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 to test it out and give you all a 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 more. 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 seems as though Credit Sesame has really stripped down their free offering in the last few years, however. The basic account offers a free TransUnion VantageScore credit score and free credit monitoring – and that’s about it. There’s an option to do no-fee digital banking as well.
They previously offered a free TransUnion credit report and even $1 million of identity protection insurance for free. I also liked how they offered something called “credit score factors”, which gave helpful tips on how to positively impact your credit score. That seems to have disappeared as well.
What Does Credit Sesame Premium Offer?
If you decide to upgrade your account to “Credit Sesame Premium”, for $15.95/month you get:
- access to a TransUnion credit score updated daily
- credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus scores
- advanced credit monitoring
- something called “wallet protection” – not sure what it 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?
At one point a few years ago, Credit Sesame was worth the effort to sign up, but today, both their free and premium services are no longer worth it.
Credit Sesame Competition
Credit Sesame’s 2 most direct competitors have much broader product offerings and value than them:
- LifeLock: offers 3 paid tiers with credit scores, reports, identity monitoring, credit monitoring, data breach information, identity theft insurance, and much more. 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.
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 has stripped their free service offerings down a bit in recent years. I’m not sure if this is a cost cutting move or what the reason is, but I no longer think their service is worth creating an account for. There are better offerings out there.
Have you used Credit Sesame? What’s your take?