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Why Is Credit Karma Not Accepting My Social Security Number

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Can You Have A Credit Score If You Dont Have A Social Security Number

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The credit bureaus use sensitive information to keep track of your credit history. This information includes your Social Security number, your name, your date of birth, your address, and your employment history. While a Social Security number is an identifier that credit bureaus use to locate and collect your information, itâs only one of several identifiers. If you donât have a Social Security number, credit bureaus can access your credit history using the other identifiers like your name, date of birth, address, and employment history.

While a Social Security number does improve the accuracy of matching credit history with a consumer, it isnât necessarily required to create a credit report and an accompanying credit score.

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Now, lets look at Credit Karma, the other free credit score provider in Canada.

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What Is Your Credit Score

A credit score is a formula that calculates your credit risk based on your credit report at a specific point in time. Your credit report is your credit history and serves as a credit reference.

There is more than one credit score out there. Auto insurance has their own score on which they base your premiums. This specialized score is still based on information in your credit report, but focuses on your auto claims history. As LendEdu states, There are two ways for insurance companies to prosper. The first is to accept government subsidies. The second is to set premiums commensurate with risk. In the automobile insurance market, studies show that drivers with bad credit scores are more likely to file claims. We can speculate as to why this correlation exists, but more to the point is that you benefit by getting lower premiums with a good credit rating. You might be able to save hundreds of dollars over the life of the vehicle just by raising your credit score.

Home insurance is another type of specialized credit score. This score will use information in your credit report but will also take into consideration your home and neighborhood selection to influence your premiums.

The higher your score, the lower the premiums you will pay. You can see that a good credit score is already starting to save you money.

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Why Credit Scores Can Vary

  • Information may be incorrect on a credit report. If information is wrong on your credit report, it will affect your score. Fortunately, you can dispute inaccurate information using the . Getting incorrect information fixed on any credit report is vital, especially if you purchase a home shortly. You can learn how to dispute errors in a credit report in this helpful article from Norton.
  • Some lenders do not report to all three major credit report companies. If a lender does not report to a credit report company, that companys score for you will be different from the score you have at a credit report company with that lenders info.
  • Scoring models differ among credit reporting companies. Each credit reporting company has its own scoring model the model they use to weigh the importance of different aspects of your credit. Since they use different models, they can come up with different scores using the same information. You will notice that all credit agencies have slightly different scores.

So, hopefully, you now have a better understanding of Credit Karma accuracy.

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If you are considering applying for a personal loan, just follow these 3 simple steps.


Apply online for the loan amount you need. Submit the required documentation and provide your best possible application. Stronger applications get better loan offers.


If your application meets the eligibility criteria, the lender will contact you with regard to your application. Provide any additional information if required. Soon youll have your loan offer. Some lenders send a promissory note with your loan offer. Sign and return that note if you wish to accept the loan offer.


The loan then gets disbursed into your U.S. bank account within a reasonable number of days . Now you need to set up your repayment method. You can choose an autopay method online to help you pay on time every month.

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So Whats The Catch With Credit Karma

The question is: How does Credit Karma give you a TOTALLY FREEcredit score when other services want to charge around $20 a month or evenmore?

Remember that its not entirely an altruistic effort Credit Karma is a for-profitbusiness. It is offering you something for free, but it is makingmoney elsewhere. So, how does Credit Karma make money?

The answer is advertising specifically,very targeted advertising based on your financial habits. To take an example,if you have excellent credit, banks are willing to pay big bucks to target youwith their best loans and credit cards because itsultimately cheaper for them over running generic ads to millions of people whomay never qualify for their products.

In the caseof CreditKarma, it will recommend its partners products like credit cards andother loans to you based on your specific credit profile, credit score, andother personal data. As soon as you sign up for one of those products, CreditKarma is compensated for playing the middle man in that transaction.

If theres a downside to Credit Karma,its the fact that, yes, its using your personal credit data to advertise toyou. Its no different than Facebook using your likes to serve ads based onyour interests.

Lets Start With Your Fico Credit Scores

In the old days, banks and other lenders developed their own score cards to assess the risk of lending to a particular person. But the scores could vary drastically from one lender to the next, based on an individual loan officers ability to judge risk.

