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Sunday, October 17th
More than 60 million people in Canada and the US use Credit Karma to get free credit scores and reports. In operation since 2007, this service helps people get the financial education they need to put their credit into context and feel more confident about money matters.
Easy To Sign Up
Signing up for a Credit Karma account is completely free, but you will have to verify your identity. (That shouldn't be a surprise, since they need to be able to access your credit report.) You'll either provide your SIN or answer additional verification questions to confirm who you are.
Scores Updated Weekly
Your Credit Karma account gives you access to your credit score as reported by TransUnion. While you can access it at any time, your score is only updated every 7 days. However, your credit report isn't actively monitored by this service: if you're not logging in and looking for any errors, Credit Karma doesn't have a way of letting you know about them. That's typical among most of the free credit monitoring services in our review.
More Information, Please?
We would love to see Credit Karma provide more information about what else Canadian consumers get when signing up for the free service. They mention the free credit score and report, plus credit articles and education, but what does that look like? Is it browser-based only or also a mobile app? Do they offer any structured education for understanding credit health and improving scores?
Not Available To All Canadians
We had to look beyond the Credit Karma site to user reviews to try and answer a lot of the big questions we had - and in doing so, we found that this service might not be available in all provinces (Yukon Territory, Quebec, Nunavut, and Northwest Territory seemed to be the excluded areas). Since that's not spelled out anywhere obvious on the Credit Karma site, most people won't know they can't use the site until they go to sign up.
Good Enough, But Better Options Exist
Beyond that, Credit Karma comes off feeling like another service designed for consumers in the United States and then repurposed as an afterthought for Canadians. Lots of people use Credit Karma and love it - and who can argue with "free"? But, this service has some up-and-coming competition in the no-fee credit monitoring arena - including a couple of rivals that provide services with Canadians in the centre of their focus. While there's nothing inherently bad about Credit Karma, it's not at the top of our list of free credit monitoring platforms in Canada.
You might remember the days when you had to pay $20 every time you wanted to access your credit score. Not anymore! These days, most banks give you free access to your score just for having an account. There are also several free services that provide your credit score on a weekly or monthly basis.
But, what if you want to keep a closer eye on your finances? Or you want alerts if any suspicious activity is detected on one of your accounts? You're smart to think that way: according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), approximately 27,000 Canadians experience identity theft every year, but only 29% of people they surveyed actually check their credit reports regularly as a means of protecting their personal information.
That's where credit monitoring services come in. You have several options to choose from, ranging from those free services mentioned earlier to monthly subscriptions that go much more in-depth to monitor your accounts, alert you if anything unusual comes up, and may even help you recover if you become a victim of identity theft.
Which Canadian credit monitoring provider is right for you? That depends on what you're looking for, and here are several criteria to keep in mind that can help you decide:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best credit monitoring services for Canadians. We hope this information helps you understand your credit score, keep track of your credit usage, and continue to establish healthy credit habits well into the future.
Select any 2 Canadian Credit Monitoring Companies to compare them head to head
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