Credit Karma is popular, but it’s not for everyone. These Credit Karma alternatives offer a range of free financial services similar to what Credit Karma provides, including credit monitoring, credit scores, and checking accounts.

To help you find the best alternative that provides the features most important to you, we have gathered a list of Credit Karma’s top competitors and explored the services they are best at.

Credit Karma Versus 5 Alternatives

Scoring model usedCredit bureaus pulled Bank accountsCredit-building featureUpgrades (for a fee)
Credit KarmaVantageScoreTransUnion & EquifaxYesYesNo
Credit SesameVantageScoreTransUnion, Experian*, & Equifax*Yes (checking only)YesYes
ExperianFICOExperian TransUnion* & Equifax*NoYesYes
MyFICOFICOExperian*, TransUnion*, & Equifax*NoNoYes

* access to credit reports from these credit bureaus available for a fee

Who Is Credit Karma?

Credit Karma is one of the first credit monitoring websites created to offer free credit scores. Founded in 2007, they now provide various services, including credit monitoring, banking, and loan matching.

They have served over 100 million members and have excellent ratings on their mobile app. Unfortunately, they have poor reviews on their BBB page and have received a C rating from the Better Business Bureau.

What Services Do They Provide?

Credit Karma’s core business is credit monitoring. They offer free access to your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports and scores (Vantage). They can monitor those reports and alert you of any changes.

In addition to their credit monitoring services, they also have their Karma Money program. This includes online checking and savings accounts as well as their credit builder program that operates like a secured loan.

👉 Some of the other services Credit Karma provides include:

  • Credit card matching
  • Loan matching
  • Mortgage matching
  • Instant Karma – a sweepstakes opportunity tied to their checking and savings accounts
  • Karma Drive – earn discounts on your safe driving
  • Educational resources

Credit Karma’s services are 100% free to the user: they earn money through credit card, loan, and insurance referrals. Your only potential costs include a 1% foreign transaction fee (checking account) and a deposit to secure your credit builder account.

Recent Legal Troubles

It is worth noting that Credit Karma has had some recent legal issues. This includes a lawsuit filed by the FTC, where Credit Karma agreed to pay $3 million to customers who were denied credit after receiving pre-approved claims from Credit Karma.

There was also a privacy issue with Plaid; the company Credit Karma uses to link to your external bank account(s). Plaid was accused of obtaining more account information than needed, including the login information for users’ bank accounts.

The $58 million dollar settlement against Plaid affected numerous Credit Karma customers as well as users of other apps that use Plaid’s services.

Who Is Credit Karma Best For?

Credit Karma could be a good fit if you are looking for a free credit monitoring service that lets you monitor more than one credit bureau’s credit report.

👉 It can also be a good choice for those who:

  • Want free checking and savings accounts
  • Need to build their credit
  • Want credit monitoring access on their phone
  • Are interested in comparing loan/insurance rates

However, Credit Karma will not be a good choice for those who are leary of their recent legal/privacy issues, those wanting more in-depth credit monitoring and identity monitoring services, or those looking for high-yield savings accounts. 

5 Alternatives to Credit Karma

Credit Karma isn’t the only name in the game when it comes to credit monitoring or online banking services. That said, there are few other platforms that offer such a wide range of services.

So when looking at the alternatives, you’ll want to focus on the products/services that are most important to you.

Let’s take a look at how Credit Karma stacks up against some of its top competitors.

1. Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame Logo

Founded in 2010, Credit Sesame started out as a credit monitoring website. Their portfolio of products has since grown, yet most services remain free to use.

They remain unrated on the BBB site with mixed customer reviews at 3.5/10, with most of the negative complaints stemming from Credit Sesame’s frequent email adverts.

💰 Features & Pricing

Credit Sesame’s primary service is its credit report and score monitoring service. 

Credit Bureau MonitoredScoring Model UsedIdentity theft protectionRent reportingCost
PremiumTransUnion, Experian, & EquifaxVantageScoreYesYes*$15.99/month

* only reports to Equifax & TransUnion

Credit Sesame does offer a 7-day free trial of their Premium account.

Credit Sesame also offers Sesame Cash, which includes a zero-fee online checking account. This checking account can then be used to fund a credit-builder account which lets you set your own utilization rate.

Sesame Cash charges a $9 monthly fee and adds a $3 monthly inactivity fee if you don’t use the account. They waive this fee if you deposit $500 into your account through direct deposit or if you spend $1000 with your Sesame account. If you don’t meet either qualification in a given month, you will pay the fee.

📚 Learn more: See our full Sesame Cash review for more information on the credit builder account and other Sesame Cash features.

👉 The other services Credit Sesame offers include: 

  • Credit card matching
  • Insurance matching
  • Home value estimator
  • Loan matching
  • Educational resources

⚖️ How do they compare to Credit Karma?

If you are looking for a company that offers a similar set of services to that of Credit Karma, Credit Sesame is your winner.

One area where Credit Sesame beats out Credit Karma is with their premium subscription options that let you monitor all 3 of your credit reports for a monthly fee.

However, Credit Sesame doesn’t offer a savings account like Credit Karma does, and their credit builder account reports like a credit card instead of a loan.

It is also worth noting that Credit Sesame was also impacted by the Plaid privacy lawsuit.

