Equifax vs Credit Karma: What’s the difference – and is one more accurate?

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In a Nutshell

Equifax vs. Credit Karma: Which is more accurate for your credit score? You may be surprised to know that the simple answer is that both are accurate. Read on to find out what’s different between the two companies, how they get your credit score, and why you have more than one credit score to begin with.
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If you’re confused about which credit score to pay attention to, we don’t blame you. But rather than comparing Equifax vs. Credit Karma for credit score accuracy, you may want to understand first why you have multiple credit scores — and how your scores affect your financial progress.

Equifax vs Credit Karma: What’s the difference?

Credit Karma and Equifax play different roles when it comes to your credit.

Equifax is one of the two main Canadian credit bureaus, along with TransUnion. These companies compile information about your credit into reports that are used to generate your credit score.

Credit Karma isn’t a credit bureau, which means we don’t determine your credit score.

Instead, we work with TransUnion to provide you with your free credit report and free credit score. We also show recommendations for credit cards and personal loans, and help connect members to home loan options.

Which credit report is most accurate?

The major credit bureaus get their information from different sources. This means that your credit reports from these bureaus may all be slightly different. Consider monitoring each of these reports on an annual basis to help make sure the information is correct.

If you’re using Credit Karma to check your credit score and monitor your credit report, keep in mind that we update your credit score based on information we get from TransUnion, on a weekly basis, so you can follow your progress closely.

But as we mentioned, the most important credit report is the one your lender reviews when you apply for a new credit card, loan or mortgage. Because you may not know which report your lender might use, it’s more important to focus on the general principles of building credit than on memorizing what’s in a particular report.

Why is my Equifax credit score difference from Credit Karma?

To recap, Credit Karma provides your TransUnion credit score, which is different from your Equifax credit score.

While the credit bureaus look at the same sort of things — your payment history, credit use, length of credit history, credit mix and new credit — lenders sometimes only report your account information to one  of the bureaus instead of both.

So if Equifax has access to different information about your credit than TransUnion, your scores from each of the bureaus might also be different.

And even though the credit bureaus may have the same information, each bureau has proprietary algorithms that might score you differently.

But that doesn’t mean one credit score is more or less accurate than the others.

Instead of comparing your Equifax credit score to the score you find on Credit Karma, we recommend you look at how each credit score changes over time. Is it going up or down?

Is Equifax better than Credit Karma?

Credit Karma is different from Equifax.

While Equifax compiles your credit report and determines your credit score, Credit Karma simply shows your score and credit report information from TransUnion.

Think of it this way — Credit Karma is like a newspaper that writes about the credit score TransUnion gives you. But we have no influence over your score.

Is my actual credit score higher than Credit Karma?

You can find your TransUnion credit score on Credit Karma.

You have different credit scores, so your other credit score might be higher, or lower, than the TransUnion score you see on Credit Karma.

But as long as you’re looking at the same version of the same score, the TransUnion credit score you see on Credit Karma should be the same as the TransUnion credit score you find on other websites.

What’s next?

Whether you’re checking your Equifax credit report on a third-party website or going to Credit Karma to check your TransUnion credit report, it’s important to regularly monitor your credit file for signs of identity theft — and also to get a general picture of your credit health. Credit Karma offers credit monitoring alerts that help you keep track of activity on your TransUnion credit report.