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Borrowell vs. Mogo vs. Credit Karma: What's The Difference?

Kate Smalley

Nov 10, 2022 9 min read

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Borrowell offers weekly credit score updates. Sign up for free to measure, monitor, and improve your credit score today!

Keeping track of your credit score and how it fluctuates over time is an important part of managing and improving your financial health. Having good credit gives you access to better interest rates when you apply for financial products like a mortgage, loan or credit card.

Your credit score and what impacts it can be confusing, and until a few years ago you could only obtain your score directly from a credit bureau (often with a cost). Now, Canadians can easily access their credit score and report for free through a handful of companies, such as Borrowell, Mogo, and Credit Karma.

While all three companies give you access to your credit score, each offers additional features and products to help you become a more informed and responsible consumer of credit.

Free credit score


Founded in 2014 and based in Toronto, Borrowell was the first company to provide Canadians free access to their credit scores. Now one of Canada’s largest financial technology companies serving over 3 million members, Borrowell has been recognized internationally in the Fintech 100, and has been named as one of Canada’s top growing companies by The Globe and Mail for four years in a row.

Borrowell offers a range of financial tools to help strengthen your financial health, and has a comprehensive comparison marketplace that allows members to compare the top credit products from across Canada, such as credit cards, loans and mortgages from financial providers like American Express, BMO, Capital One, Fairstone and more. 

Borrowell has an app that’s available on both Android and iOS. The app and web versions are synced so you’ll always see the most up to date information, regardless of where you’re accessing your profile.

Free credit score monitoring

Borrowell gives members free access to their Equifax credit score and report. Scores are updated every single week (which is not offered by Mogo), and checking your score won’t impact it. You can track your progress and credit health through your credit dashboard.

Borrowell also offers personalized financial product recommendations tailored to your credit profile and recently launched Credit Builder, an affordable way to build your credit history with monthly payments, and Rent Advantage, a program that allows Canadian renters to build their credit history with their rent.

Borrowell Credit Builder 

Another product in Borrowell’s suite of credit tools is Credit Builder: an affordable way to build credit history on a monthly basis.

Credit Builder is reported on your credit report as an installment loan.. You’ll pay $10 a month over a 36-month term and Borrowell will report this to Equifax Canada, the largest consumer credit bureau in Canada. Reporting these payments will help you to build your credit history and payment history, and will diversify your credit mix, all of which are important factors that determine your credit score.

At the end of the 36-month period, you’ll receive $240 back!

Borrowell Rent Advantage™ 

Borrowell also offers Rent Advantage, the first product in Canada which allows users to have their monthly rent payments reported on their Equifax Canada credit report without landlord involvement. This empowers Borrowell members to build their credit history with the rent payments they already make every month!

Borrowell Rent Advantage™

Sign up for Rent Advantage™. Pay monthly. Build your credit history with your rent payments.

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Credit coaching

The Borrowell app provides members with personalized tips and credit education. When members log in to their account, they’ll see an overview of their credit history including their credit utilization rate and any late payments, which are factors that affect your credit score. Based on your credit history, you’ll also be offered tips and advice  on how you can improve your score so that you can strengthen your credit over time.

Financial product marketplace 

Borrowell uses AI to recommend products that are the best fit for you given your credit profile. By being a member, you’ll be able to compare rates and features within the app and take advantage of some of the most competitive offers in Canada. Borrowell’s financial marketplace gives you access to the best products for you from over 50 partners including credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, bank accounts, insurance for home, auto and other needs, and investment products such as GICs and automated investment platforms.

How does Borrowell make money?

If you use a product that Borrowell recommends, they are paid a small referral fee from that financial service provider. They also generate revenue through subscriptions to their various financial products.

Is Borrowell safe to use?

Borrowell is trusted by over 2 million Canadians. They take the security of its members’ personal and banking details very seriously. They use 256-bit encryption, which is the same encryption banks use to ensure private information is kept safe and secure. Borrowell will never share its members’ details or initiate transactions from their accounts without consent.

Want weekly credit monitoring and coaching?

Sign up for Borrowell and take control of your financial health.

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Founded in 2003, Mogo is a Vancouver-based fintech company. In addition to free access to your credit score, Mogo offers personal loans, identity fraud protection, mortgages, a prepaid Visa debit card, and a stock trading app. Mogo is a publicly-traded company that’s listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. 

Mogo has an app that’s available on both Android and iOS.

Free credit score monitoring

Mogo gives members free access to their Equifax credit score for 90 days. Unlike Borrowell, which updates credit scores every week, Mogo only updates credit scores monthly. 

Identity theft monitoring

MogoProtect is a service that monitors your Equifax credit bureau account daily and alerts you whenever a potential threat or fraud attempt is detected. MogoProtect is free for 90 days, then you’ll need to sign up for a MogoCard to continue using it.

Whether or not you subscribe to a credit monitoring service, it’s recommended that you regularly look through your credit report to ensure there’s no transactions or sources of credit you don’t recognize. Here's what to do if you think you've been affected by fraud.

