Your credit score matters.
If it’s not high enough, you can’t get a loan for a house, a business, or worse yet, a medical emergency. Unfortunately, it costs to check it. And every time you check your credit score, it negatively impacts it and can reduce your score.
It’s definitely not an easy thing to get a good score, nor is it easy to understand how the scores work.
Thankfully, there’s a service that lets you check your credit score for free.
It’s called Credit Sesame.
It describes itself as a “fast-growing credit and loan management platform.” They offer a number of different credit management services for an individual. New signups to their platform get access to the following services:
- Credit score
- Prepare your credit report
- Monitoring your credit
- Identity theft protection
So how does it all work? Is Credit Sesame safe? Is it actually free, or are there hidden fees? Will it hurt your credit score?
Keep reading to learn exactly how it works and how you can benefit from using it.
Credit Sesame Explained
In 2010, Adrian Nazari founded Credit Sesame as a way to give Americans a chance at a better financial life.
For nearly 10 years, the company has continued to grow and they now employ 119 people. Millions of people use Credit Sesame, though the exact number is not known.
When you sign up, Credit Sesame offers the following free services:
- Full access to your TransUnion credit score every month. TransUnion is one of the three major credit bureaus)
- 24-hour credit monitoring on their platform which includes a daily alert system to tell you when your credit score changes
- Access to up to $50,000 in identity theft insurance
It’s important to note that Credit Sesame is only available to US citizens.
Is it a Free Service or Paid Service?
The answer is both.
You start with a free account, but you don’t have to worry about hidden fees or random charges after months of use.
Thankfully, you don’t have to pay anything if you don’t want to. You have full access to the free services stated in the previous section.
However, if you want to upgrade your account for more services, there are options to pay as well.
They have 3 paid memberships: Advanced Credit, Pro Credit, and Platinum Protection.
- $9.95 per month
- You’ll get credit score updates every day from TransUnion
- Update credit score every month from three main credit bureaus
- Complete credit reports delivered every month from three main credit bureaus
- $15.95 per month
- Everything in the Advanced Credit membership, plus:
- Full protection from identity theft
- Monitoring credit including alerts from all three credit bureaus
- 24/7 access to customer support and credit experts
- $19.95 per month
- Everything in Advanced and Pro Credit memberships, plus:
- 24/7 access to customer support and experts for lost/stolen wallet protection
- Black market website monitoring
- Social Security Number monitoring
- Public records monitoring
If you’re happy with the free services Credit Sesame has to offer, you don’t have to pay a cent.
But, if you want to get more inclusive reporting, daily updates, and identify theft protection, then you may want to upgrade to one of their paid membership accounts.
Is Credit Sesame Safe to Use?
Credit Sesame checks all the boxes in terms of safety and security.
First off, they don’t ask for your credit card information. You don’t need to give them any banking information. The only information (besides general contact information) you give is the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
The platform uses industry-standard encryption which is the same level as banks and the government: firewalls, 256-bit AES encryption, and 128-bit SSL encryption.
They operate with secure practices, approved by Verisign, TRUSTe, and McAfee SECURE which operate intense weekly security checks.
On top of that, their servers reside in a secure facility with 24/7 surveillance and monitoring.
They also don’t sell your personal information to third party marketing companies. Any information on their platform stays on its platform.
There have never been any reports of lost or leaked information associated with Credit Sesame.
In other words, you won’t have to worry about the safety and security of your personal information. Plus, they’re accredited with the Better Business Bureau, which is a nice added touch.
Access Full Credit Score & Credit Reports
Credit Sesame gives you full access to your updated credit score once a month from one of the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion.
The credit score provided isn’t technically your FICO credit score, but the score is rather is calculated using the VantageScore formula.
The VantageScore is a newer credit-scoring system that’s different from your FICO score. However, the VantageScore is usually very similar to your FICO score.
VantageScore is a newer, more technically advanced scoring model, which means it’s being used by more and more creditors over time.
The VantageScore credit score combines all your credit history and information into account through TransUnion to give you an accurate picture of the overall health of your credit.
This type of free access to your TransUnion credit score is great. However, one of Credit Sesame’s competitors, Credit Karma does offer access to your VantageScore credit score from both TransUnion, and Equifax (one of the other main three credit bureaus).
In addition to receiving your updated credit score every month for free, Credit Sesame also gives you access to your credit report.
This report is amazing since it shows you the “why” behind your score. It gives you insight into the different factors that make up your score, and how you can improve them.
Some of the factors include:
- Credit usage
- Payment history
- Credit age
- Amount of recent credit inquiries
- Account mix (how many accounts you have – banks, auto loans, credit cards, etc.)
Plus, on top of these credit score factors, you also have full access to view your current debts. You get to see how much you owe on the debts, as well as the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards these debt payments.
Another bonus is the credit monitoring, which will alert you any time new activity shows up on your TransUnion credit report.
It’s important to note that even though you’ll be able to see data from your credit report, you won’t have complete access to it with only a free membership.
In order to access the entire report, you’ll need at least the Advanced Credit Subscription for $9.95 per month. The Advanced Credit Subscription gives you your entire credit report every month from each of the three major credit bureaus.
Another bonus of signing up for the Advanced Credit Subscription is that your TransUnion credit score is updated every single day rather than once a month.
The other two major bureaus (Equifax and Experian) will send their reports once a month.
If you don’t want to pay for the monthly subscription, but you want to make a single purchase of your TransUnion credit report, you can also make a one-time payment of $9.95.
Other Credit Sesame Services
Beyond credit scores and credit reports, Credit Sesame has quite a bit to offer to help you build a better financial future.
With your free account at Credit Sesame, you’ll have access to credit monitoring with your TransUnion credit report. This means you’ll get alerted any time there is new activity on your TransUnion report.
If you want to get credit monitoring alerts from all three major bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro Credit Subscription at $15.95 per month.
Identity Theft Insurance
One of the unique differences that set Credit Sesame apart from other credit score sites is that they offer free identity theft insurance.
I’ll write that again: You get FREE identity theft insurance.
This one feature alone is enough of a reason for every American to sign up for a Credit Sesame account. You get $50,000 in identity theft insurance.
This covers any fraud, theft, or other financial crimes. And if you want more than the $50,000 coverage, you get $1 million by signing up for the Pro Credit Subscription.
Credit Sesame also has some free identity restoration tools in the rare case that your identity is stolen.
They have some documents and resources showing you how to report fraud to the government, authorities, how to write letters to credit bureaus, and more.
Credit Card Offers
One of the unique benefits of using Credit Sesame is that you get recommended credit card offers based on the likelihood that you’ll get approved.
Credit Sesame automatically navigates what credit card offers to match your credit score to give you the best deal possible.
The offers also reveal how much credit you could likely access if you’re approved for a credit card.
Plus, you can also see if you pre-qualify for personal loans and do a search for different mortgage lenders if you’re on the hunt for a home.
Credit Sesame Recap: Is it Right for You?
If you’re wanting to improve your finances by improving your credit score, then you’ll love Credit Sesame. They make it easy to check your credit score and access your credit report so you can make adjustments to improve your score – all for free.
Plus, they offer an incredible service: you get $50,000 of free identity theft insurance, with no strings attached.
Their service is great if you’re wanting to see what’s keeping your score low so you can make adjustments, or to see what’s keeping it high so you can stay on track. If you do want full identity protection, full credit reports, and various add-ons, you will need to get a paid subscription.
Overall, what you do get for free is impressive. A 2-minute sign-up is all it takes to check your credit score, view your credit report, and immediately ensure yourself against identity theft.
What are you waiting for? FREE credit score, monitoring and more at Credit Sesame – Sign up in 90 seconds. No Credit Card needed.
Want to invest in commercial real estate? You can become part-owner in apartment complexes for as little as $500. Invest today!
Read also our review on how to manage your money with Personal Capital here.