Borrowell vs Credit Karma: Which Is The Best Free Credit Score Service?

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In this Borrowell vs Credit Karma comparison, we’ll look at how the two services compare for Canadians looking to get free credit scores and credit reports.

A good credit score is required to get low-interest rate loans with fast approvals in Canada. But to maintain a good credit score, you need to track it regularly.  

In the past, Canadians have had to pay an average of $20 to check their credit scores and monitor their credit report.

Fortunately, the emergence of free credit score service providers in the early 20s makes it possible to check and track your credit at no cost in Canada.

Borrowell and Credit Karma are currently the leading free credit score service providers in Canada with similar features. Hence, it’s easy to get confused about which to use between the two companies. 

This article provides a Borrowell vs Credit Karma review and discusses the key differences between the two. In the end, you’ll know which service to sign up for or if it’s best to use both services.

Let’s get started!


Overview of Borrowell

Borrowell is a Canada-based company founded in 2014 to provide credit score services and other financial products. 

The company was the first to offer free credit score services in Canada, helping it to quickly grow its user base to more than 2 million users in Canada.

Apart from the free credit score and credit report from Borrowell, it also offers other financial products to its users.

A popular and innovative product from the company is Borrowell Boost. This tool saves users from overdraft fees by offering a $75 (interest-free) cash advance against non-sufficient funds. 

Through its partnership with over 50 financial companies in Canada, Borrowell offers a wide selection of financial products that it recommends to its users at no additional cost. 

Borrowell

Rating 4.7/5

Free credit score and credit report

Interest-free cash advance to prevent NSF

Financial products recommendations

AI-powered credit coach

COST Free CREDIT BUREAU Equifax

Borrowell Pros

  • Free credit score services.
  • Interest-free cash advance against non-sufficient funds (NSF).
  • Customized financial products.
  • Intuitive interface.

Borrowell Cons

  • High loan interest on some of the personal loans recommended

Borrowell Products & Services

The following are the current financial products and services offered by Borrowell: 

1. Credit Score Services

Borrowell is a pioneer in the free credit score and report space in Canada – a service that others are just starting to introduce. 

It uses Equifax’s proprietary model to offer free weekly credit score and credit report services to its over 2 million users. But note that this score may be different from the ones used by lenders when accessing your creditworthiness.

The credit report and credit score are updated weekly with your credit performance over the previous week with personalized financial products that can improve your credit score. 

Another interesting thing is that your Borrowell dashboard shows your credit profile and credit performance, allowing you to easily identify areas you can improve on. More on this below.

2. Credit Coach

Getting a weekly credit score or credit report is useless if you don’t know how to improve it or why it may have moved.

And that’s where the Borrowell AI-powered Credit Coach, Molly, comes in. With this service, Borrowell users get access to a free credit coach service that analyses their credit and provides actionable advice to follow. 

Simply put, Molly helps you understand and improve your credit profile by sharing personalized tips, insights and tools available from your Borrowell dashboard.

In the end, you will get customized recommendations on how to improve your credit score for free.

3. Borrowell Boost

This is a credit booster that saves you from the consequences of insufficient funds on your upcoming dues. The tool funds your bank account with a $75 (interest-free) cash advance against your forthcoming bills. 

What this means is that you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees or credit score decrease that results from insufficient funds on due payments.

4. Financial Products

Borrowell has over 50 financial products that it recommends to its users based on their credit profiles. These products are offered by some of the top financial companies in Canada. 

The company is able to determine which product is suitable for you through your answers to the registration questionnaire.

While your financial goals may be considered too, in most cases, your credit profile determines the recommendations you get from Borrowell. 

So you can get recommendations for any or a combination of the following financial products.

  • Bank accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Insurance
  • Investing products

How Does Borrowell Make Money?

Are you wondering how Borrowell makes money when it offers an all-round free credit score service? Is there a catch?

First, Borrowell truly offers a service that is completely free to its users. However, Borrowell makes money based on the financial products it recommends to its users.

These products include bank accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, insurance and investment products. Borrowell is paid an affiliate commission when you sign up for any of these products at no additional cost to you.


Overview of Credit Karma

Credit Karma is a US-based fintech established in 2007 to offer free credit score services and other financial products.

