Free Credit Scores (2024)

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What to know about your free credit scores on Credit Karma

Updated April 5, 2024

This date may not reflect recent changes in individual terms.

Written by:Eric Freeman

On Credit Karma, you can get your free VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion.

Before you check your free credit scores, read up on how Credit Karma gets your scores, why your scores may differ, and how you can use these scores to guide your credit journey.

How does Credit Karma get your credit scores?

Credit Karmaworks withEquifax and TransUnion,two of thethree major consumer credit bureaus, to give you access to your free credit scores andfree credit reports.(Experian is the third majorconsumer credit bureau.)

Credit Karma can offer free credit scores and reports because we make money in other ways. For example, we use the information in your credit profile to make product recommendations that can help you save money. If you use these recommendations to apply for a product, Credit Karmamay getpaid by the bank or lender.

What can you do with your credit scores?

Credit scores aren’t exactly a tool for you to use, but the state of your credit can determine certain aspects of your financial picture. The first step to knowing what you can do with your credit scores is to check your credit. If you have good credit, you’re more likely to be approved for rewards credit cards and low-interest personal loans, auto loans and mortgages — you can even get a lower rate on car insurance. Credit isn’t the only aspect that determines approval for these financial services, but it’s often a major factor.

If your credit isn’t in a great place, taking steps to improve it can help your chance of approval on future applications. If you need insurance coverage, a loan or a credit card now, it’s still possible to get one — but you’ll probably pay more for the product than an applicant with good credit.

What kind of free credit scores does Credit Karma offer?

On Credit Karma, you’ll see credit scores and reports from Equifax and TransUnion, both using theVantageScore 3.0 scoring model. VantageScore was created in collaboration with all three major credit bureaus, and its 3.0 version is widely used in lending decisions today.

Does Credit Karma offer free FICO® credit scores?

Credit Karma doesn’t offer FICO® credit scores, which are calculated differently from VantageScore credit scores. While the three major credit bureaus collaborated to create the VantageScore model, FICO is a separate organization with its own scoring models.

TheVantageScore and FICO modelsdiffer in several ways, but that doesn’t mean one is better or more accurate than the other.Lenders may rely on different scoring models when evaluating an application, and other considerations can factor in, too.

We recommend looking at your credit scores as a guide to your credit health rather than as a definitive number that determines whether you’ll be approved or denied for credit.

How often should you check your free credit scores?

Checking your free credit scores on Credit Karma isn’t a one-time set-it-and-forget-it task. Your scores may beupdated frequently as yourcredit historychanges, so checking them regularly can help you keep track of important changes in your credit profile.

Since you can check your free credit scores without hurting your credit, feel free to check as often as you like. If you see your credit scores steadily growing, it can help motivate you on your credit-building journey. And when you’re ready to submit a credit application,getting a better idea of your overall credit healthbeforehand can give you a better sense of where you stand.

Why your free credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion may be different

You may think that your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion should be the same, but that’s not always the case.

Remember, VantageScore 3.0 is ultimately just a scoring model. The three-digit number it produces depends largely on the information that lenders report to each credit bureau.

When credit scores that use the same modeldiffer between credit reporting bureaus, it’s typically because they don’t have the same information. Here are a few of the reasons you might see different credit scores.

  • Your scores are from different dates.Different bureaus receive information from lenders at different times. If new information is accounted for in one credit score and not the other, the scores may differ.
  • Your scores are calculated using different credit reports.It’s up to lenders to decide which credit bureaus they report your information two. Some report to all three major credit bureaus, while others report to only one or two. If your Equifax credit report has information that your TransUnion report doesn’t (or vice versa), your scores may differ.
  • Your credit reports contain incorrect information.It’s possible that one or several of your credit reports contain errors. That’s why we recommend regularly checking your credit reports for errors that may affect your scores — anddisputing those errors, if need be.

It’s totally normal for your different credit scores to not be the exact same number at any given time. Lenders typically understand why your credit scores can differ —and they may also account for factors other than your credit scores when considering your application for credit.

How to read and understand your free credit scores

Yourcredit scorescan be a useful reflection of your overall credit health. But to get the most out of your scores, you must first understand how they work, what they represent andwhat actually constitutes a good credit score.

VantageScore 3.0 credit score ranges

Credit score rangesvary by scoring model, and lenders can view ranges in different ways. VantageScore 3.0 credit scores range from 300 to 850. Think of them in terms of four basic categorizations:Excellent,Good,FairandPoor. Here’s how they break down.

