Capital One’s CreditWise – Is it Useful?

Note: This service used to be called “Credit Tracker.” Capital One rebranded it as Creditwise in early 2016.

CreditWise (formerly Credit Tracker) is a free online credit-tracking service (and mobile app) that lets all consumers (not just cardholders) view one of their credit scores, the factors affecting it and the consequences of their future credit behaviors. It even allows consumers to simulate their scores under different behavior scenarios, which can be very instructive.CapitalOne creditwise

What it does

CreditWise has no limits on how often you can access its features – and it has quite a few of them, including:

  • The ability to view your TransUnion VantageScore (version 3.0)
  • Updates about changes to your TransUnion credit report that could affect your credit or even indicate ID theft (such as delinquent accounts, inquiries and new accounts opened in your name).
  • A credit dashboard with a report card feature that grades you on the key factors influencing your credit score. It also shows a bureau summary from TransUnion that has your balances, monthly payments, number of accounts and number of inquiries. Check out this example:

How it compares

Capital One isn’t the first to offer free credit scores or credit tracking. A few issuers provide free FICOs, and several free online services allow you to monitor your credit. So how does Capital One’s service stack up?

One thing to keep in mind is that the score provided by CreditWise is not a FICO score. It’s a VantageScore, which some lenders do use — but isn’t as popular as FICO.

If you want a free FICO score, a couple major issuers do offer them to cardholders. In May 2016, Discover announced its own free credit-tracking-and-scoring service (Credit Scorecard), which is available to everyone (not just cardholders) and provides your free Experian FICO score. CreditWise, however, offers some additional features — for example, the prediction tool, which allows you to forecast how new credit applications wouldaffect your score.

So, for consumers, it’s a trade-off: You’re not getting a real-deal FICO, but you’re privy to quite a bit of extra information on your credit that could prove very valuable. Perhaps the best option is to sign up for as many free services as you can (CreditWise, Discover’s Credit Scorecard, Credit Karma and the many other free credit-score websites out there).

What about other free credit-tracking services, such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, that don’t require you to be a Capital One Customer? Capital One’s service is very similar.

Other sites for free credit scores

Comparing sites that offer free credit scores/reports
Free score typesFree credit report?Frequency of score/report updatesExplanation of score factorsFree credit monitoringCredit score prediction/simulator tool?
Credit KarmaVantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion and EquifaxYES. From TransUnion and EquifaxEvery 7 daysYESYES, via TransUnionYES
Credit SesameVantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion.NO. Can pay per viewing ($9.95 for TransUnion report) or via monthly subscription (starts at $7.95/month for monthly access to TransUnion, Equifax and Experian reports).MonthlyYESYES, via TransUnionNO
QuizzleVantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion.YES. TransUnion report.Every three months (every month for paid accounts)YESNO. Can pay for monitoring plan (starts at $8/month)NO
My.CreditCards.comVantageScore 3.0 from TransUnionYES. TransUnion report.MonthlyYESYES, via TransUnionNO
Credit.comVantage 3.0 from Experian; Experian National Equivalency ScoreNo. Must sign up for access to Experian report with Experian CreditWorks ($1 for 7-day trial, then $21.95/month)MonthlyYESNO. Requires paid plan.NO
Mint.comEquifax Credit Score (proprietary model used by Equifax)NO. Can get Equifax credit report via Mint Credit Monitor ($16.99/month).Quarterly score. Monthly for paid subscribers. Monthly credit report via Mint Credit Monitor (paid)YESNO. Three-bureau monitoring via Mint Credit Monitor.NO
Wise PiggyVantageScore 3.0 from TransUnionNO. Provides “Account Summary”MonthlyYESNONO
Lending TreeVantageScore 3.0 from TransUnionNOMonthlyYESNONO
Capital One's CreditWise (for Capital One cardholders only)VantageScore 3.0 from TransUnionYES (TransUnion)Every 7 daysYES
Discover's ScorecardFICO score (Experian)NOEvery 30 daysYES
Chase's Credit JourneyVantageScore 3.0 from TransUnionNOWeeklyYES

Is it worthwhile?

That depends on how you use the service.

If you’re shopping for a major loan (such as a mortgage), you’ll want your real FICO credit scores because those are what the lenders will most likely check. CreditWise won’t give you those – but hard numbers aren’t necessarily where you gain the most utility from this (or any free credit tracker). Such services are more useful for those who want to see what’s boosting (or dragging down) their credit and estimate what certain actions will do to their credit health.

It’s somewhat analogous to leading a healthy lifestyle. It’s not always about the actual number on the scale, but rather about knowing which behaviors might eventually lead to better health – which can gradually improve that number. CreditWise will warn you about your unhealthily high credit utilization or about the risks of going on an application spree, for example. Using that advice over time (and tracking your progress) will ultimately translate into a better FICO score.

