There are no shortages of businesses that want to help you manage your debt.
Debt is something we all want to have less of and there are certainly a lot of companies out there that make a variety of claims when it comes to helping you out.
Credit Sesame is another company that makes numerous claims but this company truly is the real deal.
In addition, Credit Sesame doesn’t just focus on band aid solutions; they take a holistic look at your financial situation and make suggestions that are long-term, not quick fixes. See more below in this Credit Sesame review.
No Credit Card Needed
Most online credit solution businesses require you to not only create an account, but you must leave your credit card information with them in order to “take advantage” of their services, and one of the lures they use to get you there is by offering you a free credit report.
Credit Sesame uses no lures like this.
Each of the three main credit report companies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) must provide you one free credit report every year – so in reality you can get three free reports annually, via annualcreditreport.com.
Equifax offers a plan in which you receive 24/7 credit monitoring, three credit scores once every 12 months (that is required by law to be free), up to $25,000 in identity theft protection and unlimited access to Equifax’s credit score. These services sound great, but there is a monthly cost involved with this.
Interestingly, Experian offers visitors to their website to find out what their credit score is for $1. This automatically puts you into a 7 day trial membership into one of their programs.
Credit Sesame can help you get personalized loans that will save you on interest. In addition, you can set financial goals and obtain unbiased advice – at no cost to you. Other online debt management services offer you a free consultation; some are limited to five or ten minutes only. There is no time frame at Credit Sesame – advice is always free.
What Does Credit Sesame Provide?
With Credit Sesame you get access to Experian’s National Equivalency credit score, which you can see monthly for free. Looking at your free credit score won’t affect your score since it is what’s considered a “soft pull,” where you are pulling it for personal use (as opposed to a “hard pull” which is what lenders do when looking to approve you for a loan). With a credit score in hand, you have a better idea of your credit-worthiness, which can give you an idea of what you may pay for a loan. You can also track changes in your score, which allows you to act quickly to correct any negative impacts before you actually need your credit score. Remember, your credit score is used for more than just loans these days so it’s crucial to keep your score as high as possible.
Unlike most competitors, Credit Sesame provides your whole financial picture that is updated monthly. They have a scientific analytics engine — similar to that used at a bank — that uses your financial profile, and your credit score to personalize mortgage options as well as refinance options. You don’t have to do anything; Credit Sesame automatically updates your information and sends you monthly alerts to help you make smarter credit decisions.
Here’s a rundown of some of the other service, besides a free credit score, that Credit Sesame provides (from their site):
- Free advice: We analyze your loans and credit card debt every day as the market changes, and if there’s a better loan option that saves you money, we alert you.
- Free tracking and alerts: We update your credit score and loan information every month, then create easy-to-use trending graphs so you can track how you’re doing.
- Free home value estimates: We update the estimates of your home value and the amount of home equity you’ve built up every month.
- Free financial goal-setting: We help you set your own financial goals – like refinancing a home, borrowing money or buying a house – and alert you when we find an offer that meets your goals and saves you most money on interest.
You can set a number of alerts in Credit Sesame to keep track of what you might save on a new available loan, for when you credit score changes (within a range you set), and for when your home value changes (also based on a range you set). With these alerts you don’t even have to keep going to the site to check. Just set up your alert parameters and check out what has changed when you get an alert.
There are very few online financial services that can guarantee you pay nothing for ongoing advice and monthly updates. Should you choose to take advantage of an offer to refinance an existing loan, mortgage or want to consolidate, then applying online through Credit Sesame is simple. If you apply for a loan and the deal closes then there is a fee involved – but the good news is that Credit Sesame partners who provide the loans pays the small fee to Credit Sesame.
You pay nothing.
All this is made possible because Credit Sesame is an independent company that is backed by institutional advisors and venture capital firms (they make their money through the offers that are presented to you and are paid by the companies that provide the offers).
Drawbacks to Credit Sesame
The credit score you receive for free is Experian’s National Equivalency Score, which isn’t an actual FICO score that many lending institutions use. Still, the score come from one of the three credit reporting bureaus and measures your score based on your credit report and similar factors to the FICO scores.
They are also going to send you offers based on your loans and the goals you set. If you are looking for a better mortgage refinancing or similar ways to better your debt situation then this service is great and it can help you save.
After a thorough search through several websites, it is very safe to say that Credit Sesame is onto something very good. They truly want to help people manage their debt and set realistic financial goals to get on the road to eliminating debt and building personal wealth – without furthering their debt to pay for these services.
Click here to check your credit score free with Credit Sesame.
This is truly NOT the real deal. I had an issue and sent the following email on March 22nd and still have not gotten a response.
“I have been using your “free ” service for a while. I am in a DMP and have been very carefully monitoring my credit as I am getting closer to having it paid off and am planning on buying a house next year. Imagine my surprise when I see that I have over $33K in dept store debt! I totally freak out and pay the $9 for my report as I assume that someone has stolen my identity and opened up new accounts. Yet, when I go through the report that YOU provided me for $9, there are no open dept store account except for the 2 in the DMP. Can you please explain this to me? Is this a scare tactic just to get me to buy the credit report?” I think this site is a total scam!!!! DO not use
I’m concerned about the accuracy (timeliness) of the data they present. Read the email trail below (bottom up). I’m still waiting for a reply.
You haven’t answered my question at all. The fact that I can’t edit is secondary. The data on the site is incorrect (extremely out of date). I have a hard copy of my Experian report that I pulled December 22 2013. It shows the balance (at that time) on the account I referenced as 19,351. The amount being reported at this time by CreditSesame is the balance as of September 2013. That’s over a YEAR out of date. Your email reply below says it can be ‘up to 2 months’. I explicitly pointed out the fact that the amount has not changed on the site since June (even provided a screen shot). Explain the discrepancy !? Difficult to trust the data when it’s that far out of date.
I’ll point out that credit card accounts appear to be relatively accurate. As a matter of fact, one account is accurate as of the October closing balance and my AMEX account is accurate as of the closing September balance. Why would those two accounts have been updated recently and yet the auto loan amount hasn’t been updated apparently at all.
From: Credit Sesame Customer Service [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Credit Sesame has answered your question!
NOV 17, 2014 | 11:27AM PST
Customer Service replied:
Thank you for your email.
Based on user feedback, we decided that it was very confusing for users to be able to edit their information. Over time users would be confused by the information that they had entered and the information that was being reported by the credit bureaus. For example, we often heard after they added accounts that their accounts would be duplicated when it started to appear on the credit report. Some even complained that they thought when they were adding information that they thought it was being reported to the credit bureau and should be included in their credit score. In any event, we decided that it would be better to keep the Experian data pristine so that users always know what is being reported by the bureaus. We do hope to bring back the ability to add accounts and edit account information but we want to make sure that it is clear that these are user edits rather than part of the their Experian credit file.
Another factor that led to this redesign was that in the near term we are going to be moving to a more regular update schedule for the balance and payment date. Today, that information can be up to 2 months old, in the future it won’t be older than 30 days.
Credit Sesame Customer Support
NOV 17, 2014 | 05:55AM PST
Credit Sesame continues to show the outstanding balance on my auto loan at $20,576 (with Pentagon Federal Credit Union). The ‘debt analysis’ page for that loan shows that same amount for each month all the way back to June (see attached screen shot). The correct amount is $14,823 as of 11/17/2014. There is no facility on the page to adjust the amount. Another site (Credit Karma) is reporting the correct amount. Can you explain why this is occurring.