Free Credit Scores (7)Image: Excellent Credit Score Icon

Excellent (781–850):
You may qualify for the best financial products available, and you’ll likely have several options when it comes to choosing repayment periods or other terms. But excellent credit scores aren’t the only factor in a lending decision — a lender could still deny your application for another reason.

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Good (661–780):
You’re less likely to have an application denied based solely on your credit scores, compared to having scores in the fair or poor range, and you’re more likely to be offered a low interest rate and favorable terms.

Free Credit Scores (9)Image: Fair Credit Score Icon

Fair (601–660):
You may have several options when it comes to getting approved for a financial product, but you might not qualify for the best terms.

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Poor (300–600):
You may find it difficult to get approved for many loans or unsecured credit cards. And if you’re approved, you might not qualify for the best terms or lowest interest rate.

VantageScore 3.0 credit score factors

Different credit scores can have a lot in common under the hood, but each individual scoring modeluses its own combination of factorstodetermine your score.

Here are the major factors that determine your VantageScore 3.0 credit scores.

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Payment history (extremely influential)
The biggest factor in your scores is your history of paying bills on time.Late or missed paymentsin your credit history could affect your scores significantly.

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Age and type of credit (highly influential)
A longer credit history,particularly with the same accounts, shows lenders that you’ve been able to stick with your accounts over time. Lenders may also consider it a plus if you have a mix of credit accounts (like a credit card and a personal loan) with positive use.

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Credit utilization (highly influential)
Yourcredit utilization ratemeasures the amount of credit you use relative to the amount available to you. Most experts recommend shooting for a rate below 30%, meaning you use less than 30% of your available credit.

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Balances (moderately influential)
Similar to credit utilization, this factor takes into account your total balances across your accounts — but in terms of the dollar amount and not the percentage. If you already owe a fair amount elsewhere, lenders may be less inclined to extend more credit to you.

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Recent credit (less influential)
Recent credit activity can be a predictor of future behavior, so lenders want to know what you’ve done lately. If you’ve opened a number of new accounts in recent months, that could factor into your scores.

Free Credit Scores (16)Image: Available Credit Icon

Available credit (least influential)
A large amount of available credit can indicate you’re not going to use all your available credit if approved.

If you’re looking to improve your credit scores, consider which of these factors may be influencing your current situation most.

Credit Karma offers a number of tools that could help you keep track of your credit.

Free Credit Scores (17)Image: Free Credit Report Icon

Free credit reports
On Credit Karma, you can check yourfree credit reportsfrom Equifax and TransUnion. And as with your credit scores, you can check your free credit reports as often as you like.

Free Credit Scores (18)Image: Fair Credit Score

Free credit monitoring
Credit Karma’sfree credit-monitoringservice can alert you to important changes on your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports. Along with checking your credit scores regularly, this feature sends you an alert so you can sniff out any suspicious activity.

Mobile app
TheCredit Karma mobile appallows you to check your credit scores on the go. The app also features tools ranging from the newRelief Roadmapto opt-in push notifications that help alert you to potential changes on your Equifax or TransUnion credit reports.

Free credit score FAQs

Does checking my credit scores hurt my credit?

Checking your free credit scores on Credit Karma doesn’t hurt your credit. These credit score checks are known as soft inquiries, which don’t affect your credit at all.
Hard inquiries (also known as “hard pulls”) generally happen when a lender checks your credit while reviewing your application for a financial product. This kind of check can negatively affect your credit.
Read more aboutthe difference between hard and soft credit inquiries.

Is it really free to check my credit scores?

Like all the services on Credit Karma, checking your credit scores won’t cost you money. You may have to pay for credit scores elsewhere, but on Credit Karma it’s always free to check your credit scores.

Is my free credit score on Credit Karma accurate?

The free credit scores you see on Credit Karma come directly from Equifax or TransUnion. It’s possible that more-recent activity will affect your credit scores, but they’re accurate in terms of the available data.
If you see errors on your credit reports that may be affecting your credit scores, you have options todispute those errors.

What do I need to sign up for a Credit Karma account?

In addition to creating a username and password, Credit Karma may ask you for your Social Security number. This information allows us to confirm your identity with theconsumercredit bureaus to ensure thatwe show youaccurate data.
You must be at least 18 years old to sign up for a Credit Karma account.

What’s the best site to get a free credit report?

The best site for free credit reports depends on what you need.
If you want to take a look at your credit reports from Equifax and TransUnion, you can do so on Credit Karma.
TheFair Credit Reporting Actentitles you to one free copy of your credit report from each of the threemajor consumer credit bureausevery 12 months. You can order them online at

Is it safe to check my credit score for free?