“It’s all about using your credit wisely and leading a healthy financial life,” wrote Sahni in an email to CreditCardForum.

The service, with its free alerts, could also give you an early warning if a new account is fraudulently opened in your name (a service you’d otherwise have to pay for via the credit bureaus), but there’s an important caveat: CreditWise monitors only your TransUnion report. You should still check your credit reports from Equifax and Experian regularly.

Want to know more? Learn more about the service (and check out some preview screen shots and FAQs) here.

Updated May 25, 2016

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

I found this forum after doing a google search for “why does capital one say more score is so much lower than everyone else. I do have a conspiracy theory that they want you to think your score is worse than it really is. For comparison, they have me at 640, Discover says 687, BOA 687, Wells Fargo 658, and my credit union says 676. I’m getting murdered right now on my score b/c of the balance to available ratio, but I’ve been remodeling my house for the past 12 months with the goal of doing a 2nd mortgage to restructure the debt. Cap 1’s predictor says my score will go up 140 points if I pay off $10,000 in credit card debt. Oddly, when I put in paying off that much on my wife’s predictor, it makes her score go down. I just don’t trust the capital one model and it almost had me put off waiting to buy a home, but then my lender told me out score was 100 points higher than capital one claimed so I was glad that I went ahead and pulled the trigger.

Forget the credit score, the real benefit that I have seen is the ability to track your credit balances every month. Everyone is throwing around their own credit scores these days. Yes, I know I can get a free credit report annually. Yet, my CapitalOne (CreditWise) Card has been the only service that allows me to see my other credit report balances, and not just my score. Does anyone know of any other credit cards that do such?

I think the credit wise only serves to scare you into paying capital one. I have found it to be highly inaccurate for months at a time. Capital one’s websites really suck and are prone crashing on my phone

I use Credit Karma for that. It’s free, not tied to a particular CC company, and they show you the balances for ALL of the accounts on your credit report. Very helpful. (The only real downside is that you get the Vantage Score rather than a regular FICO score. Which is why I visited this page, sniffing around for a good source to supplement their data.)

My score on cap one is 615 on discover it’s 711

Is GARBAGE as far as score BUT useful to detect fraud, accounts opened etc. the score itself is way off, my actual FICO for Transunion is 740, tracker and its vantage score put me at 649 ….nope.

On my CTR screen, it shows EXPERIAN and not TU. The score has been 60 plus PTS lower each month back to OCT 2016. I have tracked thru EXPERIAN and the score has never matched CREDITS ONE. I have asked several times Credit One and I never get a good answer. That’s why I am online with EXPERIAN tracking. Ask if you see this and they will look into

Credit wise is just another junk financial product that claims to be free. Nothing is free, especially not from a bank. I think they only call it “free” to avoid certain liabilities.

Credit Wise is a joke. What they report is inaccurate. There was a discrepancy on my credit report that I had to have corrected with all 3 credit agencies. None of the 3 had an issue with it. Credit Wise however refuses to remove it even though Transunion has removed the bad account off my report. The account doesn’t even have my name on it! Credit Wise still refuses to remove it.

Simply not true. The score is based on your transunion credit report. its only that creditwise pulls a new transunion credit report once a month to calculate a new score. Be careful about telling fibs, they make you seem uneducated and scare consumers.

I get free credit reports from 5 credit cards. My CapOne scores were consistent with the others, then one month, it was 100 points lower. It went back to normal the next month, but with the switch to CreditWise, it is now 75-100 points lower than all of the other scores, each month. So, it appears CrediWise uses a different formula.

In my experience CapitalOne score was actually about 40 points higher than CreditKarma.

I would advise people not to believe these numbers they see on credit tracker. I am getting ready to buy a house, so I wanted to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Anyway, my credit tracker score had dropped about 25 points to just under 750 over the past year even though I never had one bill that was paid late and not taken out any new lines of credit. I could not understand why my score was dropping. Anyway, the bank pulled my credit to get me pre-qualified and they tell me my score is an 804. I have stopped paying attention to my credit tracker score and I think more should do the same. Just my opinion.

I don’t understand how Credit Tracker works. It hasn’t shown a change in my score for months, despite my having paid off 2 cards and paying down another (2 of which are Capital One cards). On top of that, this past month my update said there were no updates or activities on my credit report and I got a new card; I closed one account and switched to a different bank and opened an account with them. Additionally, my score is way lower on CT than it is in actuality, as others have stated. It doesn’t seem to be very on top of things.

I like that Cap 1 might be lower, like another poster said. It means I’m doing better than I thought. I only had credit sesame and I haven’t checked it in 3 months, but cap 1 is 100 points higher. Although. I did get an erroneous collection taken off my account from a medical lab, so maybe credit sesame went up to. My credit sesame score made me feel like a loser and the cap one made me feel like everything was going alright.

