Credit Sesame Review – Get Your Free Credit Score and Monitoring

Credit Sesame logoI 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.  [highlight]Credit Sesame does NOT provide you with your FICO score[/highlight]. 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:

Credit Sesame Mobile App

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?

Automate Your Savings for Free

Do I sound a little crazy here? Maybe. There is a free app out there called Digit, which enables you to easily automate your savings by analyzing your purchases and income. It saves where you think you can't and does it all for you, for free! I save over $400 a month by doing nothing! Check out my Digit review here.

About the Author Liz

Hi. I'm Liz. I'm currently digging my way out of student loan debt and simultaneously trying to live life to the fullest. I live in the Midwest with my husband and our yellow lab, Ruby. I'm the daughter of a woodworker and a quilter. They've given me an appreciation for, and love of crafting. My favorite medium is crochet but I'll work with anything. I'm a foodie, accountant, and a freelance writer.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

John @ Wise Dollar says July 28

Nice review Liz! I’ve used Credit Sesame in the past and use Credit Karma currently. I found it pretty straightforward and simple to use and a nice way to stay relatively on top of your score.

    Grayson Bell says July 29

    I like how both services are straight forward and easy to use. Great for any consumer!

Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says July 28

I wish one of these sites had the complete FICO score. But I definitely appreciate the free resource.

    Grayson Bell says July 28

    Well, FICO is its own service, so they would have to pay money to provide that to their customers. Many credit card companies offer the FICO score. I have found that my FICO and my Credit Sesame score are within 5 to 10 points of each other. All you need is an estimate and that is why Credit Sesame is good.

Natalie @ Financegirl says July 28

Nice review! I definitely think there is value in monitoring your credit. I always get my credit reports yearly and check my credit score.

    Grayson Bell says July 28

    I get my reports every year as well. Sometimes I stagger getting each report from the different bureaus over the year.

Brad @ How to Save Money says July 28

Keeping track of your credit score is very important. But have you ever tried to get a mistake on your credit report corrected? It is just about impossible. The credit agencies can act with almost complete disrguard for accuracy. One of my real concerns about the current system.

    Grayson Bell says July 28

    That is a whole other issue Brad! Removing mistakes is very difficult and it can take a long time to prove the mistake wrong.

Shannon @ Financially Blonde says July 28

Thanks for the review Liz! I have heard of Credit Sesame, but typically use Credit Karma for my credit score check ins. I know that it is not my exact FICO score; however, I always say that it’s “good enough for government work” and enough information to help me monitor my numbers.

    Grayson Bell says July 28

    I actually use both myself Shannon! Depending on the time I check, each score is different, but close enough. Credit Karma uses TransUnion’s scoring model, so both should result in a general picture of your credit score.

Josh @ CNA Finance says July 28

Credit Sesame is definitely a pretty great service, and tracking your score is incredibly important. Thanks for the great review!

Alicia @ Monster Piggy Bank says July 28

In my opinion Credit Sesame is not nearly as good as Credit Karma. I paid off all of my credit cards mid December, 2013 and they have still have not updated it. I also have Credit Karma and it was updated within 10 days on their site.

    Grayson Bell says July 28

    Hello Alicia,

    That is interesting. I actually have the opposite problem. Credit Karma does not update for me very often. Really, it is not the service that does this, it is where they are getting the information from. Credit Sesame uses Experian to get their information and Credit Karma uses TransUnion. You might want to look at Experian to see if they have not updated your credit report.

Practical Cents says July 28

I’m currently using both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. I like that Credit Sesame alerts me right away when I open a new account or my balance increases on a current one. I don’t get that from Credit Karma but they have other benefits I like as well so use both for different reasons.

    Grayson Bell says July 28

    I use both as well and I get the same thing. Since they are using two different credit bureau numbers, why not have both?

Will says July 29

I think free credit score/credit monitoring sites are becoming more and more obsolete with more credit card companies offering free FICO scores. The nice thing about CS is the fact they offer free identity theft insurance.

    Grayson Bell says July 29

    While they offer free FICO scores, they don’t offer credit monitoring for free like Credit Sesame does. They also provide free identity theft insurance. I have two cards that offer FICO scores, but I still find it very helpful to have a service like Credit Sesame. I wouldn’t say they are even close to obsolete. There are millions who don’t have cards that offer FICO.

Holly@ClubThrifty says July 29

I love free credit monitoring sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame! It helps me stay on top of my score and any problems that might occur.

Melanie @ My Alternate Life says July 29

I love Credit Sesame! You actually just reminded me to check my score. 🙂 It’s helpful and easy to use. Nice review, Liz. Nice to see you in this neck of the woods!

MoneyMiniBlog says July 29

I love Credit Sesame! I wrote a review on Credit Karma and I use that too, but I prefer Credit Sesame. It’s quicker to report my information to me and I like the layout much more. Thanks for writing the review, I need to do one of them as well!

    Grayson Bell says July 30

    I agree! It sends me the updates quickly and let’s me know when I haven’t checked in a while. Credit Karma is also good.

Brit says July 30

I use Credit Sesame for quite sometime and I enjoy it. I use it to monitor my credit score and I think it reports information quicker. Great review.

Ryan @ Impersonal Finance says August 4

Great review Grayson. I’ve been a fan of credit sesame ever since I began using it. Even though I’m not incredibly worried about my identity being stolen, it’s a great resource to have!

    Grayson Bell says August 4

    Thanks Ryan, but I have to give credit to Liz as she wrote the review. I think it is a valuable resource, especially since it is free!

Chester Deaver says October 3

I am so confused and really upset right now!! I just tried to finance a used vehicle, and when they got my credit report it was below 600 although credit sesame shows me @ 643!! I have tried so hard to deal with all three reporting agencies, and I get the run-around from them!! I was able to get 2 credit cards based on credit sesame, and have a bank not that I have not missed a payment on in 10 years, late 3 times only!! Everything on my credit report is over 7 years old!! One is 31 years old, and they just keep renewing them every 7 years, until there is no way that I can get out of this mess!! I have been able to get credit on buying a motor home and travel trailer at one time, and paid off several accounts on time and continue to get “screwed” by the 3 agencies!! Where do you get your report from that shows me @ 643, and can you send me a copy of that please!!! Chester H. Deaver Sr.

    Grayson Bell says October 5

    Hello Chester,

    Credit Sesame and Credit Karma do NOT provide FICO scores. Lenders can get a number of FICO scores for you. There isn’t just one number. I think there are 12 FICO scores now. If you want your true FICO, you need to pay and get it. Again, this is just one number. You have three different versions depending on the credit bureau. When a lender pulls your credit, they will typically get one low, one middle, and one high. They can take anyone they want. Most will take the middle, but that is not true. Again, sorry you are having a tough time with the lenders, but using Credit Sesame and other free services won’t provide you with a true FICO score.

Add Your Reply


This guide will show you the tools and sites I used to get control of my finances. They can help anyone and without them, I might still be in a lot of debt.
We respect your information and never spam
5 Great Tools to Rescue Your Finances
Join Me in Learning How to Save and Make More Money (Plus a free money tools guide!)