Checking your free credit scores on Credit Karma won’t affect your credit, and any attempts to monitor your credit with Credit Karma will not appear on your credit reports.
If you want to learn more about how Credit Karma collects and uses your data, take a look at ourprivacy policy.
You can also read Credit Karma’ssecurity practicesto learn more about Credit Karma’s commitment to securing your data and personal information as if it were our own.

Learn more about credit scores

The following resources can help you learn more about your credit:

Tap into your free credit scores.

Free Credit Scores (2024)


Free Credit Scores? ›

You have the right to request one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) by visiting You may also be able to view free reports more frequently online.

How do I get my actual credit score for free? ›

You have the right to request one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) by visiting You may also be able to view free reports more frequently online.

Can I get all 3 credit scores for free? ›

To request all three credit bureau reports for free, visit Click the “Request your free credit reports” button and follow the three steps to get your credit reports. You'll need to fill out a form and choose the credit reports you want to receive.

Is legit? › is the official site to get your free annual credit reports. This right is guaranteed by Federal law. You can verify this is the official site by visiting the CFPB's website. Don't be fooled by look-alike sites.

What is the best free credit score app? ›

10 Best Credit Score Monitoring Apps of 2023
  1. Credit Karma. Based on data acquired from your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports, Credit Karma offers free updates on your credit score. ...
  2. Mint. ...
  3. Aura. ...
  4. CreditWise. ...
  5. Credit Sesame. ...
  6. myFICO. ...
  7. IdentityForce. ...
  8. Experian.

Can you really check your credit for free? ›

By law, you can get a free credit report each year from the three credit reporting agencies (CRAs). These agencies include Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

What is the most accurate credit score? ›

The primary credit scoring models are FICO® and VantageScore®, and both are equally accurate. Although both are accurate, most lenders are looking at your FICO score when you apply for a loan.

What's a good FICO Score? ›


Is FICO Score free in Bank of America? ›

Bank of America works with FICO and TransUnion, one of the major credit bureaus, to be able to provide you with your FICO® Score for free. Knowing your FICO® Score can help you better understand how lenders view your credit risk and allow you to understand the health of your credit.

What is the difference between a FICO Score and your credit score? ›

A credit score is a three-digit number that measures your financial health and how well you manage credit and debt. FICO scores are a specific type of score that lenders can use when making borrowing decisions. The FICO credit scoring system is the most widely used credit score.

Where is the safest place to get a free credit report? ›

Don't be fooled by look-alikes. Lots of sites promise credit reports for free. is the only official site explicitly directed by Federal law to provide them.

What are safe websites to check credit score? ›

You might see companies and sites offering free credit reports, but there's only one authorized place to get the free annual credit reports you're entitled to by law:

Is it safe to give my SSN to Experian? ›

Is Your Information Secure with Experian? Experian prides itself on providing exceptional service without compromising the personal information of its customers. The privacy policy outlines how information is used and how the credit reporting agency complies with both legal requirements and consumers' expectations.

How to check your FICO score for free? ›

One of the best ways to access your FICO® credit score for free is through Discover Credit Scorecard. This program is free whether you are a Discover customer or not. To get started, you'll be asked for some personal information, including your Social Security number.

Is Experian really free? ›

You can request annual credit reports for free from each of the 3 major reporting agencies—Experian, Equifax® and TransUnion®—online via or by calling 1-877-322-8228.

What credit score is needed to buy a house? ›

A good credit score to buy a house is one that helps you secure the best mortgage rate and loan terms for the mortgage you're applying for. You'll typically need a credit score of 620 to finance a home purchase. However, some lenders may offer mortgage loans to borrowers with scores as low as 500.

How do I find my exact credit score? ›

There are a few main ways to get your credit scores.
  1. Check your credit card or other loan statement. Many major credit card companies and other lenders provide credit scores for their customers. ...
  2. Talk to a nonprofit counselor. ...
  3. Use a credit score service.
Oct 19, 2023

How do you calculate actual credit score? ›

A FICO credit score is calculated based on five factors: your payment history, amount owed, new credit, length of credit history, and credit mix. Your record of on-time payments and amount of credit you've used are the two top factors. Applying for new credit can temporarily lower your score.

How can I check my credit score without taking a hit? ›

Checking your own credit report or score won't affect your credit scores. It's an example of a soft inquiry—a request for credit info that does not affect credit scores. Experian, TransUnion and Equifax now offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through

How to get a 100% credit score? ›

Make regular payments on time

Paying your accounts on time and in full each month is a good way to show lenders you're a reliable borrower, and capable of handling credit responsibly. Old, well-managed accounts will usually improve your score - although be sure to read about the potential impact of unused credit cards.


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