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Many clients have asked me for a place to receive their credit score. I have always defaulted to saying “go to your bank/credit union or Google it.” But after my own experience with Credit Sesame, I knew I needed to share.
CreditSesame writes this on their website Credit Sesame is a fast-growing credit and loan management platform that is changing the way consumers apply for and manage their credit. As a strong consumer advocate, we provide consumers the free tools they need to reach their financial goals. Since launching in 2010, Credit Sesame has helped millions of consumers find better financial products and do more with their credit score.
CreditSesame give you a multitude of financial tools that will help prepare you to get a loan, mortgage, new credit card or even a HELOC. The first and most popular is the credit score. CreditSesame give you Transunion's take on your credit profile. This would be the most useful if just looking for your credit score. If that's all you want, great. CreditSesame will happily give your Transunion score and update it for FREE once a month. But there is also another tool that may be valuable as well.
AREAS OF SUCCESS
The feature of recommending cards would prove to be useful to anyone wanting to apply for a credit card. The really awesome thing about their system is they give you approval odds, interest rate (APR) and estimated credit limit. These three are valuable for a variety of reasons.
- When applying for a credit card directly through an issuer's website all you can do is cross your fingers and hope you will be approved. CreditSesame takes into account your debt/income ratio and credit history to give you the odds of being accepted. New credit inquiries take up 10% of your credit score and having too many of them will actually hurt your score. With that being said, having an idea of your approval odds is invaluable!
- Showing the interest rate before applying is something not many card issuer's do. It seems you have to call their 1-800 number, talk to three supervisors and finally, they will say “we'll get back to you.” This is something beneficial because if you are someone who carries a balance (which I do not advise) the lower the APR the better.
- Now, the estimated credit limit is something novel to me. Having this idea will help you be able to decide whether or not a card or cards will be useful for your goals. Obviously, if you'd like to charge essentials (fuel, groceries, household, rent etc.) then a $500 credit limit will not serve you well.
Another feature I thought was quite clever was the grading system. In primary, secondary and even my university studies, I was a slightly above average student. I never saw an A. When my Mother saw a B on any report card she was swift to praise me and give me lots of love celebrating my success. I was not dumb, I just was not as bright as the others!
Seeing that I have an A in a couple of the categories makes my heart smile. Me, little ‘ole me has an A? Boy does that bring me some satisfaction. Anyhow, this interface above gives the actual numbers that are on your credit report. Clicking on each tab shows some different information and gives a small explanation of the next step in maintaining the high grade or what to do to improve your grade. Although something small I thought using the grades was an intuitive idea.
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AREAS OF GROWTH
CreditSesame is great at offering cards that you may be interested in. So much, in fact, I ran into a problem. I was being recommended cards that I already have like the Discover it card as well as the Chase Freedom Unlimited AND the American Express Blue Cash Everday. Three cards I already have. I literally laughed because I use the Chase and American Express every week. So, perhaps a system that would not offer cards already in my lineup or give me the option to say “not interested” or “already in my wallet” would be useful.
Having a review from an expert in credit cards is rather valuable. Yes, reading the reviews of individuals and the little guy like me are useful. But in order for me to feel really comfortable and understand the rewards structure of a card, sign-up bonus and the fine print of a card I need to read an expert. Even a short review that is written by someone at CreditSesame would suffice.
And lastly, showing the Transunion score is great but it is only one of the three credit bureaus. Having two would be far more desirable.
CreditSesame is a useful tool for the individual who wants to know their credit score for loan/credit purposes or for personal knowledge. It can be used casually or rather in-depth. The areas of growth are rather minimal and the advantages of having a FREE credit score trump these areas certainly.
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To get your FREE credit score and credit recommendations click here to check out CreditSesame and sign up today. The sign-up process takes only two minutes and you will be shown your score immediately.
What is your experience with CreditSesame? Do you have anything to add on the areas of success or growth?
Always Moving Forward,
As a certified credit counselor and syndicated writer at MaxMyMoney, Max has coached over 250 Millennials to help take the stress out of money. When Max is not coaching, you'll find him reading financial books, indoor cycling, or visiting local pawn shops looking for swiss-made watches.