NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Millions of people use Credit Karma to check their credit scores, but just how accurate are those scores?

A lot of people are getting a big surprise when they apply for a loan right now. Consumer reporter Lindsay Bramson found out why and where you can go for the most accurate credit scores.

Credit karma, which has been around for 14 years, makes accessing your credit score easy. The company makes its money from advertisers and by providing your information to potential lenders. 

Bramson put in her score, and voila! Her scores popped up from two of the three credit bureaus. The same scores lenders use right? Most likely not.

Instead of FICO, Credit Karma relies on another scoring agency called Vantage Score. We’re not saying free services like Credit Karma are bad. We’re just saying the scores are estimates.

Most lenders pull your FICO and there are several scores for mortgages and cars and credit cards. 

“You really don’t need a third party,” said Liz Coyle, executive director of Georgia Watch — a consumer advocacy group based in Georgia.

If you want accuracy, experts say use these sources: Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Because of the pandemic, they’ve been offering more access than ever before. And it’s free.

“Right now you can get your free credit report from all three reporting credit bureaus weekly, and if you want, you could stagger and get your report three times in one week,” said Coyle.

To get your free reports, click here. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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