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Credit Karma Review

Wednesday, May 29th

2024 Canadian Credit Monitoring Company Reviews

Credit Karma Review 3 Star Rating

Credit Karma

3 Star Rating
  • Free to use
  • Daily updates of your TransUnion credit score
  • Alerts sent when critical changes are detected
  • Available throughout Canada (with the exceptions of Quebec, Nunavut, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory)
  • Over 1,600 five-star reviews on Trustpilot

With over 60 million users across Canada and the US, Credit Karma has become a go-to platform for obtaining free credit scores and reports. Operating since 2007, this service not only provides valuable credit information but also aims to empower individuals with the financial education needed to navigate their credit landscape with confidence.

No cost to use

Signing up for a Credit Karma account is straightforward and free, although identity verification is required, either through your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or by answering additional verification questions. Credit Karma offers users a complimentary TransUnion credit score and report, updated on a daily basis. This frequency provides regular insights into your credit standing. Additionally, the platform extends beyond simple credit monitoring, offering financial education resources and product offers.

4 categories of monitoring alerts

We're also happy to note that, since our last review, Credit Karma has upgraded its service to include Credit Protect (also complimentary). Previously, you had to sign into your CK account to check for any updates; now, you'll be alerted of any significant changes. These alerts are broken down into four categories: Identity (new name, new phone, new employer, new address, or identity verification), Accounts (new account, account improving or deteriorating, new registered item), Credit Checks (new hard or soft inquiry), and Legal (new insolvency record, new collection, new legal item).

Best Canadian Credit Monitoring Companies

Not exactly focused on Canadians

But, while Credit Karma enjoys widespread use, it appears to be designed primarily for the US market, with Canadian users potentially feeling like an afterthought. As the no-fee credit monitoring arena in Canada gains momentum, Credit Karma faces competition from services that prioritize Canadians at the core of their offerings.

Availability isn't nationwide

One example of this is Credit Karma's limited scope: you can't access this credit monitoring option if you live in Quebec, Nunavut, or the Northwest and Yukon Territories. This detail is still hard to find on the site: some prospective members might not even realize that they're not eligible for Credit Karma's services until they try to sign up and are declined.

Company as a whole has had some issues

We're also not thrilled with Credit Karma's decline in reputation with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has dropped Credit Karma from a flawless "A+" to a bottom-of-the-barrel "F" since our last evaluation. Why? There were over 2,400 complaints filed with the BBB in the most recent three-year period, and in 2022, Credit Karma settled a $3M lawsuit brought by the US Federal Trade Commission that alleged that the company had knowingly told unqualified consumers that they would be eligible for third-party financial products.

Best Canadian Credit Monitoring Companies

Canadian clients are very satisfied

On the other hand, looking at the comments on Trustpilot that were left specifically for the Canadian arm of Credit Karma, the picture is much rosier. Out of 2,200+ reviews, Credit Karma Canada earned an average of 4.6 stars. Consumers say that the service (especially the app) has been essential in helping them monitor and even improve their credit score, qualify for loans and credit cards, and feel confident that they're on the right track.

Not the best or the worst for credit monitoring

At the end of the day, all of this lands Credit Karma Canada with a "just average" rating here. The company has experienced some ups (like expanding their services to be more robust with notification of alerts) and downs (such as the absolute tanking of their BBB grade). The fact is, there are other credit monitoring options in Canada that do what Credit Karma does... but better. And, many of those are free as well. We'd recommend looking at the top services in our evaluation first; circle back to Credit Karma if you don't find what you need there.

The 7 Best Canadian Credit Monitoring Companies

Who Provides the Best Credit Monitoring Service for Canadians?

Credit monitoring services have become very popular in recent years. Because financial transactions are increasingly conducted online, the risk of identity theft and fraud is greater now than ever before. Credit monitoring services act as a vigilant guardian against such threats by continuously monitoring credit reports for any suspicious activity.

In Canada, these services help you keep track of your credit information and detect any potential signs of identity theft or fraudulent activity. These services typically provide ongoing monitoring of your credit report and alert you to any significant changes, such as new accounts being opened, inquiries into your credit history, or changes in your credit score.

