Credit Keeper Review: How Does Capital One’s Credit Monitoring Stack Up?

By Lucas Elliott | Published on 07 Sep 2023

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Introduced by Capital One Canada in 2017, Credit Keeper is an online tool that provides Canadians with a free way to check their credit score. Functioning under the broader umbrella of Capital One’s Credit Monitoring Service, this tool offers an insightful and convenient means for users to gain insights into their credit activities and overall financial health.

What truly sets apart Capital One’s Credit Keeper is its accessibility and free cost. Setting itself apart from many other credit monitoring services that impose additional fees, Credit Keeper is a free service offered to all TransUnion cardholders, not just Capital One cardholders. Available through the mobile app and the website, this user-friendly service ensures that customers can seamlessly keep tabs on their credit standing. 

Going further, Credit Keeper sheds light on the factors that impact credit scores. This enables users to make well-informed financial choices and protect against potential identity theft. This proactive approach is reinforced by automatic alerts that notify users about significant changes detected in their credit profiles.

Credit Keeper Overview

Credit Keeper started as CreditWise, a service that originated in the USA. Capital One launched CreditWise in 2014. They sought to empower consumers with free, comprehensive access to their credit score and the critical details that affect it. This innovative tool was geared towards educating users about the importance of credit health. It equips them with resources to improve their scores and fosters financial literacy.

This tool was brought to Canada in 2017 under the name of Credit Keeper, maintaining its goal of providing a more holistic view of an individual’s credit standing. Credit Keeper now operates within Canada (excluding Quebec). The service is available to credit card users, regardless of whether they are Capital One customers. However, Credit Keeper only applies to financial institutions using TransUnion.

Credit Keeper will have trouble pulling any credit history to generate a score if your financial institution solely uses Equifax. Below is a table listing where different financial institutions pull their credit information. Credit Keeper might not have enough information to create an account if your financial institution does not use TransUnion. 

Financial Provider TransUnion Equifax
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Yes N/A
Bank of Montreal (BMO) * Yes Yes
Scotiabank* Yes Yes
National Bank* Yes Yes
Laurentian Bank Yes N/A
Bridgewater Bank Yes N/A
Tangerine* Yes Yes
Vancity Yes N/A
TD Canada Trust (TD Bank) N/A Yes
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) N/A Yes
Desjardins N/A Yes
Meridian Credit Union N/A Yes
*Depending on application type, these financial institutions may pull from either or both bureaus.

How does Credit Keeper perform a Credit Check (Credit Pull)

Credit Keeper by Capital One typically performs a soft inquiry (soft pull) on your credit report when you use its services. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score and are typically used for informational purposes, such as credit monitoring and checking your own credit score.

Criteria Hard Inquiry Soft Inquiry
Impact on Credit Score Can slightly lower your credit score Does not affect your credit score at all
Purpose Done when applying for credit Done for informational, monitoring, or pre-qualification purposes
Visibility Visible to other lenders and creditors on your credit report Not visible to lenders

A Hard Inquiry (Hard Pull):

A hard inquiry, also known as a hard pull, occurs when a lender or financial institution checks your credit report as part of their evaluation for a credit application. Hard inquiries are typically associated with actions such as applying for a new credit card, a loan (e.g., auto loan or mortgage), or a line of credit. Each hard inquiry can negatively impact your credit score, causing it to drop a few points. Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for about two years.

Soft Inquiry (Soft Pull):

A soft inquiry, or a soft check, happens when you or a third party checks your credit report for non-credit-related purposes. These inquiries do not affect your credit score and are typically used for informational or monitoring purposes. Soft inquiries include checking your credit report, pre-qualified credit card offers, background checks by employers, and inquiries by existing creditors for account reviews. Credit Keeper and similar credit monitoring services generally use soft pulls.

How to check your credit score through Credit Keeper?

To use Credit Keeper, simply create an account and enter your personal information. It will then generate several security questions. These could include past addresses, financial institutions you use, and your past employment records.  

credit keeper account sign_up and sign_in form

Getting Your Credit Score

From there, you will be redirected to a page with your estimated score by TransUnion. It will place you in one of the five tiers. This ranges from Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Excellent, with an associated credit score. 

capital one credit keeper

Breakdown of Your Credit Score

Below is a score breakdown and lists the key factors determining your credit score. It breaks it down into high-impact and low-impact factors on your credit score. High-impact factors include paying your bills on time, credit utilization rate (available credit), and the length of your credit history (oldest account). Low-impact factors include credit applications in the last two years, your credit amount, and credit inquiries on your report. It will try to suggest improving each factor to boost your credit score. 

the most important key factors when determining your credit worthness

Comparing Three Credit Keeper Alternatives 

Credit Keeper has made a notable impact in the landscape of credit monitoring services, offering users a streamlined and informative way to monitor their credit scores in Canada. However, it’s essential to explore how Credit Keeper measures up against its competitors to make an informed decision about your credit monitoring needs. In this section, we’ll take a comprehensive look at Credit Keeper’s features and benefits compared to some popular alternatives in the market.

