Credit Karma vs FICO Score

Free FAKO credit score vs FICO
One of the negative points thrown at websites like Credit Karma is that the free credit score they give is not your FICO score. Credit Karma offers three different types of credit scores, all supplied by the credit reporting agency TransUnion. They offer the TransRisk New Account Score, VantageScore, and Auto Insurance Score. What these all have in common is that they are not FICO scores, but blended scores that are often referred to as FAKO or educational scores. The question that many consumers have is whether or not it’s important that the score you get from Credit Karma isn’t your true FICO score?

Some people who have a problem with FAKO scores point to a number of reasons w


[Continue Reading at]

This entry was posted in Credit Cards, Debt, Personal Finance and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Credit Karma vs FICO Score

  1. dave says:

    I opted for the Discover card option and have absolutely no regrets. I don’t have to go to another site to give information and my latest credit score comes in the mail each month. Very convenient and I’m so happy they started doing that.

  2. Taylor says:

    Thanks for this! I didn’t know about FAKO – that term makes me laugh LOL. I just cancelled myFICO monitoring because of the expense. I plan on going to Credit Karma and it seems like it’ll be sufficient for my needs. I’m not looking to take out a loan just working on building my score. The one free report a year should be enough for me to get my “true” score when I need it.

  3. Will says: is also another free monitoring site that provides Experian information. I like Credit Karma because of the tools and all the stats they give on credit card offers, but the score is off by a lot most of the time compared to my actual FICO.

  4. Gen Vel says:

    Twice I have looked at my “free” credit score with Credit Karma and then purchased my actual score from the companies and both times they were 30-50 points off!!! So, be advised, it is not very accurate! But it is a great starting point……..

  5. gina says:

    I like to use the services to keep an eye on any unexpected fluctuations in my credit score. There was a time that I needed to know them because my credit wasn’t so good, but it has improved greatly over the years that is no longer an issue. Still, it’s nice to know what the credit score is, and if it is changing from month-to-month. If it is, then I can train figure out what is causing the fluctuation. It’s a free service, so why not?

  6. alice says:

    Dave Ramsey says that you don’t need a credit score. If you are worried about a credit score, what you are really worried about is your debt score. You shouldn’t have any debt at all so you don’t need a credit score. If you are trying to get your credit score up, you’re doing it all wrong.

  7. greg says:

    I concur. My score has been off by quite a bit too. As the articles implies, it’s good for tracking long term, but not if you need an accurate assessment of your FICO score.

  8. Jordan says:

    I recently purchased a house. Prior to applying for a mortgage, I got my free credit score from another free credit website. Like Credit Karma, it used credit data from TransUnion, but the score model is proprietary. My score was 3 points lower than my mortgage FICO score from TU, so these scores can be accurate.

  9. JT says:

    Use these free credit score websites and you’ll get a fairly good idea of your FICO. Credit Karma (derived from Trans Union), (derived from Experian), Credit Sesame (derived from Experian), Quizzle (derived from Equifax).

    The mortgage lender I’m using does not use FICO. Instead, it goes through a credit verification company to get 3 separate scores from the bureaurs, then take an average. There are under writing guidelines regarding credit score.

  10. Stacey says:

    That sum refers to the VANTAGE SCORE you can obtain through CREDIT KARMA which blends the 3 major credit bureaus of TRANS UNION, EQUIFAX and EXPERIAN.

  11. Spanky says:

    Stacey – in my experience, mortgage lenders are NOT using the VANTAGE score as seen on Credit Karma (I used to make software for mortgage underwriting).

    The standard scoring model for mortgage underwriting (at least as of a year ago) is FICO ’04, which comes in different flavors, depending on the credit reporting agency — Beacon 5.0 (Equifax), FICO-II (Experian), FICO Classic 04 (TransUnion).

  12. Bethie says:

    So, if you follow this philosophy, why are you reading and commenting on articles concerning the very practices you “don’t need”.

  13. anon says:

    Discover card is the best. You get monthly fico score update.

  14. Katy says:

    Well you gotta be able to buy a house and most American’s can’t do that without credit. Not everyone can buy a house cash. Which means you have to have some debt in order to qualify for a house. Once you get that credit established and have your down payment then you can work the debt snow ball. Better than throwing our money away on rent. Dave is really good at teaching debt management and getting out of debt and offers many tools but those tools work best with an income of over $200,000 per year. Not everyone has that. So you have to do what you have to do for your family.

  15. Me says:

    Your free annual credit report does not include your score.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *