FTC Announces Claims Process for Consumers Harmed by Credit Karma “Pre-Approved” Offers for Which They Were Denied

The Federal Trade Commission is launching a claims process for consumers harmed by Credit Karma’s practice of misrepresenting that consumers were “pre-approved” for credit card offers. According to the FTC, many consumers were denied, costing them time and subjecting them to unnecessary credit checks.

The agency is sending notices to 497,425 consumers who may be eligible for a payment. Consumers can apply if they were offered a pre-approved credit card from Credit Karma but were denied when they applied. Most of the consumers will get an email, but about 4,000 people who don’t have an email address on file will get a notice in the mail. Eligible consumers can file a claim online at www.ftc.gov/CreditKarma.

Consumers who have questions or need help filing a claim can email info@CreditKarmaSettlement.com or call 866-848-0871. The deadline to file a claim is March 4, 2024.

In September 2022, the FTC announced an enforcement action against Credit Karma, alleging that the company used claims that consumers were “pre-approved” for a credit card or had “90% odds” of approval to entice them to apply for offers that, in many instances, they did not qualify for. Consumers who applied incurred a hard inquiry on their credit reports, and, if they were denied, may have damaged their credit scores unnecessarily.

Credit Karma paid $3 million to settle the charges, which the FTC will use to pay claims to consumers harmed by the company’s actions. The FTC received roughly thirty complaints involving Credit Karma’s “pre-approved” offers in the five years prior to announcing its action against the company. But within five months of that announcement, the agency received nearly 900 more such complaints. This is consistent with the FTC’s experience that consumer complaints represent the tip of the iceberg compared to the number of consumers harmed.

The Commission’s interactive dashboards for refund data provide a state-by-state breakdown of refunds in FTC cases. In 2022, Commission actions led to more than $392 million in refunds to consumers across the country.

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