I can tell you exactly when I learned what my credit score was for the first time. It was two years ago when my husband and I were applying for a mortgage on our first (and current) house. During the mortgage application process, the lender pulled our credit and then gave us a copy of the scores. Fortunately our score was high enough to be approved for the mortgage but they weren’t great scores either. We were lucky. Looking back, I should have been more prepared and been familiar with my credit score before getting ready to buy a house.
These days I try to manage my finances (including my credit score) much more carefully. To help manage and monitor my credit score, I use Credit Sesame.
Why You Should Monitor Your Credit Score
A credit score is a way for lenders to measure your credit worthiness. Lenders want to know how likely you will pay back your loan on time. You credit score is based on your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used.
The higher your credit score, the better. Obtaining a good credit score (typically a credit score of 720 or higher) will save you money. Lenders will lend more money to individuals with higher credit scores at lower interest rates than individuals with lower credit scores. This can mean big savings on mortgages and car loans.
Who Is Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame was founded in 2010 by Adrian Nazari. Credit Sesame offers a free service providing credit scores, credit monitoring and analysis of your credit and loans. Credit Sesame can help you monitor your credit score. They also offer free identity theft insurance and ID restoration help.
There is confusion among some consumers who are looking for credit scores. You actually have a number of credit scores based on which credit bureau you use. When you hear credit score, most people are talking about FICO, which is used by most lenders. Credit Sesame does NOT provide you with your FICO score. They use Experian’s National Equivalency Score. This score is relatively close to FICO and can help you gauge how well your credit is going.
My Experience Using Credit Sesame
Signing up for Credit Sesame was really easy. You fill out an application on their website and they will ask you a few questions to verify your identity. I think the whole process took me about 10 minutes max. After I finished signing up and creating an account, I downloaded their free iPhone app. Credit Sesame did a great job on their mobile app. It is very easy to set up and navigate.
When I login to the app from my phone, my homepage looks something like this:
There are two major pieces of information that I monitor related to credit: credit score and total debt. The wonderful thing about Credit Sesame is that I can get this information (and more) all on the overview screen. You don’t need to do a ton of clicking around to find the information you are looking for. Everything is in one place and I really like that. This saves me time and energy.
What I love about Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame is able to capture accurate and updated information about my credit. Recently, one of my credit cards increased my credit line. I don’t recall ever getting a letter or email from the lender to inform me of this change. It was a good change so it wasn’t a big deal (but it’s still important to know). Credit Sesame detected the change in my credit line and sent me an alert informing me of the credit line increase. How cool is that? I like using Credit Sesame because the program is reliable and gives me up-to-date information about my credit.
Additional Features of Credit Sesame
Aside from tracking your credit score and debt, Credit Sesame also alerts you to different credit card and refinancing options you may qualify for. On my account, Credit Sesame shows 13 different credit cards that I could apply for. I looked at the options and was impressed with the results. There were several rewards credit cards including the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard. This is an excellent credit card that happens to be very popular this year because of the large rewards it offers. Credit Sesame does a good job finding the best credit opportunities for its members.
These offers are how Credit Sesame can provide their service for free. When you sign up for a card or any other service, they earn a commission. It is a simple model and it works great. It is a win-win for both the consumer and Credit Sesame.
The Credit Sesame Verdict
Your credit score is a very important part of your financial picture and should be carefully monitored. Credit Sesame is a great resource for anyone looking to check their credit score and start managing their credit. I love that all the information I like to track is right in one spot. Credit Sesame is free, reliable and easy-to-use. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Do you monitor your credit score? Have you tried Credit Sesame before?