1. Borrowell

Borrowell stands out as a prominent Canadian FinTech company, offering a range of essential financial services that set it apart. Positioned at the forefront of credit management, Borrowell provides users with valuable tools. These tools include complimentary credit score monitoring, comprehensive credit reports, and carefully tailored recommendations for financial products.

This dynamic platform grants users unrestricted access to their Equifax credit score and report, making it effortless to monitor significant changes and unravel the complex factors that impact their creditworthiness. Beyond these crucial features, Borrowell assists with personalized financial solutions. This includes personalized loans and mortgages thoughtfully designed to align with each individual’s unique credit profile. 

In essence, Borrowell functions as an all-encompassing financial companion. It empowers users with insights into their credit and the resources to realize their financial dreams through a range of meticulously curated products and services.

Aspect Borrowell Credit Keeper 
Geographical Availability Available in Canada (Some additional services not available in Quebec) Available in Canada (Excluding Quebec)
Credit Bureau Equifax credit score and report TransUnion credit score and report
Product Offerings Personalized financial product recommendations, insurance comparison, personal banking resources, mortgage resources, credit building with rent, credit monitoring, AI credit coaching and bill tracking. Focuses primarily on credit monitoring and credit report tracking. Offers basic advice.
Educational Resources Offers educational resources to help users understand and improve their credit health. Provides tips and recommendations for improving credit.
Fees Free + paid for credit building product Free
Company Origin Borrowell started and is situated in Toronto Canada.  Credit Keeper is a service provided by Capital One, a major American financial institution.

2. Credit Karma

Credit Karma is a popular online platform introduced in 2007. It offers users free access to credit scores, reports, and financial tools. It provides a comprehensive snapshot of an individual’s credit health, allowing them to monitor changes in their credit scores over time and receive alerts about potential fraudulent activity. Users can also explore personalized recommendations for credit cards, loans, and other financial products based on their credit profiles. 

Credit Karma’s user-friendly interface and helpful resources, such as credit score simulators and financial calculators, empower individuals to make informed financial decisions. The platform generates revenue by offering targeted advertising and product recommendations to users. With its mission to provide accessible credit information and financial education, Credit Karma has become a valuable tool for millions of consumers striving to manage and improve their credit standing.

Aspect Credit Karma Credit Keeper 
Geographical Availability Available to users in the United States and Canada (Excluding Quebec) Available in Canada (Excluding Quebec)
Credit Bureau TransUnion & Equifax scores and reports TransUnion credit score and report
Product Offerings Credit monitoring, credit scores and reports, credit score simulators, personalized financial recommendations, and connections to lenders, mortgages, and credit cards. Focuses primarily on credit monitoring and credit report tracking. Offers basic advice.
Educational Resources Offers educational content on credit management, credit scores, and personal finance Provides tips and recommendations for improving credit.
Fees Free  Free
Company Origin Founded in the U.S Credit Keeper is a service provided by Capital One, a major American financial institution.

3. ClearScore

ClearScore is an independent online platform that provides individuals access to their credit scores and reports, empowering them to understand better and manage their financial health. Introduced in July 2015, ClearScore allows users to monitor changes in their Equifax credit score and review their credit reports for free. Clearscore was brought to Canada in November 2022. 

By offering insights into credit factors, personalized recommendations, and educational resources, ClearScore aims to help users make informed financial decisions and take control of their credit profiles. The platform’s user-friendly interface and emphasis on transparency have contributed to its popularity among individuals seeking to enhance their credit awareness and overall financial well-being.

Aspect ClearScore Credit Keeper 
Geographical Availability Available in multiple countries, primarily in the UK, Canada (Excluding Quebec) and South Africa Available in Canada (Excluding Quebec)
Credit Bureau TransUnion credit score and report TransUnion credit score and report
Product Offerings Offers free credit scores, reports, and financial tools; Provides product recommendations Focuses primarily on credit monitoring and credit report tracking. Offers basic advice.
Educational Resources Provides educational articles and resources to help users understand credit Provides tips and recommendations for improving credit.
Fees ClearScore’s core services are free; May offer premium services for a fee Free
Company Origin Founded in the UK Credit Keeper is a service provided by Capital One, a major American financial institution.

Why Check Your Credit Report

Credit reports are important records that provide detailed information about your credit activities. These include an individual’s account history, loan applications, payment history, and public records. Lenders use it to evaluate an applicant’s financial responsibility. Based on this evaluation, they decide whether to approve or reject a loan application. Regularly checking your credit reports is crucial. It helps ensure accuracy and allows for timely resolution of any potential discrepancies.

