Since I began making a concerted effort to build a solid credit portfolio, I've been using CreditKarma ("CK"), as well as other online tools like Quizzle and CreditSesame, to roughly track how I'm doing.
CK pulls it's estimate from Transunion, although I have yet to find any accounting of how they estimate your score based on what they see. Quizzle and CreditSesame pull from Experian.
CreditSesame shows a 670, which was directly in line with the Experian PLUS score I pulled on the 9th. Quizzle shows a 663. Seven points off ain't bad.
CK, on the other hand, shows a 639. My Transunion score, directly from them on the 9th, is a 743. That's 104 points off and well beyond useless. I had been using CK as my main source of information for over a year and basing my decisions off of what I thought was at least a remotely accurate estimate of my credit score. When I bit the bullet and started applying for cards (see my "The Zen of Being Approved
" thread) I thought it was a long shot to get approved for anything beyond a Cap One starter card or similar. Turns out CK was holding me back - hard.
While I can't assume that CK is that far off for everyone, I've seen enough anecdotal evidence to think that it isn't the useful tool it makes itself out to be. And, CK doesn't just miss low, as in my case. Comments on the site include people complaining about how they were denied reasonable cards with CK scores in the high 700s. I have to assume that CK missed high on their accounts.
So, lesson learned: I can pull a real Experian PLUS score from my REI Visa whenever I want, so I'm going to drop CK from my list of monitoring tools.
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