Your credit score is the backbone to your credit reputation. If you ever want to get a loan of some sort, whether it be a small business loan, a mortgage, car loan, home improvement personal loan, or any other source of credit from a bank, you better have a decent credit score.
Years ago one could only get their credit score if they did a credit application, or a paid inquiry, both of which was considered a “hard credit inquiry” and deducted a few points just for checking your score. Now days, companies like Credit Sesame have made it possible to check your credit for free, and it doesn't even deduct any points for checking it.
The need to keep your credit reputation today is bigger than ever. Not only is keeping your credit score healthy an important part of your finances, but keeping your identity protected is a vital as well. Those who have great credit but don't monitor it properly could risk their good credit reputation being stolen. Although this is situational, its not uncommon and an important piece to consider.
Along with your free credit score, Credit Sesame even offers you free ID theft protection just for joining their free credit monitoring service. Here is an in depth review of Credit Sesame.
What is Credit Sesame?
In Credit Sesame's own words, “Credit Sesame is a fast-growing credit and loan management platform that is changing the way consumers apply for and manage their credit.”
They offer you the benefit of knowing what your credit score is, and the factors that played into calculating that score. If your score is on the low end, they will give you recommendations on how to improve your score and best practices to begin implementing.
Along with their recommendations, they can use your credit score to determine the odds of you being approved for certain types of credit lines, credit cards, loans and mortgages. Keep in mind this isn't affecting your score at all, and is completely free.
What does Credit Sesame offer?
Credit Sesame isn't just a free credit score service. They offer guidance and council as well on improving your credit score and financial health. Their products are all completely free. The four categories of products and services they offer are:
⇒ Free Credit Score
⇒ Free Credit Monitoring
⇒ Free Credit Report Card
⇒ Free Identity Theft Protection
In a nutshell, they offer free help and services to improve the backbone of your financial situation.
Free Credit Score
Credit Sesame pulls your credit score from one of the three credit bureaus. The credit bureau they receive your credit score from is TransUnion. Once you sign up for a free Credit Sesame account, they will update your credit score from Transunion's files every single month.
With each credit score update, they will include factors that determined the increase or decrease in your credit score, along with recommendations to help you improve your score.
Along with the monthly updates on your credit score, they give you daily access to their top recommendations. They use their patented analytics to determine best options for you and your current credit situation.
Free Credit Monitoring
With a free account with Credit Sesame, you get the benefit of credit monitoring. As mentioned previously, Credit Sesame will update your credit profile and send you alerts when suspicious activity or new inquiries are reported. You will be notified immediately of any significant changes to your TransUnion credit report.
While credit thieves are the main reason its important to monitor your credit, keep in mind that errors are not uncommon either. With the credit monitoring service offered by Credit Sesame, you will be made aware of any errors that may be affecting your current credit score and preventing you from getting that loan you need.
Free Credit Report Card
What is your credit report card? It's the in depth analysis of how your credit score was determined. It takes into account the length of time you've had credit accounts open, the amount of revolving debt you have, whether your payments are made on time, and how often you use credit, among many other factors.
Other details on the report card may include the mix of credit lines you have (such as a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, credit cards, line of credit, etc.) as well as any recent credit inquiries.
This is another free service offered by Credit Sesame, and also has an option to obtain a full credit report from all three credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax and Experion) for just a few bucks.
Free Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft is not uncommon these days, and its only going to get worse as technology advances. Why would someone steal your identity? Identity thieves steal your sensitive personal information such as your social security number, bank account numbers, answers to security questions on accounts, etc. so that they can take out loans in the stolen identity's name and not be liable for any payments.
With identity theft protection, you are able to monitor any inquiries done under your name and take action immediately when you see a credit inquiry that you do not recognize.
Perhaps the most attractive benefit of Credit Sesame's ID theft protection, is their free ID theft insurance of up to $50,000. You are covered for $50,000 of insurance along with live support and guidance to fix any ID theft claims that come up.
Does getting a free credit score hurt my credit?
This is a common question among those who seek to know what their credit score is. While in the past years ago, checking your credit score would hurt your score, today when done through a trusted credit repair and monitoring company like Credit Sesame, it will not hurt or affect your score in any way.
Does Credit Sesame offer premium services outside of their free services?
For those who have a few extra bucks to pay for additional services, Credit Sesame will offer more detailed and deeper dive reports for your credit at a small cost. Their premium services include services such as:
- A more detailed credit report card from all 3 credit bureaus
- Up to $1,000,000 of ID theft protection insurance
- In depth social security number monitoring service
- Unlimited daily credit score updates to have more real time credit updates
While their free services will suffice for most people, those who have more assets to protect and may be key persons of a small business or organization may seek the need of additional monitoring services and insurance coverage.
Credit Sesame alternative options to consider
For what its worth, most people will benefit most from the free services offered by Credit Sesame. There are alternatives to consider should you want to explore more options. Alternatives include competitor companies offering the same services, ID theft protection insurance companies, and financial institutions such as a bank.
Credit Sesame Alternative Options:
- Credit Karma
The bottom line
Few competitors offer all that Credit Sesame has to offer, and with Credit Sesame its completely free for the most part (except for the premium services of course). Regardless of your financial situation, everyone can benefit from a free account with Credit Sesame. Nothing to lose, but a lot of detailed reports, monitoring and insurance to gain.
You will have a better idea of where your real needs lie, and can at that point make the decision on whether to use Credit Sesame's premium services, or set up an ID theft protection policy with a company like LifeLock or IdentityForce.