Does Credit Karma request too much information?
One complaint about Credit Karma is the company requests an extensive amount of sensitive personal and financial information when you sign up for their services. If this information were to fall into the wrong hands, it could easily be used to steal a person’s identity. With this in mind, there are quite a few people who are reluctant to give this information simply to acquire a free credit score/report.
The problem is Credit Karma needs this sensitive information, at least much of it, in order to obtain your credit score/report. Without the information, they would be unable to know if they are pulling the information for the correct person. That means you’ll have to give your social security number along with other identifying information in order to obtain their offers. The company asks for the information because they can’t provide the free reports without it.
Is it safe to give this sensitive information to Credit Karma?
The question then becomes will the company be able to keep this sensitive information safe so it doesn’t get stolen? There is always a risk in giving sensitive information to a third-party company, as it gives this information another place where it might be intercepted by identity thieves. Credit Karma also doesn’t have the best track record in keeping this information secure. They recently had to settle with the FTC for not keeping their mobile app secure, and potentially leaving their users vulnerable to “man in the middle” hacking attacks.
Can you delete your information?
Another question to consider is do you want to give your sensitive financial information to Credit Karma forever? If someone wishes to deactivate their account from sites which give free credit scores and reports, then the companies will deactivate the account. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, all your information has been deleted. In actuality, it’s common for these companies to keep all of the personal information of their former users. While it’s common for a website to retain information after an account is deleted, most websites do not have your personal financial information.
Is it worth the risk?
Ultimately, the question each person needs to ask themselves is whether or not getting access to a free credit score and credit report is worth the risks involved. In the scheme of things, the risks are probably fairly minimal considering a lot of this information is available in other ways. That being said, there is certainly more of a risk than if you didn’t give them the information in the first place. In the end, it’s important for each person to understand what information they are willing to give, and the risks involved in giving that information, to obtain a no-cost credit score.
(Photo courtesy of Scott Schiller)