To solve this issue, the Fair Isaac Corporation introduced the first general-purpose credit score in 1989. Known as the FICO Score, it filters through information in your credit reports to calculate your score.

Since then, the company has expanded to offer 28 unique scores that are optimized for various credit card, mortgage and auto lending decisions.

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Final Thoughts On Credit Karma

So Credit Karma might not be able to tell you exactly what your credit score is but the truth is you have so many scores that it hardly matters. What makes this free service great isnt necessarily the credit scores it offers you but the tools it gives you to protect, monitor, and improve your overall credit. Plus, in my estimation, the Credit Factor section is a real eye-opener for many users while the Credit Simulator could be a real lifesaver.

Since I originally reviewed Credit Karma, Ive had the chance to try other free credit sites as well. While I appreciate what WalletHub and others have to offer, theres no denying that Credit Karmas wealth of features and inclusion of not one but two educational scores help put them at the top of the heap. Therefore, if youre ready to learn about your credit and begin working to improve it, is a fantastic place to start.

Contacted Credit Karma Member Support

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My first step was to contact Credit Karma. It doesnt appear that they have an 800 number to call for assistance, so I started with the

From this page, I navigated to the left of the screen where it says Credit Karma Help and clicked Sign Up. I was taken to a page with a bunch of frequently asked questions, so I scrolled to the bottom and clicked Contact member support. Heres a direct link to that page.

This brought me to a form where I was able to fill in specific details about the thin credit file notification and explain why I thought there must be some type of a mistake. Heres what I wrote:

I have an 800+ credit score and have had credit for many years, but I cant use Credit Karma because it says I have a thin file. I logged in today after years of not bothering and it still says I have a thin file. Help?

My message to Credit Karma

I received an email from Credit Karma almost immediately that included a ticket number. The message said they were experiencing high volumes and would get back to me as soon as possible.

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What You Should Do

Consider skipping the apps to protect your privacy and avoid being bombarded by ads. Some folks may not mind a company collecting data about themsometimes a lot of datafor an easy way to keep track of a credit score. But keep in mind that the score you get may be of limited value and that youll be heavily marketed to.

Look for free credit scores elsewhere. Instead of signing up for an app, check to see whether your bank or credit card offers you access to your credit score, Ejaz says. Many do. Although these free scores are probably not the ones mortgage lenders use, knowing them could help you if you want to apply for a credit card or auto loan.

Get free credit reports. Dont pay for credit reports that you can already get free. Instead, check your credit report weekly at no cost through

Correct errors in your credit report. Your credit score is only as accurate as the credit report it is based on. But, as an earlier CR investigation found, those reports often contain errors. So if you see any errors in your report, contact all three bureaus, in writing using certified mail, about it. Read more about how to fix mistakes in your credit reports.

Editors Note: This article, originally published on September 30, 2021, has been updated to include more information about arbitration and to clarify that Experians premium product also provides lender scores.

Lisa L. Gill

Will Checking My Scores Hurt My Credit

Generally, no. Checking your own credit is generally considered a soft inquiry, meaning it wont have a negative impact on your credit.

Even so, youll want to check the specific language in the terms and conditions whenever you use another service to check your credit file for your credit scores or other credit information.

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Is Credit Karma A Safe Site

With the prevalence of data breaches today, its understandable why people might be hesitant to trust a free site like Credit Karma.

But that concern is largely unfounded, says cybersecurity expert Adam Levin, founder of cyber defense services firm CyberScout.

Levin told us that Credit Karmas security is on par with other well-known financial entities in the United States, employing bank-level security.

Credit Karma and Credit Sesame use the same primary source information as the credit reporting agencies. While they may not have the sheer quantity of data, they have the same quality from the same sources.

Bank level security is very impressive, and financial institutions have made themselves harder targets, but even mega-banks touting superior security have been compromised.

Credit Karma: How It Works

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Foundedon March 8, 2007, Credit Karma is best known as a free credit and financialmanagement platform. Given that, its features also include free federal andstate income tax preparation, credit monitoring , and credit card & loan recommendations. Thefinal service mentioned above, credit card & loan recommendations, is howCredit Karma funds the operation.