The multinational company expanded to Canada in 2016 and has since become one of the leading providers of free credit score services in the country. 

Credit Karma uses both TransUnion and Equifax models to offer credit scores and credit reports that accurately reflect the information of its over 60 million users. 

Also, you can also access personalized personal loans and credit cards on Credit Karma to help build your credit score. 

Credit Karma

Rating 4.5/5

Free credit score and credit report

Free Credit articles and education

Financial products recommendations

Powered by TransUnion

COST Free CREDIT BUREAU TransUnion

Credit Karma Pros

  • Free credit score and report
  • Free credit education
  • Clean, minimal user interface
  • Financial products recommendation

Credit Karma Cons

  • Limited product offering

Credit Karma Products & Services

The following are the current financial products and services offered by Credit Karma: 

1. Credit Score Services

Credit Karma offers free weekly credit score and credit reports services based on a TransUnion credit scoring model. 

Also, you can track your credit progress and find areas that need improvement on your Credit Karma dashboard at no cost.

Borrowell vs Credit Karma showing the dashboard

2. Credit Cards

Credit Karma also offers access to a comprehensive collection of credit cards including secured, unsecured, student and bad credit cards. 

Like personal loans, your credit card eligibility and interest rate depend on your credit profile. However, you can access an unsecured or bad credit card on Credit Karma even if you have a poor credit score.

3. Personal Loans

The company partners with LoanConnect to offer its users access to a wide range of personal loans in Canada. 

You can get up to $50,000 short to long-term loans or lines of credits on Credit Karma depending on your credit history.

But since LoanConnect is a search engine that partners with multiple lenders in Canada, you are more likely to get a lender that’s ready to offer you a loan regardless of your credit profile. 

4. Mortgages

Credit Karma offers access to mortgages through its partnership with Nesto. You can choose from over 2,000 mortgage products and get pre-negotiated rates from different lenders on Nesto. 

As a result, you can easily compare and choose from the best mortgage options that meet your needs. 

Learn more: Credit Karma Review


How Does Credit Karma Make Money?

Like Borrowell, Credit Karma makes money through the financial products it recommends to its users. 

It recommends credit cards, personal loans and mortgages to its users based on their credit scores. 

When you purchase a recommended product, Credit Karma will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. 

The same thing applies if you make a purchase through an advertisement on the Credit Karma website or mobile app.


Borrowell vs Credit Karma Comparison

Key FeaturesBorrowellCredit Karma
Credit score servicesFreeFree
Credit bureaus EquifaxTransUnion
Report frequency*WeeklyWeekly
Mobile appYesYes
Loans YesYes
Safety256-bit encryption128-bit encryption
Extra featuresCredit coach, credit boost, banking, mortgage, insurance, and investing productsMortgage, credit cards and personal loans

By now you might have noticed key differences between Borrowell vs Credit Karma. But to be clear, here’s a detailed view of how they differ per their key features.

Borrowell vs Credit Karma: Credit Score Services 

Both Borrowell and Credit Karma offer free weekly credit check and credit report services to their respective users. 

In addition, they both have customized dashboards that help users track their credit scores for free. 

However, Borrowell’s Credit Coach makes things easier by helping to monitor and improve your credit profile in one simple dashboard.

You may find this ideal if you’re looking for an all-in-one free credit score service.

Also, though both services let you monitor your credit score on a weekly basis, only Borrowell does this automatically. With Credit Karma, you have to login to trigger the weekly update.

Borrowell vs Credit Karma: Credit Bureaus

Borrowell’s credit scores are provided by Equifax, while Credit Karma is powered by TransUnion. 

You may be a bit confused about which of the two companies offer accurate credit scores or reports. But Equifax and Transunion are the top credit bureau services in Canada. 

The thing is, both TransUnion and Equifax offer accurate credit scores and credit reports based on the information or model used. 

TransUnion uses VantageScore 3.0 credit score model while Equifax uses the Equifax Risk Score (ERS 2.0) model to determine credit scores. This means each credit bureau uses different factors to calculate your credit score.

As a result, the results you get from Borrowell,  Credit Karma or other credit reports may vary based on the information used from your credit profile.  

Learn more about how your credit score is calculated here. 

