Credit Karma Allegedly Used Dark Patterns to Hurt People’s Credit Scores

Fact-checked

Credit Karma has been in the Vice news lately, but not for good reasons. According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Credit Karma used deceptive tactics to make people sign up for credit cards they weren’t even eligible for in the first place, which resulted in hurting many people’s credit scores.

The FTC filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging it used dark patterns—user interfaces designed to manipulate people into doing something they wouldn’t otherwise want to do—to get people to sign up for its products. Almost one-third of people who were told they would qualify for the credit card didn’t actually qualify, causing them to receive hard credit checks that often resulted in customers getting low credit scores, FTC claims.

According to the complaint, Credit Karma ran A/B testing on its users that showed consumers were more likely to click on ads that stated they had been pre-approved than ones with strong approval odds, which the FTC ruled as deceptive. This is a huge blow to Credit Karma, which has been one of the most popular companies for credit monitoring in the United States.

Even though Credit Karma denies these charges, saying they stopped using such practices in April 2021, the FTC is certain the company was well-aware people were getting denied. This belief comes from customer service complaints, in which people being declined for their credit card application even though they were told they pre-approved was a commonly mentioned problem.

ABOUT AUTHOR

For me, keeping up with and sharing the latest news and events is crucial, since we live in a world that’s full of misleading information. Apart from being a full-time reader and writer, and a passionate music and caffeine addict, I love to spend my free time in the kitchen, trying new recipes I can indulge my senses in.

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