EDITOR’S NOTE: We no longer recommend Credit Sesame for your credit score. As for now our top recommendation is FreeScore360. Check it out!
Are you looking for a tool that will allow you to track your credit, analyze your credit score, and help you pay down debt?
Credit Sesame is a website poised to meet all three needs.
But, an in depth review shows that you may need to look further for real solutions to your credit problems.
Here’s what you need to know about CreditSesame.com.
What is Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame bills itself as an all in one credit solution. You can monitor your credit score, check debt levels, and find financial product recommendations.
Credit Sesame’s free service and flagship product is credit monitoring. But they sell identity theft recovery services. Just for signing up, you get $50K in identity theft insurance coverage. No other website offers this valuable opt in.
However, you can buy even more. For $9.95, you can get a complete copy of your TransUnion credit report. For $14.95 per month you can get daily credit bureau updates and a copy of your credit report from all 3 bureaus.
$19.95 per month buys $1 Million dollars of ID theft insurance plus access to 24/7 resolution specialists. If you need Black Web monitoring, you can pay $24.95 for Credit Sesame to monitor you and your social security number.
Best Reason To Sign Up- Free ID Theft Insurance
Free identity theft insurance, and free credit score offer a huge benefit to Credit Sesame users. In fact, these are the best reasons to sign up for Credit Sesame.
If you fall victim to identity fraud, you can use the insurance to pay for notary signatures, credit freezes and thaws, even legal representation. In most cases, $50K worth of insurance will more than cover all your costs. Except the biggest cost of all… your time.
Most victims of identity theft spend 4 hours untangling the mess, but one in ten spend more than 130 hours. The best way to cut the time you spend on identity theft is to get help from an expert.
Credit Sesame offers premium customers extra monitoring and credit resolution services. But we don’t recommend the upgrade. You can get Credit Sesame’s services free elsewhere.
Do you want a full credit report?
Want concierge level identity theft resolution services? Check out the free perks on the Capital One QuickSilver Credit Card. You can see that the card comes with full ID theft resolution services, even if the identity theft happened on an unrelated account.
Don’t be fooled by Credit Sesame’s comparison to other paid services. You can get their paid services for free.
Credit Sesame’s credit monitoring is their oldest product, and it is free with your subscription. You can keep tabs on your Vantage 3.0 credit score, and look into each factor associated with your score.
Read More: Compare Vantage 3.0 to FICO
Credit Sesame gives you a letter score for each component of your credit. This allows you to focus your improvement efforts on the area that needs the most improvement.
The dashboards offer some incredible insights. They strike a nice balance between visual appeal and substance. If you need to improve your credit score, Credit Sesame makes it easy to determine how to do it.
However, Credit Sesame tends to have a “Product Forward” solution. This means that they serve up tons of credit card recommendations. A credit card might help you improve your credit, but it might not. Sometimes, the most important thing for you to do is pay off your debt rather than do a balance transfer.
If you use Credit Sesame, try to view their product recommendations with a critical eye. Another card or loan might not solve your credit problems. You can fix your credit on your own, but you need to have the right plan in place.
Outside of the credit scoring module, you can look for direct product comparisons. Credit Sesame compares most of the top credit card products.
If you’re looking for a new balance transfer credit card, or a Rewards credit card, Credit Sesame offers some great options. Before you apply, you should read the fine print, and be sure the cards meet your specific needs. But overall, the offerings seemed decent.
When it came to personal loans, car loans, and car insurance, I found Credit Sesame lacking.
A quick search for “Best Rates on ….” brought up half a dozen companies with lower rates on personal loans and mortgages. The Car Insurance quote comparisons weren’t easy to use and didn’t save me any money.
Outside of the credit card recommendations, don’t waste your time comparing products on Credit Sesame. You can do better elsewhere.
Comparing Mortgage Options
One tool that I loved, was the mortgage comparison tool. Credit Sesame provides a helpful visual that compares costs to monthly payments. You can easily adjust the parameters, and see the true cost over the cost of the loan.
If you’re in the market for a home loan (including a refinance), this is an excellent tool.
We recommend signing up for Credit Sesame to get the free identity theft insurance. Once you’re a member, you’re eligible for the insurance.
When you shop for financial products, consider offers outside of Credit Sesame too. Financial products (especially credit cards) offer powerful protections, but they can be dangerous. You’ll want to consider your own needs before you apply for a credit card that Credit Sesame recommends.