Regularly checking your credit report allows you to remain vigilant against identity theft and other forms of financial fraud. It also provides you with an opportunity to improve your credit score. Credit monitoring can help identify suspicious activities, such as unauthorized account openings or inaccurate information on the report. It can also detect incorrect delinquencies reported.

Moreover, it can alert you when a creditor checks your credit report. This enables you to take appropriate action to protect your personal data and finances. Credit reports also help individuals stay on top of their financial health and make sound decisions about their money management. Regularly monitoring credit reports is essential for good credit standing and financial stability.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is crucial to your financial health and can impact your ability to secure loans, mortgages, and favourable interest rates. Whether you’re looking to buy a home, get a car loan, or simply improve your financial standing, a higher credit score can open doors to better opportunities. There are several actionable tips to help you improve your credit score and set yourself on a path to financial success.

Check Your Credit Report Regularly

Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Review the reports for errors, inaccuracies, or fraudulent activity and dispute any discrepancies.

Pay Bills On Time

Timely bill payments are among the most significant factors influencing your credit score. Set up reminders or automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date.

Reduce Credit Card Balances

Aim to keep your credit card balances well below their limits. High credit utilization can negatively impact your score, so work on paying down your balances.

Diversify Your Credit Mix

A mix of credit types—such as credit cards, mortgages, and installment loans—can positively influence your credit score. However, only take on new credit when necessary and ensure responsible management.

Avoid Opening Too Many New Accounts

Opening multiple new accounts in a short period can raise concerns for lenders. It may also result in inquiries on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your score.

Don’t Close Old Accounts

Length of credit history matters, so avoid closing old accounts, even if you don’t use them frequently. Closing accounts can shorten your credit history and potentially lower your score.

Use Secured Credit Cards

If you’re rebuilding credit, consider getting a secured credit card. These cards require a deposit as collateral and can be a valuable tool for improving your credit over time. Improving your credit score is an ongoing journey that demands commitment and well-considered choices. Employing these insights will empower you to remain vigilant and enhance your creditworthiness. There is a wide spectrum of good options for individuals searching for the best credit cards for bad credit.

Credit Keeper: Bottom Line

Given the current landscape, where credit health is indispensable in our financial lives, it’s prudent to consider services like Capital One’s Credit Keeper. But is it worth it?

In terms of advantages, Capital One’s Credit Keeper service is free for cardholders, a benefit when compared to some rivals that charge additional fees for similar services. The accessibility of the service online and through mobile apps is another positive, allowing users to monitor their credit health at their convenience. Detailed credit reports, alongside insights into factors affecting credit scores, equip users with the necessary knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

However, it’s important to consider some potential downsides. It only provides credit reports from TransUnion, limiting the breadth of information available. Users seeking a comprehensive overview of their credit health across all major credit bureaus might be disappointed.

In conclusion, Capital One’s Credit Keeper can be a valuable tool for those keen on maintaining and improving their credit health, especially for current Capital One cardholders. But for those seeking a more comprehensive credit assessment, it may be worth considering other options available in the market.

FAQs About Credit Keeper

What is Credit Keeper?

Credit Keeper is an online credit monitoring service offered by Capital One. It gives users detailed credit reports and insights into factors affecting their credit score. The service is free for all credit card cardholders in Canada. However, it only applies to financial institutions using TransUnion.

Is Credit Keeper Safe?

Yes, Credit Keeper is a safe and secure service due to its advanced security features. It uses encryption technology to protect user data and offers an alert system that notifies users of any significant changes in their credit profile, helping them stay one step ahead of potential identity theft. It has an automatic logout to protect your information.

Is Credit Keeper Accurate?

Yes, Credit Keeper is highly accurate in providing detailed credit reports. It uses data from TransUnion and gets users the latest information on their credit score, helping them stay up to date with changes in their financial health.

Is Credit Keeper free?

Yes, Credit Keeper is free for all credit card holders in Canada. It provides users an easy-to-use online platform to monitor their credit health without paying additional fees.

Is Credit Keeper available in Quebec?

Credit Keeper currently isn’t available for residents of the province of Quebec.

Lucas, a Toronto native, holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree obtained from Wilfrid Laurier University. With a diverse professional background encompassing both startup ventures and established financial institutions, Lucas has cultivated a wealth of experience in his field. Additionally, his passion for exploring the world has taken him to an impressive 28 countries across Europe, North America, Asia, and Central America. Lucas's journey began as a content writer, where he delved into the intricate world of crypto/blockchain technologies, crafting insightful pieces to educate and inform readers. Building upon this foundation, he transitioned into the realm of consumer finance content writing.