You may have heard of Credit Sesame, the credit monitoring website. But can it really benefit you? In this Credit Sesame review, we will tell you everything you need to know about Credit Sesame.
What is Credit Sesame?
The Credit Sesame website offers general information about how to manage credit, credit card options, and a host of other timely financial topics.
If you sign up as a member, you’ll get specific information about your credit situation as well as suggestions and support from experts to help you create and reach your goals.
Like many other credit monitoring services, Credit Sesame alerts members to changes in their credit status.
It also serves as a source of information about your credit including an analysis of your individual financial situations and suggestions to improve your credit score.
Free Credit Score
Credit Sesame gives its members a free credit score check.
It’s important to be aware that Credit Sesame offers the VantageScore 3.0, not the FICO score.
VantageScore 3.0 should be very close to the FICO score, so for many people, Credit Sesame offers a lot of helpful information.
Even if you don’t want to sign up right away, click here to take a look around their site. There’s a ton of information about loans, credit scores, credit cards, and identity theft.
Who should use Credit Sesame?
Anyone with a Social Security number can use Credit Sesame to check their TransUnion credit report.
For people who want an easy, reliable, and free way to check in on their financial status regularly, Credit Sesame is a good option.
If you are already tracking your credit score, Credit Sesame offers a safe and reliable way to access additional information to help you reach your goals.
Credit Sesame’s services are appropriate for anyone who wants to improve their personal financial situation.
Credit Sesame has both free and paid options.
When you create an account with Credit Sesame, you can choose to use their free service, or you can pay a monthly fee for a higher level of financial analysis and insight.
Free Credit Sesame Option
You don’t have to enter credit card or payment information to open a free account with Credit Sesame.
Their credit monitoring service will email you monthly with your Experian National Equivalency Score, offer insights into your recent financial activities, provide $50,000 worth of identity theft insurance, and recommend financial products most appropriate for your situation.
Paid Credit Sesame Options
If you want to upgrade to the paid version, you will have to enter payment information.
For $9.95 per month, you’ll get monitoring of your Trans Union credit report with daily updates.
Once a month, you’ll receive credit score updates and full credit reports from all three credit bureaus.
If you upgrade to the next level for $15.95 per month, you’ll get credit monitoring with alerts for all three credit bureaus in addition to all the information provided with the free and first level of paid membership.
For $19.95 per month, you’ll get all the previously stated benefits plus 24/7 help if your wallet is lost or stolen and 24/7 help with credit report inaccuracies.
You’ll also get public records monitoring, social security number monitoring, and black-market website monitoring.
Credit Sesame Warning
Part of the service that Credit Sesame offers with their free membership helps you understand what types of credit you may qualify for in your current financial situation.
They work with many lenders, including those offering sub-prime personal loans, auto loans, and credit cards.
As you make on-time payments on your current revolving and installment accounts and as the amount of money you owe decreases, you’ll probably see your credit score increase.
Keeping track of your credit scores is crucial to your overall financial health.
Just because you qualify for a credit card doesn’t mean you should take it.
As your credit score increases, you’ll be eligible for new loans and credit cards.
Now, just because you qualify for a great new credit card doesn’t mean that you should automatically accept the offer.
Carefully consider whether or not you will be able to use the new credit card responsibly.
Does Credit Sesame access my financial information?
Credit Sesame has permission to access the financial information of their members.
While they don’t share or sell that information, they can let their lending partners know who may be a good match for certain financial products.
Prequalification Credit Checks
When you receive a message that Credit Sesame has a recommendation for you for a credit card or loan, the company has pre-qualified you with a “soft pull” on your credit.
This type of credit check doesn’t hurt your credit scores. It’s legal and safe.
Because prequalification credit checks don’t provide a company will a full picture of your credit situation, you aren’t guaranteed approval.
If you want to participate in an offer for credit, you’ll have to go through the company’s approval process and authorize a “hard pull” on your credit reports.
This type of credit inquiry may reduce your FICO credit score slightly.
Don’t apply for too many credit cards.
Consistently applying for credit offers can bring your credit score down significantly.
For this reason, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions of the credit card or loan before you apply.
In general, it’s best to avoid credit cards with low limits and high fees.
Credit Sesame generally recommends good credit cards.
If your credit score is in the fair or good range, the credit products offered through Credit Sesame’s free membership may be a great help.
This service keeps you from having to research credit offers on your own, which could be a lengthy and tedious process.
Credit Sesame offers reviews of individual credit products to help users understand whether the credit card or loan may be a good match for them. These reviews are helpful when you are trying to decide whether to apply.
Will Credit Sesame keep personal and private information safe?
There’s a lot that goes into deciding whether it’s safe to share personal information about your identity and financial status with an online company.
Credit Sesame is nearly a decade old and based in the United States.
Those are both good signs.
Credit Sesame has a good reputation.
The company raised almost $8 million in capital from investors and the founder is an experienced entrepreneur.
McAfee, ETrust, and Norton consider Credit Sesame a “safe” site.
Their encryption methods are the same used by many banks and your personal information is only available and visible to you.
If you opt for the free service, they don’t even have your credit card information.
Credit Sesame never sells information.
While Credit Sesame has many partners that make members aware of financial products like credit cards that may be a good fit for their profile, they do not share your personal information with their partners.
They also never sell your information to any other company.
Credit Sesame is accredited with the BBB.
Credit Sesame is an accredited business through the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The founder also co-founded Financial Crossing. Two large venture capital firms, Inventus Capital and Menlo Ventures are major players, so the company is well-supported.
Credit Sesame has not had any security breaches.
A quick Google search for “Credit Sesame security breaches” and “Credit Sesame hacks” reveals no history of vulnerability where unauthorized sharing of personal information is concerned.
Anyone who has concerns about the security of the Credit Sesame website can contact the customer service department at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-881-6590.
All their contact information is easy to find on the Credit Sesame website.
Who is behind Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame headquarters are in Mountain View, California.
They’ve been in business for about eight years and they have 26 full-time employees.
The idea behind the website is that everyone is entitled to their personal credit information.
The goal at Credit Sesame is to increase access to that information while educating the public about how to maintain and improve their credit scores.
What do Credit Sesame users say about their experience?
Before you consider handing over your personal information to any company, it’s smart to research their security, reliability, and reputation. Here are quotes from three reputable websites:
Credit Sesame is a great tool to help assess your credit situation.” -Stephanie L. via BBB Website
I am so happy that I am able to monitor my credit for free & I get to see what’s on my credit report, the negative & the positive. I also receive alerts when there is any activity on my credit report & it all seems to be free of charge. This is definitely a blessing to me & many others looking to repair their credit.” -Trenell Peters via Trustpilot
“The most economical way (free) to access your credit score and additional information related to your credit history and financial health.” John Young via Trustpilot
I have been given all the information I needed about my credit scores and have been able to see what issues have already been resolved by Lexington Law.” -Lisa C. via BBB
I like the free credit report that Credit Sesame offers. They have many great features and the information they provide is very helpful. Also, other options are available besides credit score. I have had a great overall experience with Credit Sesame. Their website was very informative and easy to find the information you needed to get and track your credit score.” Amber via Consumer Affairs
How can I get started with Credit Sesame?
To get a free account with Credit Sesame, you’ll enter your full legal name, Social Security number, birth date, and address. After correctly answering three identity-confirming questions, you’ll have access to your TransUnion credit report and score.
If you want to upgrade to a paid plan, you’ll pay with a credit card. At this point, you’ll have instant access to all the features outlined in the plan you choose.
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