Personal loans

Mogo offers a range of instalment loans called MogoLiquid and MogoMini. Mogo won’t deny members a loan based on credit score so those with poor credit may still qualify. However, users need to be wary of potentially high-interest rates. MogoLiquid offers loans up to $15,000 for up to a 5-year term, at rates from 29.99% to 46.96%. MogoMini loans are between $1,000 and $3,500 and the rate is 47.72% AIR. All loans can be paid off at any time with no penalty. 


MogoMortgage lets you quickly apply for a mortgage online and keep track of your mortgage on their digital dashboard. The MogoMortgage team is available to support you through the process and they offer competitive rates from the lenders they’re partnered with. 

Currently, MogoMortgage only offers high-ratio mortgages to those who are making a down payment of less than 20% of their home’s value. They have fixed-rate and variable mortgages with terms between 1-10 years.

Prepaid Visa debit card

MogoCard is a Visa Platinum Prepaid Card that can be loaded with up to $10,000 and, for every dollar you spend on your MogoCard, Mogo will offset one pound of CO2 emissions on your behalf. 

You can monitor your spending, automate your budget, and set spending goals within the app. Watch out for ATM fees ($1.50 for domestic and $3.00 for international) and the foreign currency transaction fee (2.5%) which can add up depending on your usage. 

How does Mogo make money?

Mogo makes money through interest and fees charged on their products.

Is Mogo safe to use?

Mogo follows industry best practices when designing and implementing its data security environment, and uses the latest Transport Layer Security protocols for encryption to protect customer information.

Free credit score service

Credit Karma

Credit Karma is an American company that expanded to Canada in 2016. Credit Karma offers free credit scores, credit reports, and credit monitoring to residents of Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, New Brunswick, PEI, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Credit Karma provides additional services, such as tax filing and credit card recommendations to U.S. residents.

Free credit score monitoring

Credit Karma gives members free access to their TransUnion credit score and report as well as free credit monitoring. 

They are the only one of the three companies to offer free scores and reports from TransUnion. Borrowell and Mogo both provide scores from Equifax. 

Personal loans

Credit Karma is partnered with LoanConnect, a Canada-based search engine, to connect users with a variety of loan options including small short-term loans, long-term instalment loans, and open-ended lines of credit.  LoanConnect is separate from Credit Karma so you won’t be able to track applications or offers through your Credit Karma account.

How does Credit Karma make money?

Similar to Borrowell, Credit Karma makes money through referral fees that are paid out if you use a product that they recommend. 

Is Credit Karma safe to use?

Credit Karma uses 128-bit or higher encryption to protect the transmission of its customer’s data, and validate the security of their site on a regular basis.

What are their main differences?

Although you can access your credit score for free from Borrowell, Mogo and Credit Karma, there are some key differences between them and the range of financial tools they offer:

Is Borrowell better than Credit Karma?

What Borrowell offers that the others don’t:

With Borrowell, you can access your full Equifax credit report for free. Equifax is the largest consumer credit bureau in Canada, so your Equifax score is a great indicator of your financial health.

Borrowell also offers a suite of tools to make building your credit score easy, without having to take on debt! With Borrowell Rent Advantage™, you can have your monthly rent payments reported to Equifax so that they contribute towards your credit score. Borrowell Credit Builder is a loan/savings program where you make monthly payments of $10 that are included on your credit report, then you receive $240 back at the end of the 36-month term.

Borrowell is also the only app that gifts you a reward when you refer your friends! You’ll find your unique referral link under Account Settings in the app. For every friend that signs up through your link, you’ll receive a gift card.

What Credit Karma offers that the others don’t:

With Credit Karma, you can access your TransUnion credit report, which might be slightly different from your Equifax report.

Credit Karma does offer a suite of financial products to customers in the United States, but these are not available to Canadians.

What Mogo offers that the others don’t:

Although you can access your Equifax credit score through Mogo, you are not able to view your full credit report, and access to your score is only free for 90 days (unless you sign up for their MogoCard).

One interesting tool that Mogo offers is MogoTrade: a commission-free trading app with low FX fees. Mogo also offers its own loan and mortgage products, as well as a prepaid card.

Free credit monitoring

Why is my Borrowell credit score different to my Credit Karma credit score?

There are two major credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax and TransUnion. Borrowell provides you with your Equifax credit score, and Credit Karma allows you to access your TransUnion credit score.

Each credit bureau has a slightly different scoring model, so your Equifax and TransUnion credit scores will likely be slightly different. It’s important to note that one score is not more accurate than the other, rather they are based on different scoring methods. Both provide you with an indication of your credit health and financial standing.

The bottom line

Regardless of how you choose to monitor your credit or access a loan, do the research required to make an educated decision. Any products you use should support your long-term goals, not hinder your financial health.

Kate Smalley
Kate Smalley
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Kate is a Toronto-based writer and marketing communications consultant. Kate is a Qualified Associate Finacial Planner (QAFP) is passionate about having open and honest conversations about money. She's also really into crafting: she has 3 sewing machines.

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