Credit Karma vs. NerdWallet: Which Is Best For You?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Finance and budgeting apps can help you track your credit score and otherwise manage your finances. Today we'll compare Credit Karma vs. NerdWallet to see which is better.

Finance and budgeting apps can offer various services, including credit score management and expense tracking. However, not all apps offer every service, and no two options provide the same comprehensive experience. With a wide variety of finance and budgeting apps available, choosing the best option for your situation and preferences can be challenging.

That's why we've created a comparison article for two of the most popular apps. Continue reading to learn how you can decide which one might be the right option for you in our Credit Karma vs. NerdWallet review. 

What Should You Know About Credit Karma?

Credit Karma is primarily a credit tracking and management app founded in 2007. It's currently used by millions of consumers. The app is transparent and easy to use. On Consumer Affairs, Credit Karma has received 3.8 out of 5 stars with 729 ratings. On Site Jabber, the app has received 3.2 out of 5 stars with 178 reviews. Positive reviews rave about Credit Karma's tax filing and credit resolution services. Negative reviews complain about poor customer service and inaccurate pre-approval ratings. 

Income and Expense Tracking

Credit Karma doesn't currently offer any income and expense tracking features. It has a checking and savings account you can use, but the reviews for using it are mixed. Some consumers say the checking and savings account feature is helpful while others say it's a waste of money and complain that their account was often frozen without explanation. 

Credit Score Management

When it comes to credit score management, Credit Karma is touted as one of the best options. The feature is easy to use and transparent, and it lets you dispute items from within the app. This can be helpful if you're trying to build your credit score, as updates are made regularly and you can easily visualize progress toward a better score. The credit score management feature also functions well for those who already have excellent credit ratings but want to keep an eye on their scores.  

Other Key Pain Points 

A few other things you should know about Credit Karma include:

  • You can use a free version that may suit your needs but limits the tools you can use.
  • The app provides actionable tips on how to improve your credit score.
  • The mobile app is convenient and user friendly.
  • There are a lot of ads in the app and website, which may be distracting.
  • Recommendations for third-party financial products are often irrelevant and have erroneous approval percentage ratings (which can be frustrating).

What Should You Know About NerdWallet?

NerdWallet is a finance and budgeting app designed to suit individuals and small businesses. The app has numerous features, including valuable insights on spending. Reviews online are a little mixed. On TrustPilot, NerdWallet is rated 1.8 out of 5 stars with 88 reviews. However, the app is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Google Play, with more than 19,000 reviews. Positive reviews praise the comprehensive financial tracking features and minimal ads. Negative reviews complain about inaccurate rates shown for third-party loan options and poor virtual customer service. 

Income and Expense Tracking

NerdWallet offers a reasonably comprehensive income and expense tracking feature that lets you create a budget. You need to securely connect your banking accounts to track your income and expenses. This does require you to enable NerdWallet to have access to the information in these accounts. Once connected, the NerdWallet App will track your net worth, cash flow, rewards cards and even your home value. The budgeting feature lets you categorize your expenses, check your accounts and designate a monthly amount of money to spend per category. 

Credit Score Management

The credit score management option on NerdWallet is relatively basic but is nearly up to the same standards as the option on Credit Karma. Although you can't dispute credit report items directly in the app, you're given the information you need to dispute them independently. The most helpful credit score feature on NerdWallet for many people may be the automatic notifications you can receive via email or text each time there's a change to your credit report, for better or worse. 

Other Key Pain Points

A few other things you should know about NerdWallet include:

  • There are both web browser and phone-based applications.
  • You can use it for free (although premium features may cost money).
  • You gain access to an extensive collection of educational content.
  • The application is very user friendly.
  • You'll be shown partner content, which may be confusing or annoying to some users.

Credit Karma vs. NerdWallet: Which Is the Better Option for You?

Overall, Credit Karma and NerdWallet have similar offerings. Consider whether your primary concern is tracking your finances or managing your credit score. Credit Karma is likely the best option for you if your primary concern is managing or improving your credit score. If your primary concern is budgeting and finance tracking, NerdWallet is likely the better choice. 

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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