Mogo vs Credit Karma: Finding the Best Credit Score Site
As a financially savvy Canadian, there are a few things you know to be true. We’re talking about how sometimes the best banking options are entirely online, how a cashback credit card can help your bottom line, and how Robo-advisors make investing more accessible than we could have ever imagined.
True as these might be, the importance of tracking your credit score probably deserves a place somewhere on that list. Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to track your credit score thanks to technology.
In this article, we’ll take a look at both Mogo and Credit Karma, two services that many Canadians use to track their credit report (among other things). Read on to see how things stack up when we look at Mogo vs. Credit Karma.
Table of Contents
Mogo is a Vancouver-based fintech company that was founded in 2003. Upon first glance, Mogo refers to itself as a “money-saving, tree-planting, carbon-sucking machine.” This slogan refers to its Mogo Visa Platinum prepaid card, a unique Visa card that plants a tree for every purchase made with the card (more on this shortly).
Credit Karma first made a name for itself in the United States and has only recently entered Canada. However, it appears that Canadians have quickly embraced the arrival of another free credit score reporting service. Unlike other popular credit tracking apps that rely on Equifax, Credit Karma pulls its score from TransUnion.
With Mogo, your online credit report is free for the first 90 days and continues to be free for anyone with an active MogoCard.
On top of monitoring, Mogo also offers tips for improving your credit score as well as a unique reward initiative that gives away $200 to the customer with the most improved credit score of the month.
Perhaps what’s most enticing about Mogo’s offerings is its identity fraud protection, which comes free for 90 days (or with a MogoCard). This service alerts customers to possible data breaches to stop identity theft before it can have a disastrous effect on a credit score.
Mogo is also in the business of providing personal loans to Canadians for amounts up to $35,000 with flexible terms. MogoMortgage is another service offered by the company which acts as a mortgage brokerage that allows customers to peruse the different mortgage rates offered by different banks and apply for a mortgage loan.
Also among Mogo’s offering is MogoCrypto, a cryptocurrency exchange platform that makes it possible to buy and sell Bitcoin. Mogo has also recently teamed up with Moka, an app that allows you to save by rounding up your purchases and investing the spare charge, though it’s unclear how this integration will appear to Mogo customers as of now.
And what about that tree planting credit card? This would be the MogoCard, a $0 annual fee, reloadable prepaid Visa card that plants trees for every purchase made.
Credit Karma Features
Credit Karma’s main offering is its free credit score reporting and monitoring. Customers are connected to their credit score after answering a few brief questions, with no SIN or credit card info required. You will then be offered a range of credit card options based on your credit score and habits.
Though Credit Karma offers personal loans in the United States, these services are not offered in Canada as of yet. However, it does offer both a mortgage and a loan marketplace that allows customers to compare different rates and offerings.
It’s hard to declare a winner for this category — it’s a bit like the fintech equivalent to comparing apples and oranges. While Mogo offers many more services than Credit Karma, its credit reporting is only free for 90 days (unless you have a MogoCard). If you are looking for a free and straightforward credit report, you can’t go wrong with Credit Karma. If you’re looking for a bit more, then Mogo is the way to go.
As stated above, Mogo offers free credit reporting and identity fraud protection for up to 90 days. If you activate a MogoCard and use it at least once every 90 days, these perks will remain complementary.
There is no annual fee for using the MogoCard. Domestic ATM withdrawals will cost $1.50 plus ATM fees ($3.00 for international withdrawals), and ForEx fees are 2.5%. If you haven’t used your card for 365 days or more, you will be charged a “monthly inactivity fee” of $1.99.
MogoCrypto is free to sign up to, but trades are subject to a 1% fee.
Credit Karma Fees
Using Credit Karma to access and monitor your credit score is free. The company instead makes its money by matching customers with targeted advertisements.
Credit Karma has to win this round, even if it’s just for simplicity’s sake. You can’t go wrong with a 100% free credit report,
Mogo Pros & Cons
Pros: The Good Stuff
Easy to use the mobile app
Unique option for tree planting with every purchase
MogoCard makes it easy to save money and boost credit
Straightforward credit reporting
Peace of mind and protection from identity fraud
Makes it easy to buy and trade Bitcoin
Rewards for improving your credit score
Makes loans accessible for customers of all credit levels
Personalized recommendations for each credit portfolio
MogoMortgage offers bitcoin cashback
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Loan interest rates can be very high (up to 46.96%)
High insufficient fund fees for insolvency
Most of the customer service is provided by chatbots
Credit Karma Pros & Cons
Pros: The Good Stuff
Free and easy-to-access online credit report from TransUnion, which can be hard to find in Canada
Product recommendations are intuitive and useful
Highly rated mobile app
Offers an in-depth explanation of credit ratings
Gives personalized suggestions on how to improve credit score
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Your personal info will be used to generate card recommendations
Targeted ads come from partners so could be biased
The Bottom Line
Both Mogo and Credit Karma offer great options for Canadians who are looking to be more aware of their credit report — the one that you choose will depend largely on your needs. While Credit Karma is one of the best straightforward and easy-to-use credit score tracking services on the market, Mogo offers some great options beyond credit reporting including identity fraud protection and low-cost Bitcoin trading.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mogo and Credit Karma both offer accurate credit scores; they just offer scores from different bureaus. While Mogo pulls its information from Equifax, Credit Karma takes it from TransUnion.
The scores that are reported by either bureau may differ slightly as they may rely on slightly different criteria. However, both scores paint a reliable picture of your credit situation.
Some people prefer to track both their Equifax and TransUnion credit reports as they feel it gives them a more holistic overview of their situation and better prepares them for applying for loans and other products.
Yes, both Mogo and Credit Karma are safe to use. Although it is recommended that you take the necessary precautions that you would use for any online account (such as using a complicated password that would be difficult to guess), you can rest easy knowing that both of these services use the same security measures that your bank uses, such as encryption.
Also, both Mogo and Credit Karma have been around for years, Mogo since 2003 and Credit Karma since 2007 (in the US).
If you haven’t found success using either Mogo or Credit Karma as a credit tracking platform, you should know that there are other options available on the market. While Canadians once had very limited options for tracking their credit score, there are now other options on the market, even aside from Mogo and Credit Karma.
Borrowell is another viable option for online credit score tracking. Otherwise, you can request your credit report directly from the bureaus by mail.