The overall consumer debt in Canada stands at $2.08 trillion in 2021 – 5% higher than it was in 2020. Higher debt levels can have a significant impact on an individual’s credit scores.
Amid rising debt levels in the country, many Canadians are afraid to check their credit scores because they are worried that they might see an unsatisfactory score.
Usually, you would have to pay a fee to get a credit report done. Fortunately, companies like Borrowell and Credit Karma are providing free credit score reports for Canadians now.
The question is: Which Canadian credit monitoring company is better in the Borrowell vs. Credit Karma debate?
Even though my credit score is excellent, I use Borrowell to review my score every few months for fraud.
I will give you a breakdown of Borrowell vs. Credit Karma to help you make an informed decision about which company you should sign up for so that you can monitor your credit score.
- Free credit score and report
- Free credit score monitoring
- Offers unsecured loans
- Credit card comparison
- Safe and secure
- Pulls data from third-party services
- Credit score and reports
- Suggests solutions for problem areas
- Excellent user experience
Borrowell is a fintech leader that has been around since 2014 as a digital lender providing low-interest personal loans to its customers.
The completely digital platform has introduced several services to expand its offerings to customers, and the most significant development was its partnership with Equifax in 2016. Borrowell partnered with the company to become the first digital fintech platform offering Canadian citizens free access to their credit scores.
Borrowell is more than a credit score monitoring company, thanks to its expansive features that also include a credit card comparison portal that lets registered members compare different credit cards.
It comes as no surprise that the company has become very successful over the years and has over one million customers as of August 2021.
- Quick and hassle-free loan access
- Easy-to-use user interface
- Excellent option as a lender for debt management
- Top-notch bank-grade safety standards
- Limited loan options
- Interest rates are not as low as Home Equity Line of Credit
About Credit Karma
Credit Karma is a San Francisco-based company that has been around for much longer than Borrowell. It began in 2007 and has only recently moved to Canada. The fintech company has been providing its service to over 60 million members. It offers users access to free credit scores and reports.
Credit Karma Canada also offers a variety of credit cards you can apply for through their website. Credit Karma partners with TransUnion to provide you with a credit score using a different risk scoring model compared to Equifax.
US-based customers can enjoy additional services with Credit Karma, including loans and tax filing services. Credit Karma also offers its loan services to Canadian citizens through LoanConnect.
- Pulls data from third-party services
- Explains the rationale for credit score and reports
- Suggests solutions for problem areas
- Excellent user experience
- Only displays two credit scores
- Intrusive financial product recommendations
Borrowell vs Credit Karma – Features and Benefits Comparison
This section of my Borrowell vs. Credit Karma comparison will cover the different features and benefits offered by each fintech company to help you understand what you can expect if you sign up for each of the services.
Features and Benefits of Borrowell
Borrowell doesn’t just offer credit score reports and has many other features to go over.
Free Credit Score Monitoring
Borrowell offers its members free access to its Equifax credit score and report. The platform updates the credit scores each week and checking your credit score does not have any impact on your credit score. You can keep closer track of your progress if you are trying to improve your credit health through the credit dashboard in the platform.
Borrowell Unsecured Loans
A winning feature that makes Borrowell more than a simple credit monitoring company is its personal loans service. The company offers personal loans to help people with debt consolidation, home improvement projects, car purchases, business costs, paying off credit cards, and other major purchases. The company partners with lenders throughout Canada to offer competitive rates for loans based on your credit score and history.
Borrowell has a reputation for pairing its members with ideal loans that come without loan pre-payment fees if you can pay off the balance earlier. The loans are typically offered in 3- or 5-year terms.
Borrowell Credit Coaching
Borrowell also features Molly, Canada’s first AI-powered Credit Coach. The platform shows you an overview of your credit history, including any late payments and credit utilization history. These factors impact your credit score.
Borrowell offers you personalized tips and credit education to help you improve your score so that you can build up your credit health over time. You also get a comparison of your credit score with the rest of Canada, so that you have a benchmark that you can compare to when you are trying to improve your credit health.
Assistance in Tracking Your Bills
Borrowell’s bill-tracking tool is one of the platform’s latest features available exclusively on the app. The tracking tool establishes a secure link with your existing bank accounts to help you see your expected bulls and balances. This feature can go a long way in helping you improve your overall financial health by giving you the information necessary to manage your cash flow.
Payment history accounts for 35% of the Equifax credit score. The bill-tracking tool helps you avoid non-sufficient funds fees that can go up to $50 per transaction, allowing you to keep your credit score in better health.
Borrowell Financial Marketplace
Borrowell also provides you with periodic product recommendations that could pair well with you based on your credit score and history. As a member of Borrowell, you can compare rates and features within the app to leverage the most competitive rates available in Canada.
