Q&A: Why is my Experian® score higher than Credit Karma?

Updated on January 8, 2024

Question: Why is my Experian® score higher than Credit Karma?

Answer: Ah, the age-old question of differing credit scores! It can be a tad confusing when you see different numbers from different sources. Let’s unravel this mystery.

First off, Credit Karma provides you with credit scores based on the VantageScore 3.0 model, which is developed jointly by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. On the other hand, when you check your score directly with Experian, you might be looking at a FICO score, which is a different scoring model.

Here’s the deal: even though both VantageScore and FICO look at similar factors like payment history, credit utilization, and length of credit history, they weigh these factors a smidge differently. This can lead to variations in scores. For instance, a high credit card balance might impact your VantageScore more than your FICO score or vice versa.

Another thing to consider is the data each score is based on. Credit reports might have slight differences between the bureaus. Maybe one bureau hasn’t recorded your latest payment, or there’s a discrepancy in the accounts listed. These differences can influence your score.

Lastly, remember that credit scores can be updated frequently. If you checked your Experian score and then your Credit Karma score a few days apart, there might have been updates or changes in between.

In a nutshell, it’s totally normal for credit scores to vary a bit between sources. The key is to focus less on the exact number and more on the factors affecting your score. If you’re consistently responsible with your credit across the board, both your VantageScore and FICO score should reflect that over time.

Stilt, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide financial, tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own financial, tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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