Credit Karma vs. Experian: What’s the Difference?

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Credit Karma vs. Experian: What’s the Difference?

Credit Karma vs. Experian: An Overview

Credit Karma and Experian are two names you’re likely to encounter while looking for your credit score or credit report. Experian, along with Equifax and TransUnion, is one of the main three credit reporting agencies. Credit Karma is a free website that offers its users credit scores and reports, as well as financial information and guidance. If you join up for Credit Karma’s membership, everything is free.

Key Takeaways

  • Credit Karma is an easy-to-use website that provides free Vantage 3.0 credit ratings from TransUnion and Equifax.
  • Experian provides credit scores and credit reports for free via a variety of free product suites, as well as premium score and report choices.
  • Credit Karma does not provide FICO or Experian credit ratings.
  • Every American has the right to a free credit report from Experian and the other two main credit agencies every 12 months, courtesy of
  • In response to pandemic-related financial worries, all three credit reporting firms now allow access to weekly credit reports.

Credit Karma

Credit Karma, as previously stated, is not a credit bureau; rather, it is an online financial platform that makes credit bureau information accessible to customers. Members get free access to their credit scores and credit reports. The website also provides a variety of financial and educational resources to assist you in improving your credit rating. Founded in 2007 by CEO Kenneth Lin, the firm was privately owned until late February 2020, when Intuit announced a $7.1 billion acquisition. 12

Because Credit Karma is a completely online platform, everything takes place at You’ll sign up as a member there to have access to your credit scores and reports, which you can print or save as PDFs. Members may also link their bank and credit card accounts for a complete financial picture. You may also access your account online or using an iPhone or Android app. 34

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Vantage 3.0 ratings from TransUnion and Equifax are available via Credit Karma. Vantage is a partnership of the three main credit agencies, including Experian. Members may sign up for credit monitoring alerts to be alerted if their score changes, and their scores are updated once a week. 5 Outside of Credit Karma, many of the greatest credit monitoring firms, in addition to identity monitoring and/or protection tools, provide these sorts of warnings.

Credit Karma provides comprehensive TransUnion and Equifax credit reports that are updated regularly. Credit Karma does not provide FICO scores. 5


Experian is arguably best recognized in the United States as one of the three main credit reporting agencies (the other two are TransUnion and Equifax).However, that service is just one component of this multinational corporation based in Dublin, Ireland and traded on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN).6

Experian is led by CEO Brian Cassin, has 17,000 workers, and operates in North America, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and other countries, according to the latest current numbers (February 2019). 7 Credit services, marketing services, decision analytics, and consumer services are Experian’s four primary business divisions. It also controls the for-profit website (not to be confused with, the Federal TradeCommission-authorized website for free credit reports).Experian’s website provides users with free credit reports as well as free credit scores.

The Experian credit hotline connects you to a real person with credit experience who can answer questions regarding your credit, even down to providing you with a step-by-step review of your credit report. The site, like Credit Karma, offers financial guidance articles and videos. Every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. EasternTime, a live #CreditChat addresses financial subjects including increasing your credit score and cheap methods to go green on Twitter and YouTube. 8 Experian provides the FICO Score 8 Model, one of 49 FICO scores. 9

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Credit Karma vs. Experian Example

Everything is free when you visit Credit Karma. Credit scores, credit reports, and credit monitoring and notifications are all free. You will never be required to register a credit card, as is common with most “free trials.”

Credit Karma suggests credit cards that will save you money and are likely to get accepted. Its website is designed not just to provide you with access to your credit scores, but also to help you improve them. It contains a variety of financial calculators and lists of credit criteria that contribute to your credit score, each with a customized grade and ideas for how different activities would improve those elements. Furthermore, Credit Karma allows you to submit your federal taxes and many state filings for free. 10

Everyone has the right to a free credit report from Experian and the other two main credit agencies every 12 months at

Experian offers a variety of free choices as well as paid products, such as the 3-Bureau Credit report with FICO score for $39.99. This contains Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion ratings, as well as whatever credit variables enhance or reduce your scores. 11 This is a one-time draw of your reports; although the information will not be updated after your first access, the first reports will be accessible for 180 days.

Experian CreditWorks Basic and Experian CreditWorks Premium are two more alternatives. Experian CreditWorks Basic includes the following features for free:

  • Experian Credit Report and FICO® Score are provided for free.
  • Experian Boost may help you raise your FICO® score.
  • Report and Grade Sign In Refreshed Every 30 Days
  • Experian Data FICO Score Monitoring
  • Credit Monitoring and Alerts from Experian
  • Report on Dark Web Surveillance for Free
  • Credit Cards and Loans Combined
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After a free seven-day trial, you may subscribe to Experian CreditWorks Premium for $24.99 per month. The update provides the following new features:

  • Monthly 3-Bureau FICO® Scores*
  • Credit Monitoring and Alerts from Three Bureaus
  • Experian data is used to calculate daily FICO® scores.
  • CreditLock with Alerts from Experian
  • FICO® Score Tracker
  • Identity Protection and Alerts
  • Identity Theft Insurance of up to $1 Million
  • Dedicated Fraud Resolution Assistance
  • Lost Wallet Assistance12

Experian’s IdentityWorksPlus and Experian IdentityWorksPremium plans, meanwhile, provide integrated credit and identity theft monitoring services for clients seeking more extensive security coverage. After a free 30-day trial, the Plus plan costs $9.99 per month, and the Premium plan costs $19.99 per month. 13

Finally, Experian provides a service called Experian Raise, which enables clients to rapidly boost their credit scores by adding good payment history for telecom and utility payments to their Experian credit reports. Experian clients seeking for another means to improve their credit scores, especially those with a bad credit history, can consider working with one of the top credit repair organizations on the market today.

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