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If you’re shopping for a credit card or loan, the only words sweeter than “You’re approved!” may be, “You’re pre-approved!” But according to the FTC, many people who got “pre-approved” credit offers from Credit Karma weren’t approved for credit and, as a result, wasted time applying and saw their credit scores drop when their applications were denied.

An FTC lawsuit alleges that Credit Karma deceived people by claiming — falsely — that they had been “pre-approved” or had “90% odds” of approval for credit cards or loans offered by banks and lenders that used Credit Karma to promote their financial products.

Under a settlement, Credit Karma will pay $3 million to reimburse people who responded to its allegedly deceptive offers but were ultimately denied credit. The order also prohibits Credit Karma from making misleading claims that people have been or are likely to be approved for credit or loans.

Credit Karma touts online access to credit information and tools. To join, people must give Credit Karma personal information and agree to let it collect financial and other information about them. Credit Karma recommends financial products to its users and is paid by the financial product companies when users get their products.

According to the FTC, Credit Karma sent its users recommendations in the form of deceptive “pre-approved” credit offers from at least February 2018 through April 2021, knowing that users were more likely to respond if they believed their applications would be accepted. But, the FTC says, for many of the supposed offers, nearly a third of the people who applied were rejected by the companies whose product Credit Karma recommended, based on disqualifying financial characteristics, like bankruptcies.

What’s more, the FTC says, the companies’ reviews showed up as hard inquiries on the rejected applicants’ credit reports. A “hard inquiry” indicates that you have applied for credit and can lower your credit score. People also wasted significant time applying for credit cards they weren’t eligible to get, the FTC says.

Concerned about your credit? There are ways to monitor and protect it without giving away your personal information. Understanding Your Credit has the details.

143 Comments


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Tania Figuera
September 12, 2022

Credit Karma keeps doing the same, confirming that i've been pre approved to get a credit card and when i applied it was declined, now my score changed, how may i to do??

Chris
September 12, 2022

I too was misled. CK always had me around 60 points higher than I actually was. Was turned down from offers also.

Lori Denise Sirbono
September 12, 2022

Yes they did it to me, even when I called the company to let them know it was not valid still took a hit on my credit.

Thomas R pimentel
September 13, 2022

I've had so many hard inquiries on my credit report because of this misleading information and being denied after it states pre Approved and screwed me over a couple times to actually receive a loan or credit card because of that.

Mel Bitt
September 12, 2022

this has happen to me 3 times in the past 12 months. It's disgusting what is happening

Patricia A You…
September 12, 2022

Yes. How do you get this money? I was deceived several times by credit karma..

Debbie williams
September 12, 2022

I started using credit karma to build my credit after death of my husband I was preaproved for capital one and denied and hard inquiry made my score go down 15 points they also want me to get loan on my house and car insurance

Kristen
September 12, 2022

CK told me I was pre approved for a credit card offer and I too was turned down by the company they suggested, this lowered my credit score for NOTHING.

Billie Williams
September 12, 2022

I was affected by credit karma and it's pre-approved offers. I applied three different times and was denied each time bringing my credit score down even lower

Evelyn Candela
September 12, 2022

Credit karma not only sent me email about me being pre-approved, But always started my odds was excellent to be approved, So I did apply to the cards that credit karma recommended with guarantee approval, not only to be denied but now having more then one hard pull on my credit report. Thank you to the FTC for holding credit karma responsible for their deception to the consumer.

Angela willhite
September 12, 2022

Yes I have been notified on credit karma I was pre-approved for a credit card and then when I did it was denied

Shenese broadus
September 12, 2022

Finally they’re being stopped! So misleading and caused hard inquiries! How do we sign up to file a claim?

Kellystanton
September 12, 2022

Ye I was falsely informed that I was pre-approved for a credit card and loan then denied.. with hard hits left on my credit in 2018 and 2019

DDCR
September 12, 2022

Not sure what I had happen, I had applied for an 18 month 0% Citi card, I rec’d w/ substantially lower credit limit than normal. I then started getting denials from countless banks I never filled out info for but they were from Credit Karma! They caused me to get lower credit for the card I wanted! I was told that it wouldn’t hurt my credit. I’d like to know what to do about this!

Gwen
September 12, 2022

I applied several times and was denied

Robin
September 12, 2022

I also received several offers and actually applied finally. Then I noticed my credit score go down. How do I go forward?

Alan Greathouse
September 12, 2022

I also was drawn in what do I do next

Bruce Calkins
September 12, 2022

I Applied since it said my odds were Very Good and got Denied. My credit was Affected

Ashley
September 12, 2022

I was affected by this as well. what should I do next?

Steven
September 12, 2022

Credit karma got me as well
What should I do now?

