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Credit Karma Review

Sunday, October 17th

2021 Canadian Credit Monitoring Company Reviews

Credit Karma Review 3.5 Star Rating

Credit Karma

3.5 Star Rating
  • Free credit monitoring service
  • Updated weekly
  • Free TransUnion credit score and report
  • Financial education plus offers on products
  • "A+" rated by the BBB

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.

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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.

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Who Provides the Best Credit Monitoring Service for Canadians?

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.

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.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

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:

  • Credit score reporting vs. account monitoring. Are you interested in regular updates of your credit score, tools to help you manage your finances, and education about building and maintaining a healthy credit profile? You can get all of that for free with several reputable services. On the other hand, if you want your accounts actively monitored, so that you're alerted in the event of potential fraud, you'll probably need to consider a paid subscription plan.
  • Experian vs. TransUnion. Canada has two main credit bureaus, and most credit monitoring services only report your score with one or the other. Because each bureau uses different algorithms and metrics for making their calculations, your score can be significantly different depending on which one you use. If you sign up for a membership plan with a service that only reports your credit history at one bureau, consider also getting a free account with a second credit monitoring provider that pulls your score from the other bureau.
  • Reputation. Not all credit monitoring services are created equal. What do other Canadians have to say about the platform? If it's a subscription-based program, do most clients feel it's worth the monthly cost? Has the company been rated favorably by the Better Business Bureau? Does it provide credit and finance information and advice specific to Canadians, or is it just a repackaged service that was originally geared towards consumers in the US?

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.

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