Now,lets cast a look over its outstanding free services to check out how itactually works:

  • A Free CreditScore

Themain draw for Credit Karma is the ability to see your credit score for free.Actually, it was one of the first online services to offer this free perk which explains why Credit Karma stands amongst the largest online platformstoday. Plus, Credit Karma teams do a good job marketing through TV commercials.

Tobe more specific, Credit Karma offers you with the VantageScore 3.0 which wasdeveloped by the three credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion asan alternative to the FICO scoring model. Whereas most lenders still prefer theFICO credit score to the VantageScore, the VantageScore is still very similarand can give you a good idea of what your FICO score will be.

Furthermore,each time you log in to Credit Karma, your score from Experian and TransUnionwill update.

  • Free CreditMonitoring

Additionally,since data breaches are repeatedly making news headlines, free creditmonitoring that reports your information from two of the three credit bureausis something everybody should truly consider!

  • Free TaxFiling

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Who Can Use Credit Karma Tax For Free

Often times, free tax offerings are limited to the very basic kinds of tax returns. This was another trick of TurboTax, TaxCut, and the like. If you were filling out a 1040-EZ, then your taxes were totally free. Of course, filling out a 1040-EZ takes about 10 minutes and isnt at all complicated, so it wasnt worth much. According to Credit Karma they support a pretty wide range of tax returns, so lets start with what forms Credit Karma does not support when using Credit Karma taxes.

You cannot do your taxes on CreditKarma if you:

  • Need to do multi-state or part-year state filing This should only really matter if you moved or happen to split time between two states. This is much more common in the Northeast where the states are pretty small and someone can realistically work/live across state lines.
  • Need to report Foreign Income This can get tricky fast, so I dont blame them here.
  • Need to file Married Filing Separately, in community property states. I cant claim to have any knowledge about what the deal is with this, but if it sounds like you, dont use Credit Karma tax to do your taxes.
  • Youre also out of luck if you need to file a 1040-PR for residing in Puerto Rico.

I pulled up my taxes from last year, and while my return isnt super complicated, I am usually forced to buy higher-end versions of tax software to complete my taxes. I did find that Credit Karma says it supports all of the Forms I used to file my taxes last year.

What Personal Information Does Credit Karma Collect From Its Users

In order for your Credit Karma account to work, it needs to matchyour identity with your TransUnion and Equifax credit files. To do that, youllneed to give the site the following personal information as soon as you signup:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security Number

Beingrequired to submit the last four digits of a Social Security Number is usuallywhat gives many people pause. So why does Credit Karma need it?

Thesite uses your full name and the last four digits to your Social SecurityNumber to match your identity to your Equifax and TransUnion creditfiles.

For most people these data will beenough but, in some cases, the site may need your full SSN to match it to the correct file.

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What Is Credit Karma

Scores are updated once a week, and the company only performs a soft inquiry on your credit to get the necessary information. This means your score is never impacted by it checking your credit on your behalf. Credit Karma also offers lots of credit advice, customizable loan calculators, and reviews on financial products of all kinds.

I Submitted My Taxes On Credit Karma And Was Accepted But I Didnt Get A Refund I Submitted My Taxes On Turbotax And Got A Refund But Was Rejected What Should I Do

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I submitted my 2018 tax returns on Credit Karma and accidentally hit “efile” I am not getting a refund since I owe more state taxes, but both federal and state were accepted.

I input all of my information on Turbotax and I am getting a refund and when I file it was rejected since I already filed tax. What can I do? Can I amend the submitted Credit Karma efile with the data pulled from Turbo Tax? What forms would I need?

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How Credit Karma Makes Money

Credit Karma’s business model is not entirely altruistic. It is a for-profit business that makes money by giving you a free credit score in exchange for learning more about your spending habits and charging companies to serve you .

Credit Karma places advertisements in front of its users, hoping that they will respond to them by clicking on them. Many of these advertisers are lenders, and Credit Karma may earn a fee if you apply through one of its links.

Your personal data is valuable stuff to advertisers, and they pay more to target it. With more than 100 million users, this is a healthy revenue model for Credit Karma.

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