Due to the increased interest in credit scores in recent years, it is little surprise that there are web sites popping up purporting to show your credit score for free.
And many of these sites do show you a credit score — although it won’t be your actual FICO score.
Credit Sesame is one of these sites offering you information about your credit situation, and even offering ideas for how you can save money on your debt.
Take a look at what Credit Sesame offers…
How Credit Sesame Will Help Your Credit
Manage Your Credit and Debt
Credit Sesame will pull all of your credit and debt information together into one place. The advantage of this is you can monitor your accounts in one place. This is useful if you have a lot of accounts and you find yourself forgetting about one every now and then. It’s also great to get an overall look at your spending as well as your debt. We sometimes think we’re in a better situation than we think we are. But looking at the entire picture of our accounts we see the situation amy be different.
Get Your Credit Score
Credit Sesame also offers you access to a credit score.
You get a free credit score every month as well as the opportunity to monitor your Experian credit report (this is great to make sure the information is accurate and that there aren’t any fraudulent accounts open in your name). You get access to see your credit history as well as your credit score.
One cool feature is you can set up daily monitoring alerts that will tell you about changes to your credit report.
It’s important to note that Credit Sesame doesn’t use the FICO score. Instead, your score is based on the Experian National Equivalency Score. This means that you might see different results from your FICO score. Still, the score should be a close approximation of your actual FICO and it should help to alert you if there’s work to be done to improve your score.
Credit Sesame is completely free to use; you don’t have to enter credit card information upon signup (many other companies offer a free score for a trial period where your credit card gets charged when the trial ends).
Instead, the web site makes money when you fill out offers, and a commission is paid to Credit Sesame (these are just offers, you aren’t required to ever sign up for them).
They analyze your financial situation, like your credit and debt, and show you offers that can help save you money, like mortgages or better credit cards to use. Their tools will show you how much you can save now as well as your potential future savings.
You’ll have access to real-time monitoring and alerts, giving you information on changes in your credit. Use their mobile app and keep up with your credit score and finances on the go.
A Little More About Credit Monitoring
Why would you want to monitor your credit report? Once you know your accounts why would you want to keep looking at them?
One thing you want to monitor is whether the accounts that are open are legitimate. You’ll get to see if new accounts are opened up without your permission. This does happen to people and knowing about it when the account opens is far better than finding out down the line when there’s already a ton of debt rung up and your credit has taken a hit!
You’ll also be able to see any credit inquiries on your credit. This means you can see when different companies are poking around to check your credit. Many times this is harmless but it can also indicate possible fraud depending on the account and the inquiry.
Your credit limits are also useful to check and you’ll be able to do that with Credit Sesame. When a credit line increases your credit you’ll be able to find out.
One important aspect to monitor is your credit utilization. Why is monitoring your credit utilization important? Your credit utilization is a big factor in your credit score. In a nutshell it gives a possible lender a quick look at how much of your credit you are actually using up. They tend to not want to see a high number here (the more you use the more possible debt you have, unless you pay everything off every month). With Credit Sesame you’ll get alerts when your credit utilization increases or decreases. If you have a big purchase coming up and need your credit score to be high then you definitely want to monitor your credit utilization to make sure it’s low!
So you see, being able to monitor your credit report is a powerful tool to have in your personal finance arsenal.
Is Credit Sesame Useful?
This web site can be quite useful for your finances. Powerful even.
Credit Sesame provides you with recommendations for saving money if you want a lower rate on a credit card, or if you want to refinance your mortgage. They say that their offers are unbiased and are solely based on your financial picture. Still, you need to do your own homework when dealing with credit cards and mortgages. Feel free to sign up for offers they recommend just make sure you can’t get a better deal on your own.
You also won’t get an official FICO score — or even a score based on the FICO algorithm.
So, if you are planning on applying for a major loan, you might not have the most accurate information. Credit Sesame is great to monitor your credit history and score but it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for your FICO if you are planning on a major loan.
You should also understand that the information in your file might not be right up to date; there have been reports of inaccuracies on the Credit Sesame web site in the past.
The main use for Credit Sesame is if you want a free tool to help you check in on your financial progress.
You can use the analysis offered by Credit Sesame to see whether you are making solid improvement. You can get a general idea of your credit worthiness by noting whether your score is rising or falling. You can also watch your debt levels decrease, and get some insight into actions you can take to improve your credit history.
Credit Sesame isn’t your FICO score. However, it can be a useful tool if you are looking for an idea of where you stand right now. You can use Credit Sesame to help you set financial goals and measure your progress against benchmarks.
If your credit could use some improvement, Credit Sesame can be a great tool. It’s also good if you are looking for free monitoring of your credit score and history.
Here’s a YouTube video with a little more one what Credit Sesame is about…