Credit Sesame Review: Is this Free Service Worth It?

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Updated: 23rd Nov 2020
Written by Kim Pinnelli
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Today it’s more normal to monitor your credit than not, but not all credit monitoring services are legit.

You have to be careful where you send your personal information, especially your Social Security number and date of birth.

Credit Sesame is one of the best credit monitoring services around. It’s free and yet claims to provide everything you need to stay on top of your credit. Is it worth it?

Keep reading our Credit Sesame Review to find out if this service is worth your time.

What is Credit Sesame?

Credit Sesame is a ‘mostly’ free credit monitoring service. I say mostly because they have premium services, that they’ll try to get you to sign up for. It’s not necessary, but many people find them worth it.

In the free program, you get free credit score access and a ‘report card’ which grades the most important credit factors.

Credit Sesame provides your monthly TransUnion credit score, along with personalized financial advice in your dashboard. They help you learn how to improve your credit score, making yourself attractive to more lenders.

Credit Sesame Review: Free Credit Monitoring Service.

What Does Credit Sesame Offer?

Free Credit Monitoring

Seeing your credit score every month helps prevent identity theft and makes you aware of poor credit decisions. Even though it’s one of three credit scores, it’s informative.

If your TransUnion score drops, chances are your others did too. If it’s an issue of identity theft or creditor error, check your other scores to see if you need to dispute the errors with the corresponding bureau.

Automatic Account Alerts

Get alerts in real-time for fraudulent credit activity. This is a great way to stay one step ahead of identity theft and/or errors made by your creditors or the credit bureaus.

$50,000 Identity Theft Insurance

If you’re a victim of identity theft, Credit Sesame’s insurance helps cover the cost of repairing your credit.

Free Credit Report Card

Looking at your credit report is overwhelming. Not making heads or tails out of any of it doesn’t help. Get the most important details in layman’s terms, so you know how to fix the issues.

Credit Sesame even analyzes your credit and debt use, providing helpful suggestions to improve your situation.

Help Choosing Loans

Credit Sesame suggests the right loans and credit cards based on your credit score and credit report card. They also help you through the application process with the offers they send you.

How Does Credit Sesame Work?

#1. Account Dashboard

Your account dashboard is the pillar of the entire program. At a glance, you’ll know your credit score and how you can improve it.

You’ll see what makes up your credit score, as well as what helps and hurts it. Clicking on each factor (payment history, credit utilization, credit age, account mix, and credit inquiries) provides you with even more information.

#2. Credit Monitoring

Credit Sesame provides around-the-clock credit monitoring with daily alerts if something changes. You’ll know almost instantly if someone hacked into your accounts, stole your identity, or if something is amiss with your credit. Acting fast preserves your credit score.

#3. Credit Score (Only From One Credit Bureau)

Credit Sesame provides your TransUnion credit score. All three credit scores differ, but it’s usually a minimal difference. Knowing one is empowering enough because you’ll know when you must make changes or look into a problem.

#4. Loan and Credit Recommendations

On your dashboard, you’ll see a page for credit card and loan recommendations. Credit Sesame does an excellent job breaking it down by fees, APR, and features.

Since they know your financial situation, they match consumers with the right cards and loans pretty well.

#5. Credit Sesame Mobile App

Check your credit score anytime you want with the Credit Sesame mobile app. You can see your entire dashboard, recommendations, and credit recommendations while on-the-go.

This can be helpful when you’re making financial decisions on the fly and need help making a decision.

Is Credit Sesame Free?

Everything discussed above is included in Credit Sesame’s free service. If you want additional identity theft protection, daily credit scores, faster credit dispute assistance, and 24/7 live help for fraud or stolen wallet resolution, you must pay for one of Credit Sesame’s premium packages.

How Much Does Credit Sesame Cost? Three Payment Plans

#1. Advanced Credit Package

The Advanced Credit Package plan is $9.95/month or $7.95 billed at $95 annually. It includes:

  • Daily credit score updates from one bureau
  • Monthly credit score updates from all three bureaus
  • A full credit report from Equifax, TransUnion, and Equifax monthly
  • $50,000 in identity theft insurance

#2. Pro

The Pro Credit Package is $15.95 a month, or $12.95 billed at $155 annually. It includes everything in the Advanced Credit Package plus:

  • Credit monitoring from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian
  • Around-the-clock access to live experts to help with credit dispute issues

#3. Platinum

Platinum is their largest plan and costs $19.95 a month, or $15.95 a month billed at $191 annually. It includes everything from above plus:

  • Around-the-clock access to live experts if your wallet is lost/stolen
  • Public record monitoring
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Social Security tracking (new addresses)
  • Identity theft insurance up to $1 million

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface that breaks down your credit score, how it’s calculated, and what you need to do to fix it
  • Immediate alerts if fraudulent activity is suspected
  • Access to your monthly credit score which helps you understand what financial choices to make to fix your score
  • Many of Credit Sesame’s best features are included in the free membership
  • Free advice to fix your credit, get the right credit card or find the right loan

Cons:

  • You’ll get a lot of advertisements from Credit Sesame
  • Many of their recommendations may come because of the commission they earn if you sign up
  • You have to pay for daily credit score monitoring

Does Using Credit Sesame Hurt My Credit?

Using Credit Sesame does not hurt your credit score. It’s the equivalent of you pulling your own credit, which is a soft credit pull.

There is a difference between hard and soft credit inquiries. A hard inquiry occurs only when you apply for new credit, like a credit card or car loan.

A soft inquiry occurs when you (or a credit monitoring service), or a company pre-qualifying you for an offer pull your credit.

A soft inquiry doesn’t hurt your credit score and doesn’t show up on your credit report. No one will know Credit Sesame pulls your credit (only you will).

Learn: Hard vs Soft Inquiries

Is Credit Sesame Safe?

Anytime you share your personal and financial information, there is a risk, but Credit Sesame pulls out all the stops when it comes to security. They use encryption and firewalls to ensure your information is safe.

If you ever feel threatened, you have your credit report information right there in front of you, so you’ll know if anything took place.

Will Credit Sesame Save You Money?

Credit Sesame won’t save you money if you just use it to monitor your credit score and watch for identity theft or fraud.

If you use it for what it’s worth, though, it can. Here’s how.

First, you’ll know your credit score and have an in-depth credit analysis. If you use the steps Credit Sesame suggests, you may save money.

Many of these steps help you improve your credit score, which results in lower interest rates and fewer fees when you apply for new credit.

Credit Sesame may also match you with the right cards and loans that save you money overall. Whether you refinance or find a 0% APR credit card, Credit Sesame will send you any offers that may help you financially.

How Does Credit Sesame Make Money?

Credit Sesame makes money two ways:

  • Premium features – Credit Sesame charges a hefty monthly fee for its premium services, which makes up for the free accounts they offer millions of clients
  • Partner offers – Credit Sesame sends you a loan, and credit card offers often (even daily). Anytime you sign up for one of their partner’s offers, they make a small commission.

Bottom Line: Credit Sesame Review

If you aren’t monitoring your credit yet, Credit Sesame is a great (and free) way to do it. You’ll see your credit score monthly, know about credit threats, and get professional advice to improve your financial situation.

What’s not to love? If you are trying to get a hold of your credit score, Credit Sesame may be what you’re waiting for.

More Credit Resources:

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli
Kim is a personal finance expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been freelance writing for 13 years for a number of large publications. Kim thoroughly enjoys helping people take charge of their personal finances.