Free credit score reporting and monitoring services are cropping up all over, but some question whether these up-and-coming platforms are a scam.
We’ve compiled this Credit Sesame review to answer some of your questions regarding these newly offered services.
What is Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame is a credit reporting and monitoring platform that offers both free and paid services. The company was founded in 2010 and is currently based out of Mountain View, California.
They have received many accolades, including recognition from Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.
Today, Credit Sesame has over 6 million subscribers. These members receive not only credit monitoring, but credit score reports, financial advice, and anti-identity theft protection.
Credit Sesame claims that their financial analyses are based on the methods of UC Berkley scientists.
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What Does Credit Sesame Offer?
Credit Sesame offers free credit monitoring and monthly credit scores through TransUnion, one of three credit reporting bureaus. Credit Sesame can help you understand how your credit score is calculated.
When you sign up for the Free Membership with Credit Sesmae you will get 1 bureau monthly credit score update and 1 bureau credit monitoring with alerts.
When you sign up for the Advanced Credit plan with Credit Sesame you will be charged $9.95 per month.
You will get the same benefits of the free membership plus you will also get 1 bureau DAILY credit score updates, 3 bureau monthly credit score updates and 3 bureau monthly full credit reports.
When you sign up for the Pro Credit plan with Credit Sesame you will be charged $15.95 per month, and they advertise this plan as being their “Best Value”.
You will get all the benefits of the free membership, the advanced credit membership plus you will also get 3 bureau credit monitoring with alerts and 24/7 access to live experts to help you solve any credit report inaccuracies you may come across.
When you sign up for the Platinum Protection Plan with Credit Sesame you will be charged $19.95 per month.
You will get all the benefits from the free membership, the advanced credit plan, the pro credit plan plus you will also get 24/7 access to live experts to help you with stolen or lost wallet issues, black market website monitoring, public record monitoring, and social security number monitoring.
Pros and Cons of Credit Sesame
- Useful Interface: The interface uses helpful visuals that show how your score is divided between your payment history, credit utilization, credit inquiries, your age, and the make-up of your different existing accounts.
- Identity Theft Insurance: One unique feature of Credit Sesame is that they offer identity theft insurance of up to $50,000, even to their free subscribers. This provision proves the company’s faith in its ability to protect you against fraud and identity theft.
- Suspicious Activity Alerts: Credit Sesame will give its subscribers alerts against suspicious activity that could be the result of identity theft so that they can take action as quickly as possible. They also offer the Credit Sesame app, as well. Some prefer this mobile application for its easy use, though subscribers will find many more features available on the desktop version.
- Monthly Credit Score Report: Credit Sesame provides a monthly credit score report that will rate your credit standing on the Vantage scale. It will give you a helpful breakdown to see how much you owe and what dollar amount and percentage of your income you need to pay to keep a healthy financial status. Credit Sesame also offers tips to improve your credit score, based on your unique situation.
- Not Many Options For the Free Membership: While premium credit sesame users have access to reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, free subscriptions only receive reports from TransUnion. This is one drawback to Credit Sesame. FICO scores are pulled most frequently by lenders, and a TransUnion report alone does not adequately express how you’ll rank in this scoring model.
Is Credit Sesame Safe?
Yes. Credit Sesame has been certified by MacAfee, Norton, and eTrust, and is under 24-hour watch. Their security methods are similar to those of banks and online government databases.
Credit Sesame will ask for information such as your full legal name, age, phone number, your current address, and any previous residence in the last six months.
You will only provide them with the last four digits of your social security number.
Credit Sesame does not share your information with any third-party vendors. They are an accredited, award-winning business with over 6 million subscribers. If you are thinking to join Credit Sesame, you can rest assured that it is a safe program and not a scam.
Is Credit Sesame Free?
Yes, Credit Sesame does offer a free membership. If you sign up for their services, you will not be asked to give your credit card information or to subscribe to a trial.
However, Credit Sesame keeps itself running through premium and platinum services.
If you decide to upgrade, you will have access to some additional features. The premium subscription includes credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, giving you the most accurate numbers possible.
Platinum protection will keep watch on your personal information, including your social security number, and will alert you to any activity on black market websites that uses your personal information.
Should You Use Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame has received a positive review from several notable sources, including Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and The Times.
Credit Sesame’s data security has been affirmed by Norton, MacAfee, and eTrust to ensure a level of excellence in your identity theft protection.
In short, if you’re looking to be more aware of your financial situation based on your credit, Credit Sesame is an excellent—and potentially no-cost—option.