Does having a credit tracker and using it affect your ability to get a free credit report every year? How does that lower your credit-worthiness?

Does credit tracker charge you??

My Credit Karma TU Score – 528
Capital One TU Score – 617

Can’t understand what’s going on..

I had a closed credit card with a balance debt of $800 in dec 2014. Have been paying bills for that credit card on time since then and my CK TU score came up to 600 from less than 500.
Once i completed paying the full balance, it fell down to 528 from 600. I was like what the heck.

And then to improve my credit score, got a CapitalOne credit card and tracked my TU score using the CO credit tracker. It showed up 617.

Never in my life I got so confused.

Capital One credit tracker definitely has some issues. My TU report on MyFico is 753 but on Capital One it’s 679, and showing a derogatory item that’s currently not on my credit report. They need to fix the accuracy of the credit tracker, or get rid of it altogether.

I couldn’t agree with you more!! My Transunion score is 740. Up over 100 points in a about a year and my credit tracker has my score at 670 up 20 points in the same period Some people like the fact that they offer grades and other features that other cards like discover don’t offer, but ( at least on my credit tracker), they are WAY behind on everything I look at regarding my credit cards, balances, etc. which renders them completely USELESS to me!!

Its caled getting what you pay for. If you want your true Fico score then you have to go to and fork over the 30 bucks for it. These free scores are either vantage scores or their own built in models that take your credit bureau info and calculate a score they feel is an approximation. So don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and don’t be an ass and assume ether.

My Credit Karma TU Score – 528
Capital One TU Score – 617

Stumbled onto this post after a Google search asking why my CapitalOne credit score is different…

Credit Karma – 680
Lending Tree – 688
CapitalOne – 588

What the heck?! Why is my CapitalOne Transunion score 100 points less than the other sites, according to their credit tracker? Ugh!

my credit score on karma, sesame and others is in the mid to high 700s but on capital one it’s 688. I don’t get it either. I’d love to find out why.

Yes, that’s pretty much the same all over, the Capital One score is around 50 pts lower than the actual Trans Union score. In my case Capital One score 766 Actual Transunion number, drawn the same day, 812. Since the score isn’t really used for anything but your viewing pleasure, it is just a very general ballpark number, of limited usefulness.

The lower your credit score the more they can charge for interest

Credit Tracker shows two derogatory reports/accounts that have since been removed from my current credit reports. My questions is, why does credit tracker still show them?

Don’t you all think that its a good thing that capital one is lower then the other credit report providers? that means at worse… thats what your credit score is… that makes me feel good on a monthly basis

I would like to be able to know the reason why the Capital One score is so much lower than the others. In my case, It is 30 points lower than my most recent real FICO score.

Not entirely true. My CreditKarma score is about 50 points lower than my Capital One Credit Tracker score. However, I am finding that it is a common trend for Capital One’s score to be the lowest for most people. This leaves me a bit confused on how to approximate what my real score is.

Thank you!

Exactly what i was thinking and i read ALL the posts! I would rather use the lower number to plan rather then get hung up on another FREE website showing higher score.

Another poster said it best: Stop complaining over a FREE services and their scores reported, dish out the 30 bucks and see the actual score.

My capital one credit score was over 100 points lower than my credit karma scores. I had 647 on capital one and 757 on credit karma.

mine is the other way around 100 higher on credit tracker

Me too! 125 point difference between Transunion Score and CreditWise (Creditwise was the outstanding higher one ) – so what gives on this? Why? It’s not used by lenders, for auto loans, or mortages or — so why not use the same determination systems used to determine FICO, in order to honesty help consumers? Ugh.

My Credit Tracker score is 36 points lower than Credit Karma, yet they are both “powered by Transunion.” The information they have is DEFINITELY different. For example, Credit Tracker shows my oldest credit is 28 years, but Credit Karma shows it as 6 yrs 6 months. So, the scores themselves are meaningless, except perhaps as a reference point.

Same thing here with regards to the score. My Credit Tracker score is 32 points lower than Credit Karma. The oldest credit info differ by 2 years 6 months.

My credit score is 37 points lower than last month according to the free tracker, even though I’ve done the same thing for the past few months (pretty much maxing out my card, then paying in full a couple days before my payments due), previous months it’s been steadily climbing my credit score, why the huge drop this month?

I have learned that it is prudent to put little faith in scores available to me from CK, Capital One Credit Tracker and Chase Slate. In early April my free annual credit report from TU which is used by both CK and Capital One contained 1 derogatory remark which was incorrect. I was successful in getting it removed. After its deletion my score with CK increased from 703 to 718 but my score with Capital One decreased from 703 to 687 ???. This derogatory remark was not on my annual report from Experian which is also used by CK and Chase Slate. My Experian scores obtained on May 22nd from CK is 733 and 697 from Chase Slate. Why the difference ???

