Consumer Reports: Credit score apps

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS (WSYR-TV) — Credit score apps like Credit Karma, Experian Credit Report, and others promise instant access to credit scores, along with other features like score monitoring.

Sounds great, until you dig a little deeper. A Consumer Reports investigation of five of these apps revealed– they all have significant drawbacks and few upsides.

“Our investigation showed that the apps can pose serious privacy risks, and what’s
worse, our survey of consumers who have used them revealed that in some cases
they didn’t even provide an accurate credit score.”

Lisa Gill, Consumer Reports Investigative Reporter

In fact, four of the five apps CR investigated often charge users for access to their credit reports, which consumers are legally entitled to for free – while really not providing you access to the type of credit scores that most lenders use.

“Several of the apps use the VantageScore 3.0, which really has limited value
because many lenders don’t use it,” says Gill.

Syed Ejaz, a policy analyst at Consumer Reports, says all consumers should have a legal right to obtain a free, accurate credit score, and there’s a bill in Congress that would require it, but so far, it hasn’t been scheduled for a vote.

CR asked all five credit app companies about their consumer privacy, data collection, and data sharing practices. Each responded, saying — they take consumer privacy very seriously and that consumer trust is paramount to their business.


Remember, there are ways to get your credit score without using a credit score app. Try checking to see if your bank or credit card offers you access.

And you can also check your credit report weekly for free through AnnualCreditReport.com

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