Chris Sanford
September 12, 2022

I was also effected by credit karmas practices. I was not approved and my score went down even further. How do I include myself in this pay out?

Pamela Brady
September 12, 2022

Me too with Credit Karma we said I was pre-approved with many credit cards and was denied they say it doesn't affect your credit well it does

Priscilla Garde
September 12, 2022

I still get e-mails from credit karma with pre approved credit cards. I stopped applying after the third card offer regretted to inform me that I was denied.
Honestly I think because I am half mexican my credit scrore was unfair to begin with, now it is taking me longer to get a decent score to buy a house. 41 years single mother of 4 which 3 of them have special needs. It has been a nightmare.
They made me feel like I will never get there.
But I know if they fix the systematic racism our CHILDREN (AMERICAN) will truly have equal opportunity.

Sharon Gilliam
September 12, 2022

I was pre-approved for credit cards and loans only to denied after submitting an application.

Lori L- NY
September 12, 2022

Credit karma has misled me numerous times regarding approval and advice, I have been denied credit repeatedly through their site, and any time my credit rating has improved or my actual credit score did increase the advice on their site was deceptive and repeated denials of credit. Resulting in my credit score dropping dramatically. The offers they set you up with have predatory/usary interest rates as well.

Loretta Young
September 12, 2022

I was one of credit karma

carolyn page
September 12, 2022

I was fasly told I was approved for a loan and after pulling my credit report was denied.

Michelle
September 12, 2022

Yes, i was falsely advised on Credit Karma that my “approval odds were excellent” applied for the card and was denied. Then my score dropped for applying. Also, shows my credit scores and they are not even accurate as well as Bank(s) use them for credit scores for loans, again denied for score! As a Consumer, hard to trust or rely on any company.

Michele
September 13, 2022

I have had credit karma do this on numerous occasions to me, where do I sign up for the lawsuit

FTC Staff
September 16, 2022

In reply to by Michele

If you were denied for a “pre-approved” credit product advertised by Credit Karma, report it to the FTC at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov. After the settlement is final, the FTC will publish updates on www.ftc.gov/refunds. Don’t pay anything or give personal information to someone who offers to help you get a refund.

Thomas King
September 13, 2022

I applied multiple times through credit karma and was denied through various loans and credit cards impacting my credit score.

Kathleen Morgan
September 16, 2022

I borrowed 1,000.00 dollars from a loan company on line and now they are telling me I owe them 6,000.00 dollars

David Lindsay
September 16, 2022

Credit karma told me that my credit was outstanding and my odds of getting a credit card was very good I applied for a card a couple times only to be denied and my score to drop because of hard enquiries I also called a loan company they said would give me credit without hurting my credit score I've been trying to build my credit up and they lied to me and now my score needs improvement smh. How do I get ahold of someone to talk to about my issue. Thank you very much. David w Lindsay

Carter Reed
September 16, 2022

I was also deceived on the preapproval’s and when I applied I got denied multiple times how do I apply for the suit

Carol Madigan
September 16, 2022

I had not heard about this claim & applied for a credit card yesterday that had great approval odds. I was declined. This is a hard credit inquiry which brought my credit down! This morning I received an email from the credit card company offering me "Credit Builder Account" which is a loan! A marketing ploy to be sure! I am trying to build my credit score after the death of my husband of 43 years in a car accident. I'm 71 years old. You would think I would have seen through this! Please add me to the list of complaints!

FTC Staff
September 21, 2022

In reply to by Carol Madigan

If you were denied for a “pre-approved” credit product advertised by Credit Karma, report it to the FTC at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov. After the settlement is final, the FTC will publish updates on www.ftc.gov/refunds. Don’t pay anything or give personal information to someone who offers to help you get a refund.

Percy Watson
September 21, 2022

Pre approve kept my new score low and lot of hard inquiries. I thought build my credit but keep getting denied.

Melissa McCall
September 21, 2022

How do I receive benefits?

Linda Coleman Alsup
September 21, 2022

How do you proceed

sheila owens
September 22, 2022

They did that to me as well and it dropped my score dramatically. And the loan company will call you and get all your information again and then say they are going to connect you with one of their partners to discuss your options and your immediately transferred to Lexington law firm who pushes you to accept there help after saying no thanks to them and then they switch to the making you feel guilty about it technic

Ericka Latrice…
September 22, 2022

I was also affected by the false information from credit karma and dealing with hard inquiries on my report had me extremely depressed

Sylvester Anth…
September 22, 2022

I was greatly affected by credit karma’s “Guarantee.” How do I move forward?

Guess
September 26, 2022

Almost all credit card offers say preapproved. That should be against the law. It is very misleading.