This Credit Sesame review has been updated for 2023. Many readers have asked me about Credit Sesame and whether I’d recommend their service to readers. Meanwhile, I haven’t reviewed a financial product in ages (apologies), so I decided to sign up for their free service a few years ago and now can report back with my Credit Sesame review. Is Credit Sesame really free? Is Credit Sesame a scam? Is Credit Sesame safe to use? What are the pros and cons? I set out to answers these questions and more.
What is Credit Sesame?
At its core, Credit Sesame is a free credit score service that offers a free TransUnion credit score, free credit monitoring, and some helpful reporting features. You can purchase additional credit monitoring and protection with Credit Sesame “Premium” as well.
Is Credit Sesame Free?
The basic Credit Sesame account is free. It offers a free TransUnion VantageScore credit score and free credit monitoring, along with some helpful reporting/analysis features.
They previously offered a free TransUnion credit report and even $1 million of identity protection insurance for free, but those are included in the “Premium” offering now. I like how they offered something called “credit score factors”, which gave helpful tips on how to positively impact your credit score.
What Does Credit Sesame Premium Offer?
If you decide to upgrade your account to “Credit Sesame Premium”, for $6.99/month you get a lot of features:
- $1 million in ID theft coverage
- access to a TransUnion credit score updated daily
- advanced alerts from 3 credit bureaus
- credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus
- advanced credit monitoring
- something called “wallet protection” – not sure what this is
Is Credit Sesame Safe and Secure?
Any time you are talking about your credit, there are naturally concerns about if the service is safe to use and your information is secured.
While I truly believe that no institution is 100% bullet-proof from hacks, Credit Sesame seems safe. For starters, they are considered secure by Norton, McAfee, and ETrust, and are BBB accredited (and have a good rating and customer responses on the BBB site).
During the signup process, you are not asked for your full Social Security Number – only the last 4 digits to confirm your identity:
The signup process goes through a series of multiple choice questions to make sure you are who you really say you are. You are asked for the following:
- To choose a login and password
- Your email address
- Your full legal name
- Your address
- Phone number
- Your date of birth
- Whether you own or rent your residence
- If you have lived at your current address for at least 6 months (if not, you must enter previous address so Credit Sesame can pull your credit history – typical of all credit reporting agencies)
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security number
Additionally, you can set up 2-factor authentication to protect your account from security breaches.
Is Credit Sesame Worth It?
If you’re looking for a basic free service to show you TransUnion credit score and report information, Credit Sesame’s free basic offering does the job. The premium offering offers a lot more, however.
Credit Sesame Competitive Alternatives
Credit Sesame’s 2 most direct competitors are:
- LifeLock: offers 3 paid tiers with credit scores, reports, identity monitoring, credit monitoring, data breach information, identity theft insurance, and much more – as low as $8.99/month. The value for their paid tiers is significantly higher than Credit Sesame’s. Check out my LifeLock review for more info.
- Credit Karma: is still 100% free and offers free credit scores, reports, credit monitoring, data breach information, and more. Check out my Credit Karma review for more info.
- Equifax: “Complete” is $9.95/month for 1 credit bureau (Equifax), “Premier” is $19.95 for 1 credit bureau credit score and annual 3 bureaus. The “family plan” is $2 9.95/month.
- Experian: “IdentityWorks Premium” is $24.99/month for 1 credit bureau (Experian) with a quarterly FICO score, “IdentityWorks Family” is $34.99/month for 1 credit bureau.
- TransUnion: credit monitoring is $29.95/month for TransUnion only.
Is Credit Sesame a Scam?
Credit Sesame is not a scam. They make money through offering premium account upgrades to users and through advertising financial products that its members might be interested in (e.g. credit cards and loans).
Final Thoughts on Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame basic is worth the signup effort and premium offers a lot of bang for the buck, particularly in comparison to the 3 credit bureaus.
Have you used Credit Sesame? What’s your take?
Nice overview. I used Credit Sesame for a while and it was helpful, but I found that it differed a lot from my official FICO score. Many credit card companies (AMEX, Citi, Discover to name a few) are now offering free official credit scores when you have one of their cards. I guess that’s why Sesame is now offering the free identity theft monitoring. Can’t go wrong either way I guess.
Glad you liked it. Maybe retry on the credit score to compare to FICO. I found it to be within just one point, so maybe TransUnion is modeling differently these days. And within 1 point is pretty good for free!
I used to use both CreditKarma and Credit Sesame, but I dropped off Sesame because I didn’t like the platform. Since Credit Karma changed their layout and have more marketing than they used to, I logged in to Sesame today, and found I prefer their setup now. They show all my debt and some scores in one place!
Yeah – I really like the informative components on Credit Sesame’s site on how your credit score is determined and how it can be improved.
It sucks. They say your odds are good or very good and none of their subscribers actually approved me. If cost me alot of inquiries and lowered my credit scores. Complete waste of time. Stick with Credit Karmw
I agree. I tried signing up for Credit Sesame and it said, I had these offers but when we did the pre-check, I was flatly denied on the spot. What’s with that? Sorry Credit Sesame, I’m sticking with Credit Karma.
It is not true that they do not ask for your full SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. They asked me and I was appalled. I will never give out my SSN to a new company that I have never done business with before. And this is a credit monitoring company. They must be nuts. I am just fine using Credit Karma who never asked for my FULL SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER and they provide great service.
I is Credit Karma for 6 months, and I recently signed up for Credit Sesame. I am NOT liking Credit Sesame. The are really, really heavy on the marketing. I get at least 2 emails a day from them. Today I got a rather deceptive one: it said my credit usage rating changed to an F and the message included a link to apply for another credit card, apparently to ‘balance’ my usage. When I checked with both credit sesame and credit karma, my credit usage was actually fine. I’m probably going to disable my Credit Sesame because they are so very heavily marketing, where as Credit Karma is still marketing, they are not doing it daily or deceptively. thanks