Experian vs Credit Karma: What's the difference – and is one more accurate? (2024)

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Written by: Credit Karma Staff

If you’re confused about which credit score to pay attention to, we don’t blame you. But rather than comparing Experian 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.

Experian vs Credit Karma: What’s the difference?

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

Experian is one of the three major credit reference agencies in the UK, along with Equifax and TransUnion. These companies compile information about you into reports that are used to generate your credit score.

Credit Karma isn’t a credit reference agency, 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 offer recommendations for credit cards, personal loans, and car finance.

Which credit report is most accurate?

The three major credit reference agencies (“CRAs”) get their information from different sources. This means that your three credit reports from these agencies 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 TransUnion credit scores 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 each lender might use, it’s more important to focus on the general principles of building credit than on memorising what’s in a particular report.

Why is my Experian credit score different from Credit Karma?

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

While the credit reference agencies look at the same sort of things — your payment history, credit use, length of credit history, and new credit — lenders sometimes only report your account information to one or two of the CRAs instead of all three.

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

And even if the three major CRAs may have the same information, each CRA 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 Experian credit scores to the scores you find on Credit Karma, we recommend you look at how each credit score changes over time. Is it going up or down?

Is Experian better than Credit Karma?

Credit Karma is different from Experian.

While Experian 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 from each CRA, so some of your credit scores might be higher than the TransUnion score you see on Credit Karma, while others might be lower.

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 scores you find on other websites.

What’s next?

Whether you’re checking your Experian credit reports 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.

Experian vs Credit Karma: What's the difference – and is one more accurate? (2024)
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