To track your credit score, I’m currently recommending the free service provided by Credit Sesame.
The score you get is not your FICO score. That can be obtained from myfico.com. This score is provided by Experian. In other words, before applying for a loan, you might want to consider paying for the FICO score, but in order to get a general gauge of your credit score, I suggest Credit Sesame.
Why is it important to track your credit score with Credit Sesame?
- One of the biggest mistakes rookie credit card collectors make is that they start signing up for every conceivable credit card offer. This, in turn, may have a larger than expected impact on your credit score. By tracking your score (you get one free credit score check each month with Credit Sesame), you can see how your credit card applications and account closures are impacting your score.
- You’ll learn facts about your score – not rumors or assumptions. I’ve heard people say that applying for a credit card will reduce your credit score by 10 points. What a joke. That is not true. From my own tracking, each application usually reduces your score by a mere 2 or 3 points. But, don’t take my word for it. Track it yourself.
How can Credit Sesame provide this service for free?
They’ll propose ways to save on things like your home mortgage. If you take their advice, that is to the benefit of Credit Sesame.
I signed up for Credit Sesame a few days ago, and the process took no more than five minutes. Interestingly, Experian asked me to verify what my car loan payment was in 2002. I had no idea, but I guess I must have had the right answer!
Once you’ve applied, you can get instant access to your score:
Simple as that. Then each month you can go back to the site and see how the score has changed.
*How does Credit Sesame compare to Credit Karma?
I’ve previously endorsed Credit Karma on this site.
With Credit Karma you get your Transrisk score as well as your auto insurance score and vantage score. All, of course, for free as well.
The biggest difference between the two sites, other than where they pull the scores from (TransUnion [Credit Karma] and Experian [Credit Sesame]), is the number of ads. Credit Karma has more ads. If that kind of thing bothers you then you’ll find that Credit Sesame has less.
If all else fails, you can do what I do – have a free account with both.
Here’s what your score report looks like with Credit Karma.
*Full disclosure: I get a referral payment if you sign up for either Credit Karma or Credit Sesame using the links on this page. And, yes, I get paid more to promote Credit Sesame than Credit Karma.
Have you used either of these two services? What are your thoughts?