 8 and VantageScore 3.0.
Credit Sesame offers better identity protection options. Credit Karma offers a more detailed credit score simulator. Credit Karma provides access to more financial services (like tax prep and the unclaimed money finder). Credit Sesame makes it easier to get an overall view of your situation on its dashboard.
Your score falls within the range of scores, from 580 to 669, considered Fair. A 587 FICO® Score is below the average credit score. Some lenders see consumers with scores in the Fair range as having unfavorable credit, and may decline their credit applications.
Credit Karma touts that it will always be free to the consumers who use its website or mobile app. But how accurate is Credit Karma? In some cases, as seen in an example below, Credit Karma may be off by 20 to 25 points.
Some lenders report to all three major credit bureaus, but others report to only one or two. Because of this difference in reporting, each of the three credit bureaus may have slightly different credit report information for you and you may see different scores as a result.
Payment History Is the Most Important Factor of Your Credit Score. Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO® Score.
Although Experian is the largest credit bureau in the U.S., TransUnion and Equifax are widely considered to be just as accurate and important. When it comes to credit scores, however, there is a clear winner: FICO® Score is used in 90% of lending decisions.
A FICO score of 650 is considered fair—better than poor, but less than good. It falls below the national average FICO® Score of 710, and solidly within the fair score range of 580 to 669.
Scores between 566-603 are considered Fair. Scores between 604-627 are considered Good. Scores 628 and above are considered Excellent.
Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.
Best Overall AnnualCreditReport.com
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau confirms that AnnualCreditReport.com is the official website that allows you to access each of your credit reports from all three of the major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — at no cost.
Credit Karma is perhaps the best-known service for getting free credit score reports from the Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus (Experian is the other major bureau).
Checking your free credit scores on Credit Karma doesn't hurt your credit. These credit score checks are known as soft inquiries, which don't affect your credit at all. Hard inquiries (also known as “hard pulls”) generally happen when a lender checks your credit while reviewing your application for a financial product.
This is mainly because of two reasons: For one, lenders may pull your credit from different credit bureaus, whether it is Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Your score can then differ based on what bureau your credit report is pulled from since they don't all receive the same information about your credit accounts.
An Equifax credit score isn't used by lenders or creditors to assess a consumers' creditworthiness. Instead, many lenders use FICO Scores® to help determine a potential borrower's creditworthiness. FICO uses credit scores from the three reporting agencies, including Equifax and Transunion, to determine their score.
Our Verdict: Credit Karma has better credit monitoring and more features, but Experian actually gives you your “real” credit score. Plus it offers the wonderful Experian Boost tool. Since they're both free, it's worth it to get both of them.
Services such as CreditWise pull from all relevant major credit bureaus whereas Credit Karma pulls from fewer, thus resulting in the potential for less precise credit score reporting.
Experian's advantage over FICO is that the information it provides is more thorough than a simple number. A pair of borrowers could both have 700 FICO scores but vastly different credit histories.
It's generally recommended that you have two to three credit card accounts at a time, in addition to other types of credit. Remember that your total available credit and your debt to credit ratio can impact your credit scores. If you have more than three credit cards, it may be hard to keep track of monthly payments.
A FICO® Score of 620 places you within a population of consumers whose credit may be seen as Fair. Your 620 FICO® Score is lower than the average U.S. credit score. 17% of all consumers have FICO® Scores in the Fair range (580-669) .
There are 3 ways to remove collections without paying: 1) Write and mail a Goodwill letter asking for forgiveness, 2) study the FCRA and FDCPA and craft dispute letters to challenge the collection, and 3) Have a collections removal expert delete it for you.
The first place you should check for your free FICO Score is with your credit card issuer. Many card issuers provide their cardholders with free access to their credit score. While there's a good chance you'll have access to your credit score, the key is whether it's your FICO Score or VantageScore.