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.
While Experian compiles your credit report and determines your credit score, Credit Karma simply shows you credit scores and report information from Equifax and TransUnion. Think of it this way — Credit Karma is like a newspaper that writes about the credit scores other companies give you.
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.
Is Experian Accurate? Credit scores from the credit bureaus are only as accurate as the information provided to the bureau. Check your credit report to ensure all the information is correct. If it is, your Experian credit scores are accurate.
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.
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.
Credit scoring models consider information from your credit reports that falls into one of five categories: payment history, amounts owed, age of credit, new accounts/inquiries and credit mix. The better you manage credit in each of these categories, the higher your scores.
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.
Payment History Is the Most Important Factor of Your Credit Score. Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO® Score.
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.
You can get your FICO® Score for free from hundreds of financial services companies, including banks, credit unions, credit card issuers and credit counselors that participate in the FICO® Score Open Access program and offer free scores to customers.
Payment history — whether you pay on time or late — is the most important factor of your credit score making up a whopping 35% of your score. That's more than any one of the other four main factors, which range from 10% to 30%.
Your credit score is a major factor in whether you'll be approved for a car loan. Some lenders use specialized credit scores, such as a FICO Auto Score. In general, you'll need at least prime credit, meaning a credit score of 661 or up, to get a loan at a good interest rate.
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.
Banks and Stores
International financial organizations such as Barclays, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, MBNA and Nationwide are examples of those that rely on Experian. Also, major stores that issue credit cards use Experian to check consumers' credit worthiness.
It's recommended you have a credit score of 620 or higher when you apply for a conventional loan. If your score is below 620, lenders either won't be able to approve your loan or may be required to offer you a higher interest rate, which can result in higher monthly payments.
If you have an installment loan that reports only to Experian, your Experian credit score may be very different Equifax and TransUnion. Delinquencies reported on a loan reported on one credit report, but not the others, is the most common reason why you'll see wide credit score discrepancies, like 100 points.
The base FICO® Scores range from 300 to 850, and FICO defines the "good" range as 670 to 739. FICO®'s industry-specific credit scores have a different range—250 to 900. However, the middle categories have the same groupings and a "good" industry-specific FICO® Score is still 670 to 739.
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.
According to experts, a car payment is too high if the car payment is more than 30% of your total income. Remember, the car payment isn't your only car expense! Make sure to consider fuel and maintenance expenses. Make sure your car payment does not exceed 15%-20% of your total income.
A high APR (“annual percentage rate”) car loan is one that charges higher-than-average interest rates. The legal limit for car loans is around 16% APR, but you will find lenders that get away with charging rates of 25% or more.
It's possible to qualify for a car loan even if you have bad credit, but having a good credit score is important if you want to qualify for a low interest rate. And if you're hoping to score a 0% APR car loan, you'll likely need a very good or exceptional FICO® Score☉ , which means a score of 740 or above.
When you pay off a loan, your credit score could be negatively affected. This is because your credit history is shortened, and roughly 10% of your score is based on how old your accounts are. If you've paid off a loan in the past few months, you may just now be seeing your score go down.
The average American have 4 credit cards, according to the 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review.