It's free and it looks like the max error is 70 points, typically within 30. I don't really understand your overt derision of the service, it works pretty well.
The error on mine was around 80 points. While yes, the service is free (paid for by all of the ads) many people use it as a benchmark and plan mortgage interest rates etc. on the information. An error that high could costs thousands of dollars in interest over the course of a loan. That being said, I have to agree with the OP... as far as representing your actual score, they are shit. If you want credit card reviews and what not, they are great.
The error doesn't cost you anything, bad credit does.
Again, its free and all evidence points to the fact that it is pretty reliable. Not really understanding the ire towards it.
Very true on the first point, but when they have a margin of error of 14% based on your earlier statement (a few other posters have confirmed with a score a lot lower, or higher than represented by CK) it should not be considered "pretty reliable". While I do not pay anything to use google maps, I would not use it for directions if it took me to the wrong location 14% of the time.
Agreed. I was expecting an error in the 3-5% range. It appears to be off by 28% or more if I'm thinking correctly. It is a 500 point scale (approximately) so if they could be off 70 points in either direction that is 140 points divided by 500. (It is actually far worse than the percentage because it is more of a bell curve and the difference between a "very good" score and a "poor" score can be 70 points. For the most part the only incremental scores that matter are those between 670 and 750.) So yeah, 70 points can be a huge freaking deal.
FICO is "the" score used by credit card rewards companies and mortgage companies and auto lenders. In my case, a bum deal, as I actually changed my aggressive behavior to improve my credit score because I believed my score was much higher. I was living in the "my credit is pretty good!" zone when in fact my credit sucks.
The fact that CK uses the Experian and Transunion logos and brands gives a high implication that there is some correspondence between the CK score and the actual FICO score, when in fact there is not. CK is a credit card marketing company pure and simple.
And to be truthful I don't think someone whose CK scored showed 690 but was actually a 750 FICO would be too pleased either. Showing that 690 would be enough to eliminate them from any rewards programs. It may even be enough to discourage them from buying a home.
Don't forget FICO scores are used for all sorts of stuff from housing rental, to security clearances, to employment screenings, to insurance pricing. So it goes way beyond just credit.
Yeah, crap, damn, hell fire, I'm pissed. Screw Credit Karma!