The financial marketplace gives you access to products from over 50 partners that include credit cards, personal loans, bank accounts, home insurance, mortgages, investment products, automated investment platforms, and much more.
Borrowell receives a commission from its partners if you choose to sign up for any of them through the platform, but the company does not bug you with useless recommendations just to earn commissions.
How Does Borrowell Generate Money?
Before Borrowell partnered with Equifax, you would have to pay around $20 per month to Equifax to get monthly credit score reports. You might be wondering how Borrowell allows you to enjoy the same service for free without charging you any money for it.
Borrowell does not rely on charging its customers for their credit scores to earn money. Instead, Borrowell generates revenues by providing recommendations to you from time to time that may be relevant for you. These recommendations can include tailored credit cards that you will be likely to be approved for, banking recommendations, and personalized product offers.
Borrowell effectively relies on affiliate commissions to generate revenues. If you sign up for any of the products and services that Borrowell recommends, the company receives a commission from the providers of the product or service, without costing you a dime.
Borrowell also makes money by offering a personal loan. The company earns a fee on each loan it provides to its customers. The interest rate that you can secure for the loans from Borrowell depends highly on your credit score, which the platform allows you to check for free.
Is Borrowell Safe and Legit?
Yes, Borrowell is entirely safe and legitimate. The company values the privacy and security of its customers and understands the importance of data encryption while acting as a third-party entity between users and their bank accounts. The company has implemented bank-grade 256-bit encryption on all its data entries to protect sensitive financial information from hackers.
The 256-bit encryption complies with the high standards that all major Canadian banks adhere to, making it a crucial reason why I trust Borrowell to track my credit score.
Features and Benefits of Credit Karma
Let’s go over all of Credit Karma’s features now:
Credit Karma Credit History Monitoring
Credit Karma offers you access to check your credit scores and reports completely free of charge. The company has partnered with TransUnion to provide you with credit scores and reports based on TransUnion’s Credit Vision Risk Model. Most credit score monitoring companies in Canada offer credit scores and reports based on Equifax’s model, and Credit Karma is one of the only three companies to offer free scores and reports from TransUnion.
Credit Karma Signature Loans
Credit Karma has partnered with LoanConnect, a Canada-based search engine that specializes in connecting users with a wide range of loan options. LoanConnect is a separate platform in its own right. It means that you can get access to a wide range of loan options that include small short-term loans, long-term loans, and open-ended lines of credit. However, you cannot track your applications or offers using your Credit Karma account.
Credit Karma Charge Cards
Besides the loan search engine, Credit Karma also lets you search for the right credit card for your needs. Depending on your financial history and credit scores, you can search for credit cards through the platform that could offer you a good chance of getting approved. You can search and filter the results based on requirements like bad credit cards, student credit cards, secured vs. unsecured credit cards, etc.
How Does Credit Karma Make Money?
Since getting your credit score through Credit Karma and signing up for the company’s services is free, Credit Karma also relies on generating revenues through affiliate commissions. Credit Karma has access to an extensive record of your credit history and spending habits because you signed up for its services. The company uses the information and your credit history to provide recommendations on credit cards that could meet your needs.
You can expect to see quite a few recommendations and ads on the platform. If you apply for any of the recommended products, Credit Karma gets a commission from the providers at no additional cost to you. Like Borrowell, Credit Karma utilizes your credit history and credit score to figure out which financial products could offer you a high chance of approval.
Borrowell vs. Credit Karma – The Verdict
My personal preference between Borrowell and Credit Karma will remain with Borrowell. I don’t need to check my credit score to see how well I’m doing because my credit score is already good. However, checking my credit score from time to time can help me detect if there’s any credit fraud under my name.
Credit Karma could be a better choice for you. I will briefly discuss for whom both credit card monitoring companies would be ideal.
Use Borrowell if
- You prefer the Equifax credit scoring system
- You want to enjoy the extra features it offers that Credit Karma doesn’t
- You want to use Molly the Credit Coach
You can check out my detailed Borrowell review here to learn more about the credit score monitoring company.
Use Credit Karma if
- You prefer the TransUnion credit scoring system
- You prefer a minimal user interface
- You want to use its blog section for financial tips and advice
While I did sign up for both companies, I prefer Borrowell because I like its interface, it was the first company to offer free credit scores in Canada, and it also offers a referral program where you can get $5 for referring a friend to check their credit score for free.
If you’re looking for a solution to check your credit scores online for free, you cannot go wrong with either option in the Borrowell vs. Credit Karma debate.
You can sign up for Borrowell here and start your free credit reports today.