Borrowell and Credit Karma are free credit score sites that give Canadians access to their credit scores and report at no charge.
In addition to these two services, they also offer other financial products, including personal loans, credit cards, credit monitoring, identity protection, mortgages, and more.
A few years ago, you could only obtain your credit score directly from the credit bureaus (TransUnion and Equifax) at an average cost of $20 per month.
These days, you get it for free through online fintech companies like Borrowell, which gives you access to the updated score every week in addition to your free credit report.
This Borrowell vs Credit Karma comparison covers what you need to know.
Borrowell vs. Credit Karma
|Credit score||Free – Updated weekly||Free – Updated monthly|
|Credit report||Free – Updated weekly||Free – Updated monthly|
|Loan amount||$500 to $50,000||N/A|
|Loan term||6 months to 7 years||N/A|
|Other products||Credit cards, mortgage,|
insurance, savings, and investing
These three companies offer similar products and some non-similar ones as well. On a general note, if all you want is to access your credit score, they all provide this service for free.
Following registration, you should expect to receive occasional email offers containing product recommendations, such as credit cards and personal loans.
You are not obliged to sign up for any of these services and can unsubscribe from receiving emails anytime.
What is Borrowell?
Borrowell is an online fintech company that provides free credit scores, credit reports, fixed-rate personal loans, credit cards, and mortgages.
The company was founded in 2014 and is partnered with several popular financial institutions, including EQ Bank, CIBC, Equifax, Scotiabank, BMO, CIBC, Capital One, Power Financial Corporation, etc.
It provides services to clients throughout Canada and has its headquarters in Toronto.
Borrowell Free Credit Score
Over 1.5 million Canadians are reported to have received their free credit scores through Borrowell. Obtaining your free score and report is easy and takes no more than 3 minutes.
Simply open an account, enter your basic details (your SIN is not required), and get your credit score. The score and report they provide are through Equifax.
In addition to free credit scores and reports, you can also use Borrowell for the following services:
Borrowell Personal Loans
You can obtain unsecured personal loans up to $50,000 at fixed rates between 6.99% and 46.96% (APR). The APR includes both the interest rate and the origination fee charged following loan approval.
Loan terms are between 6 months to 7 years, and you can pay it up sooner to lower your interest rate.
Application for loans is completed online. If approved, your funds are deposited into your bank account, and the entire process can be completed within two days.
Personal loans are not available in Quebec.
Borrowell Credit Cards and Mortgages
It has a portal to compare different types of credit cards and apply for them.
Like credit cards, Borrowell also compares mortgage rates from various lenders for different mortgage rate types (fixed vs. variable), terms, and other conditions.
When you obtain a credit card, mortgage, or other financial product through Borrowell, the banks or lenders who own the product pay them a referral fee.
What is Credit Karma?
Credit Karma has been operating in the United States since 2007, providing services to more than 60 million members. It recently expanded to Canada.
The company provides users with access to free credit scores and reports. In addition, it offers a variety of credit cards you can apply for on its website.
The credit score and report you receive are based on TransUnion’s Credit Vision Risk Scoring model. In the U.S., Credit Karma provides additional services, including loans (personal, home, auto, student, and business) and tax filing.
If you apply for any of its product recommendations (i.e. credit cards in Canada), Credit Karma receives a referral fee from the bank or lender.
Related: How To Understand Your Credit Report
What is Mogo?
Mogo has stopped offering access to Equifax credit score checks. You can use Borrowell or Loans Canada instead.
Mogo is another fin-tech company in Canada offering services similar to those provided by Borrowell and more. The company was founded in 2003 by David Feller, and its headquarters is in Vancouver.
Mogo was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2015 and on NASDAQ in 2018. Their stock goes by “MOGO” on both the TSX and NASDAQ.
Its product line includes personal loans, stock trading, and mortgages.
Mogo Personal Loans: They offer personal loans up to $35,000 with APR ranging from 9.9% to 46.9%. Loan terms are 1-5 years and can be paid off anytime.
MogoMortgage: You can use their app to apply for a mortgage loan and view mortgage rates on offer by different banks.
MogoTrade: The company recently launched its zero-commission trading platform, MogoTrade.
Borrowell vs. Mogo vs. Payday Loans
Similar to Payday Loans, Borrowell and Mogo make it easier to access personal loans when you are out of luck with your bank.
This means that you may be able to use loans from either company to consolidate other high-interest debt like credit cards.
There is still a need for caution, though. The high point for loan rates at Borrowell and Mogo is 46.96%.
If your approved rate is anything close to these maximums, you should be diligent with paying off your loan quickly, or you could be in for a surprise.
Per my usual advice, payday loans (like MoneyMart) should always be a last resort and avoided at all costs. Their simple annual interest rates can exceed 600%, making it extremely difficult to free yourself from the shackles of debt.
If you qualify for a 0% or so balance transfer credit card (but not a typical bank personal loan), the balance transfer option may be better for consolidating all your credit card debts on one card, saving on interest rates, and getting out of debt.
There are many options to access a free credit score and report in Canada.
While the credit bureaus (TransUnion and Equifax) are obligated to give you one free credit report per year (upon request), you can easily obtain your score and report on a weekly or monthly basis from either Borrowell, Credit Karma, or Loans Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the questions that routinely come up when people hear about free credit scores include the following:
No, it doesn’t because the free credit score you obtain qualifies as a ‘soft’ credit inquiry and has no impact on your credit profile one way or the other.
Borrowell uses the same level of encryption that the big banks use, so it is just as safe as your bank. As with any account you have online, it helps to use a strong password and to take other necessary precautions.
Yes, Credit Karma is safe. It uses bank-level encryption to protect your personal information.
Yes, you do not pay to access your credit score and report. The monthly updates are also free. However, these providers will send you an occasional email with product recommendations. If you choose to apply for a loan or credit card, Mogo, Borrowell, and Credit Karma receive a referral fee.
The credit score you receive from these three companies may vary due to the different providers and models used for calculating them. Borrowell provides a free Equifax credit score and report; Mogo provides a free Equifax credit score; Credit Karma provides a TransUnion credit score and report.
The credit score you get from Credit Karma is from TransUnion. It may differ from your Equifax credit score (i.e. Borrowell) as they use different algorithms to compute your score.