Borrowell vs Credit Karma: Safety

Your personal information on both Borrowell and Credit Karma are secured with advanced encryption. Borrowell uses 256-bit encryption while Credit Karma uses 128-bit encryption.

In addition, your credit score will not be impacted after checking by either Borrowell or Credit Karma because they both conduct a soft credit check when pulling your credit information.

Borrowell vs Credit Karma: Extra Features

Obviously, Borrowell has more offerings than Credit Karma in terms of credit services and financial products. 

Unlike Credit Karma, Borrowell offers a free credit coach, credit booster, banking products, insurance and investment products.


Which to Choose Between Credit Karma vs Borrowell?

The differences between Credit Karma vs Borrowell are now obvious to see. Both companies offer free weekly credit score services to their users.

Even though they’re powered by different credit bureaus, both Credit Karma and Borrowell generate accurate results based on the information analyzed. 

This means you can’t make the wrong choice with either Credit Karma or Borrowell in terms of credit check, credit report and credit monitoring. 

If you’re interested in your Equifax credit scores or report, you may find Borrowell ideal. On the other hand, Credit Karma would be your option if you’re looking for your TransUnion credit report and score.

However, Borrowell beats Credit Karma in terms of product offerings due to its free credit coach, credit booster, banking products, insurance and investment products. 

Overall, the choice is yours to make but my Borrowell vs Credit Karma comparison is positive. 


Should you sign up for both Borrowell and Credit Karma?

Definitely! If you’re interested in monitoring your credit score, then it makes absolute sense to get your credit score and credit score from the 2 credit bureaus in Canada.

It is common to have different information on your credit file at both credit bureaus – largely because some financial institutions may only report to one or the other credit bureaus.

That means you should be checking your credit report from both Equifax and TransUnion to have a holistic view of your credit profile.

Your bank may already provide a free credit score service from one of the 2 credit bureaus- for example, RBC offers free credit score and credit report service powered by TransUnion.

If that’s the case with you, simply sign up for a service – Borrowell or Credit Karma – that provides credit information from the other credit bureau.


FAQs on Borrowell vs Credit Karma

Is Borrowell accurate for credit score?

Yes. Borrowell offers accurate credit score services based on the information analyzed on Equifax Risk Score (ERS 2.0) scoring model. However, the Equifax scoring model used by your lender may be from the Borrowell credit score. 

Is Credit Karma the most accurate?

Like Borrowell, Credit Karma credit score and reports are based on a proprietary credit scoring model from TransUnion. And so the reports are accurate based on the information contained on your credit file.

Why is Borrowell lower than Credit Karma?

Borrowell credit score is often lower than the Credit Karma credit score because of the different credit bureaus providing the scores. In general, Equifax credit scores are lower than the ones at TransUnion partly because of the different credit score models, how different factors are weighed and more financial institutions reporting to Equifax.

Is TransUnion or Equifax higher?

TransUnion credit score is often higher than Equifax credit score because of how the different factors used to calculate your credit scores are weighed. Your TransUnion credit score may also be higher because your credit file is missing some information.

Why is there a 100 point difference between TransUnion?

A big difference of up to 100 points in your TransUnion or Equifax credit scores in Canada is most likely because a lender is not reporting to TransUnion. Timing differences between when new information like credit inquiry or new credit are recorded is also a common explanation for big differences between Equifax and TransUnion scores.


Verdict on Borrowell vs Credit Karma Comparison

Both Borrowell and Credit Karma are great choices for anyone looking to track and monitor their credit score and credit report in Canada.

Hopefully, this Borrowell vs Credit Karma comparison has provided you with the information you need to make a choice between these two leading providers of free credit scores in Canada.

But since they’re both free and won’t harm your credit score, you should consider signing up for both Credit Karma and Borrowell to get a more accurate view of your credit profile.

Alternatively, you can narrow your selection based on the company that offers the products you need. As discussed above, Borrowell and Credit Karma differ considerably in terms of product offerings.

Bottom line is – you really can’t go wrong with either free credit score provider.

What next? Learn the other ways for getting your free credit score and credit report in Canada. If you need more clarification, please leave a comment below.

Kindly explore our existing blog posts to learn more about the best free financial products and services in Canada. 

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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