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2. Experian

Experian logo

This credit bureau offers its own free credit monitoring service. And, being one of the 3 major credit bureaus, you’ll know that the credit information they display is the same as what appears on your full Experian credit report.

💰 Features & Pricing

Experian has several free services and a few that require a small fee. Their basic credit monitoring service is 100% free and comes with:

  • Your Experian credit report
  • Your Experian FICO credit score (updated monthly)
  • Credit alerts
  • Access to bill negotiation services (for a fee unless you have a paid subscription)
  • Personal finance management tools
  • Credit card and loan matching services
  • Boost – for reporting utility payments, subscriptions, and rent

In addition to their free basic service, Experian offers several upgraded options for a fee.

CreditWorks PremiumIndentityWorks PremiumIdentityWorks Premium Family
Free trial period7 days30 days30 days
3 bureau credit reports and scoresmonthlyquarterlyquarterly
Identity Monitoring1 adult1 adult2 adults & up to 10 children
Additional FeaturesScore simulator, home and auto scores, etc. Privacy scans, court record alerts, etc.Privacy scans, court record alerts, etc.

👉 In addition to the above services, all of the premium memberships also offer:

  • $1 million identity theft insurance
  • 3 bureau credit monitoring
  • Experian credit lock
  • Daily Experian FICO score updates
  • Dark web scans

Which page you are upgrading from will determine whether you get CreditWorks Premium or IndentityWorks Premium, so be careful.

⚖️ How do they compare to Credit Karma?

Experian beats out Credit Karma with access to full credit reports and FICO credit scores. Plus, free access to Boost (which does not use Plaid) for improving your credit score is an excellent resource.

Additionally, Experian offers advanced credit monitoring while Credit Karma does not; unfortunately, access is fee-based.

One downside to a free account on Experian is the various confusing upgrade pages. On a personal note, I use Experian, and the constant “upgrade now” pop-ups are very annoying.

If you want a free checking account, Credit Karma might be a better option.

One of the best potential credit monitoring moves is to use Experian and Credit Karma so you can have free coverage of all 3 credit bureaus.

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3. CreditWise

This credit monitoring app backed by Capital One bank is 100% free to use and is already enabled for anyone using a Capital One credit card or other product. It is also a tool that is open to non-customers.

💰 Features & Pricing

The CreditWise website and app give you access to your TransUnion credit report information and a VantageScore for free. In fact, all of the tools and resources provided are 100% free.

👉 In addition to basic credit monitoring, your CreditWise account will come with features, such as:

  • Credit score simulator
  • Customized tips to improve your credit
  • Score tracker
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Credit product recommendations
  • Education resources

And, since CreditWise is backed by Capital One, you can explore all of their banking products, including checking accounts, auto loans, credit cards, and more. CreditWise will automatically be tied into any Capital One credit accounts you open.

⚖️ How do they compare to Credit Karma?

Since CreditWise is already funded by Capital One’s other products, it is much less spammy than Credit Karma (and other competitors) which generate revenue by selling you additional products.

Plus, being linked to all of Capital One’s banking products gives it a leg up over Credit Karma which just offers checking, savings, and credit builder accounts.

That said, they only pull from TransUnion, and Capital One doesn’t offer any credit-building features. Additionally, Capital One has a partnership with Plaid and was impacted by the lawsuit.

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MyFico logo

The company that invented credit scores has its own credit monitoring service called MyFICO. Their unique service is one of few that will provide you with actual FICO scores instead of Vantage scores.

💰 Features & Pricing

MyFICO’s access to credit scores and reports is done on a subscription basis. None of their services are free.

Basic AdvancedPremier
Credit Bureau PulledExperianExperian, TransUnion, & EquifaxExperian, TransUnion, & Equifax
Update FrequencyMonthlyQuarterlyMonthly
Identity MonitoringNoYesYes

👉 In addition to the above features, all of MyFICO’s subscriptions come with:

  • $1 million identity theft insurance
  • Alternative FICO scores (i.e., auto scores)
  • Score simulator
  • Online Community
  • Educational resources

MyFICO also offers one-time credit reports and scores at $19.95 for a single bureau and $59.85 for all 3 bureaus.

It is also worth noting that MyFICO does not offer any kind of trial period, nor do they offer a refund period.

⚖️ How do they compare to Credit Karma?

If your focus is on credit and identity monitoring and you don’t mind paying a fee, then MyFICO might be the best choice.

All subscriptions include full reports and FICO credit scores, which neither Credit Karma nor most of their competitors offer. Plus, their thriving online community is a real plus. Credit Karma shut down their own community in 2021.

The downside, of course, is the price. Credit Karma is free, but MyFICO is not. And, despite the wealth of advice and resources, MyFICO does not offer banking or credit building accounts like Credit Karma does.

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Final Thoughts

With Credit Karma, you never have to worry about paying a dime. But that doesn’t mean their services will be best to meet your needs. If you are looking for some basic, free credit monitoring and loan comparison services, Credit Karma could be a good fit.

On the other hand, a specialist budgeting and management app might be a better choice for managing your finances, and Experian and MyFICO might be better for monitoring and protecting you against identity theft.

Finding an alternative to Credit Karma is easy, but finding the alternative that is the best fit for you might take some extra consideration.

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