The Best Canadian Credit Monitoring Companies Compare Canadian Credit Monitoring Companies Compare Canadian Credit Monitoring Company Reviews What are the best Canadian Credit Monitoring Companies Best Canadian Credit Monitoring Company Reviews

Canadian Credit Monitoring Company FAQ

Credit monitoring can mean two things: getting your credit score and report, or tracking inquiries made on your credit report with the intention of spotting fraud or identity theft. When you see services offering "credit monitoring" , most free platforms in Canada only offer you access to your credit score/report, while paid providers include tracking of your credit report and insurance against identity theft.
In Canada, there are two bureaus responsible for reporting consumer credit: Equifax and TransUnion. Each bureau uses different methods of calculating your credit score; some lenders and creditors prefer one over the other.
It might, depending on which service you select. Some free credit monitoring platforms in Canada give you access to your credit score and history, but you're responsible for looking for errors and fixing any problems you find. Paid services almost always monitor your account for any suspicious activity, help you freeze your accounts, and often include restoration specialists to guide you through the process of recovering your identity. You may even have identity theft insurance included in your paid package.
Some credit monitoring services in Canada are absolutely free. Most paid credit monitoring services cost between $11 and $30 per month, depending on the level of service you select and how many people you're covering (an individual vs. a couple or household).
Not necessarily. Your bank probably gives you access to your credit score when you sign into your account, but not a copy of your credit report. Plus, your bank doesn't have access to your credit cards, loans, or other creditors' information; they won't be able to spot fraudulent activity on any accounts outside of their institution.
If you use your monitoring service well, yes. Even with a no-fee credit monitoring platform, you can keep an eye on your credit score and act quickly if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Also, almost every credit monitoring service includes ample financial education, to help you understand money even better and to make good decisions for a healthy credit report.
Contact the company that is reporting the inaccurate information. It could be a simple administrative mistake. However, if you suspect that it's fraud, you should contact Equifax and TransUnion to inform them and ask that a fraud alert be placed on your credit reports. You should also report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre, and contact any lenders or other organizations that might be affected by the breach.
It's worth considering. Identity thieves often target children's information, because they can often use it for many years before being caught. Some credit monitoring programs in Canada offer discounted pricing for family plans.
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Continued from above...

Manually reviewing credit reports and scoring systems can be daunting for the average person to navigate. Credit monitoring services simplify this process by providing easy-to-understand analyses and explanations of credit reports and scores. By demystifying financial jargon and offering insights into creditworthiness, these services empower individuals to make informed decisions about their finances.

The increasing prevalence of data breaches and cyberattacks targeting personal information has made many people more aware of the importance of data security. Credit monitoring services often include features such as identity theft insurance and dark web monitoring. These features further enhance their appeal by providing comprehensive protection against various threats to personal and financial security.

Several credit monitoring options operate in Canada, offering various features and levels of protection. Some of the key players include Equifax and TransUnion, which are the two major credit reporting agencies nationwide. In addition to these credit bureaus, there are also third-party services that offer comprehensive credit monitoring, identity theft protection, and other related features.

However, not all services are created equal. It's one thing if you just want an updated credit score every year (after all, you can get that for free from the credit bureaus), but another thing entirely if you want your service to be actively tracking what's going on with your credit profile. You may even be surprised to see that some free credit monitoring options provide more features than their paid counterparts.

Not sure what you want? Here are some key features that may appeal to you; take a look and see which ones are a must-have, and choose your credit monitoring service accordingly:

  • Credit score monitoring. This is the most basic feature that should be included in any service you choose. But, be sure you understand which credit bureaus are tracked: is it Equifax Canada or TransUnion (or both)? The more inclusive the service, the better informed you'll be. Also, check out how often your credit score will be updated: daily, weekly, or monthly?
  • Early detection of suspicious activity. Credit monitoring services can alert you to any unusual or suspicious activity on your credit report, allowing you to take swift action if unauthorized changes or transactions occur.
  • Identity theft protection. Will the service you're considering contact you if there's an attempt to open a new account or misuse your credit information (to rent an apartment, for example)?
  • Personal finance management. Some services offer additional tools and resources to help users manage their finances more effectively, such as budgeting tools and credit score simulators.

To give you an overview of the credit monitoring landscape in Canada, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have evaluated and ranked today's most popular services. Whether you're just looking for a basic, free option to watch over your credit score or a robust monitoring platform, use our research to choose the service that's the right fit for you!

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