I need to correct myself. Credit Karma scores are TU and Equifax not Experian as I stated earlier. The 733 score is Equifax and the 697 is Experian.

Credit tracker is useless in the sense consumers have a right to know exactly what is being reported to creditors and the like without having to pay a fee. Credit repositories make a killing off creditors and consumers where consumers are the ones utilizing lending products not the repositories. There should be a law that does not allow creditors to have different scoring models than consumers. They use this tactict to drive up interest rates against consumers and instigate a quasi caste system where in the USA it is illegal to have a caste system.

Credit Karma’s TU score is 70 points lower than the Capital One Credit Tracker TU score shown on my Captial One account. If they are pulling the same information same day and time, then why the difference in numbers. I prefer the Captial One Credit Tracker number since it’s higher. Doesn’t make sense.

Wy would you prefer to see the higher score only to find out its no where near what your actual fico score. I use credit karma, capital one cedit tracker and i also get my FICO SCORE discover each month. current score are
CK 618 TU 631 EX
Credit Tracker 648 (Powered by Transunion)
FICO from Discover 598

transunion scores from CK and CT are have a 30 point difference. But fico score is 20-50 difference in

Why do the credit reporting bureaus get to decide which information we are privy to? Since it’s our information, used to make decisions about our applications for financing, it should be illegal for the bureaus to decide what we can see and when. In the age of instantaneous communication and big data, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have unfettered access to the information used by creditors to make decisions about the most important financial transactions of our life. I can be denied a car loan or mortgage based on my credit reports for 365 days of the year, but I can only get a free copy of MY information one day per year? Yeahhh……sounds kinda shady to me.

Credit Tracker is minimally useful but serves to let me know if there are any drastic changes in my credit and is free. Equifax and Transunion are about 50 points higher than Credit Tracker. Credit Tracker give the option to adjust parameters used to generate the credit score but I have found this to be of limited use as none of the changes result in an increase in my score.

I agree 100%. It’s great to see when my credit score improves but the actual score provided is much lower, about 50 points lower than my actual Transunion and Equifax scores as well.

My credit tracker is almost 60 points higher than on credit karma

While I think that it’s great that CapOne provides a free credit tracking service, I find this to be incredibly inaccurate, in comparison to other credit trackers I have used. For starters, the current balance that it says I owe on my CapOne cards is always incorrect. It seems like it takes months to catch up to where I am at with my current balances. This seems counter-intuitive to me. You’d think that the balance shown on my CapOne cards would always match what CapOne’s credit tracker says. Secondly, my credit score shown on CapOne is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than my creditkarma score. Like, almost 100 points lower. This difference in numbers is rather concerning to me.

Mine also shows almost 100 points lower than my credit karma score. I’m still trying to find out why that is.

Add me to this list as well! I just used the CapOne “Credit Tracker” for the very first time today, and was shocked at the credit score I saw-the score they have for me (per Transunion according to them) is literally just shy of 100 points lower than my official Equifax and Experian scores I just pulled exactly one month ago. I was just using this CapOne credit tracking feature on a whim, since it was free and doesn’t affect your credit, and what was meant to be some fun curiosity ended up causing me stress and I’ve spent most of the afternoon looking into paying to recheck my official FICO scores again. But, I’m glad to hear that this seems to be a wider spread issue with CapOne’s actual scoring model, so sounds like they need to fix that if they want to give even remotely accurate scores.

Thats weird because my credit tracker score from capital on is significantly higher than what my score through credit karma shows.

Mine too Courtney.

Mine is just the opposite

Wrote in the secure message center that this company in their CREDIT TRACKER has an almost $5k error showing on my outstanding debt/ Got the damned standard form letter telling me what to do/ Get my annual Free report etc / Well, this is how I am going to handle it/ ********************************************************** I will get an attorney to check this IF you DON’T get that DOUBLE ENTRY showing as removed from your ‘CREDIT TRACKER” I am not going to untangle your mess here/ I am sure as shooting not going to even attempt it. Yes I know I can get a FREE annual report ********************************************************************

hanks to Credit Tracker I was able to thwart off identity theft. I was notified by Credit Tracker that there were two credit inquiries on my account (T-Mobile and Target). I put a Fraud alert on all three credit agencies through Trans Union and then called each of the stores. They closed each account and reversed the charges Today I received a call from a bank in another state asking if I was initiating a new account. They called me first becuase of the Fraud Alert. The credit score may not be a perfect FICO score but the product works.

linda osborne

how do i get my credit score

Never heard about this tracker, many thanks for it! Will try it for sure…