If you have bad credit, then you may not be able to rent a home, because landlords now check credit history. Knowing your credit score is one thing, but understanding it is an entirely different beast. That’s where Credit Sesame can help.
What Is Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame focuses on helping people learn about consumer credit and lending with a focus on how to help you manage your own. It’s been around since 2010 and since then has helped millions of people.
With Credit Sesame, you can get credit information and advice. All you have to do is sign up to access a smorgasbord of services, such as a free monthly credit score. They provide you with your VantageScore credit report as well as:
- $50,000 worth of identity theft insurance
- Daily monitoring of your credit score and report
- Alerts of changes to your credit score
Credit Sesame also helps you to understand the factors that go into determining your credit score. They explain your credit history and highlight key factors. These include things such as the number of open accounts you have or missed payments that can impact your score. They also suggest actions you can take to make it better.
Credit Sesame offers recommendations for credit-related products too, such as suggestions about what kind of credit card may best fit your financial habits and personal finance goals.
What Impacts Your Credit Score?
Credit Sesame provides you with your VantageScore. This isn’t the same thing as a FICO score, which is used by most lenders to determine your creditworthiness. It’s an alternative score to FICO that uses the same scoring range of 300 to 850. The higher your VantageScore, the better.
There are many things that can affect your credit score. However, the VantageScore uses just a handful of factors in their calculation, including:
- Credit inquires – You don’t want there to be a lot of credit inquiries done on your account since those are usually done when you’re seeking to take on new debt.
- Account mix -You want many different types of accounts on your credit because it shows lenders that you have a dynamic credit history. One nice thing about Credit Sesame is that is breaks down your accounts by type to include credit card accounts, student loans, and home loans.
- Credit age – You credit ages like a fine wine. The older your accounts are, the better your credit score tends to be. This establishes you have a long history with lenders and hopefully that you pay back the money that you borrow on time.
- Payments history – Do you have any foreclosures, accounts in collections, late payments, or bankruptcies on your account? These all impact your credit score which is why it’s best to avoid these things from happening. But, it’s better to know that they’re on there so you can find out how to resolve the issue.
- Credit utilization – This is where your total credit available is compared with how much debt you owe. This helps banks and other lenders understand how you use your credit and lets them know if you’re a good person to take a gamble on for a loan.
Credit Sesame’s Best Features
There is a lot of information about your financial health you can learn by utilizing Credit Sesame’s features. These include:
Credit Score And Credit Monitoring
The feature that attracts most users to Credit Sesame is the free credit score. You’ll also receive updates on your credit on a monthly basis so you can begin to track your credit report and learn about financial trends unique to you.
It doesn’t hurt your credit score to use Credit Sesame since the service simply provides your personal information to you. This is what’s known as a “soft inquiry” that won’t impact your credit score. Remember, too many credit inquiries can definitely ding your credit.
Credit Sesame’s free credit monitoring services send you alerts when your credit score changes. It also alerts you when you apply for new credit, or when an account opens or closes. This helps you keep tabs on events that have an impact on your credit and protects you from identity theft.
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft is a problem you always need to be on the lookout for. If someone steals your identity and opens new credit accounts in your name to rack up debt, then it can be devastating to your financial situation for years.
That’s why products just like Credit Sesame help you to monitor your credit for any strange and unusual activity. With Credit Sesame, you’ll be alerted any time there is a change to your account and new activity pops up on the credit radar.
Credit Sesame also offers $50,000 worth of free identity theft insurance to members. This insurance can help to provide financial support and guidance in the event that ID theft happens to you.
Credit Sesame provides tailored financial services as a part of their package too. Their software evaluates your credit score, current home value, existing loans, and any other factors to provide you with savings and loan offers from lenders to help you reach your financial goals.
One caveat here is that you cannot assume that every product is the right one for you. These offers can help you to pay off debt faster or save money on interest rates as you work to improve your credit score.
But it’s important to do your own research for confirmation that a financial product is going to be the right one for you. You can unsubscribe from these offer emails if you’re simply not in the market for anything new.
Credit Sesame has a free basic membership, but you can also sign up for additional services that charge a monthly fee. These memberships include:
- Advanced Credit – This membership offers monitoring of your credit daily and grants you the ability to check your credit report with the big three credit bureaus. This will cost $9.95 per month.
- Pro Credit – You have the option with this plan to contact Credit Sesame’s live team of experts if you have questions about your credit. This plan costs $15.95 per month.
- Platinum Protection – This plan monitors your Social Security number and also monitors black market websites and public records to help you catch identity theft before it hurts you. This costs $19.95 per month.
How to Sign Up for Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame is incredibly easy to sign up for. Simply go to their website, creditsesame.com, and sign up for an account by providing a few personal details. These include the last four digits of your social security number for the purpose of accessing your credit history.
You’ll also be asked to answer a few identification questions to verify you are who you claim to be. This helps Credit Sesame ensure your personal information is locked down tight and protected.
After all, they don’t want to open you up to identity theft! Once an account has been created, log into it online or via their mobile app.
There are many credit monitoring services out there – Credit Sesame isn’t your only choice. As far as free services are concerned, you have the choice of two other services aside from Credit Sesame – Quizzle and Credit Karma.
Quizzle also utilizes your VantageScore to provide you with a credit score and monitor your credit report. With Quizzle, you will be able to access your full credit report from TransUnion.
That’s something you won’t find with Credit Sesame. Be aware, Quizzle only updates your credit score every three months. But it does alert you of any new activity on your credit in real time.
Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are very similar, but one notable difference is that with Credit Karma you get a VantageScore that also incorporates your Equifax and TransUnion score. You’ll also receive a free full credit report from both agencies with Credit Karma.
Credit Karma updates your score more frequently, usually about once per week. They do not offer any identity theft insurance for free as Credit Sesame does. So that’s one area where Credit Sesame definitely comes out on top.
Should You Use Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame is a great product to help you take control of your credit and make it a little less mysterious. It provides really accurate information to help you stay informed. Plus, it’s safe and easy to use. You should give it a try for free and see what you think!