Your credit reports are, basically, a comprehensive record of your credit use history. Credit reports are useful in helping lenders decide whether or not you qualify for a loan or credit. That is why it important to check your credit report regularly to ensure that it is updated and free from errors. But have you ever wondered: what is the best way to get a free credit report?
Well, the good news is that there are many companies that can allow you to check your credit report without paying a fee. In this article, we will focus on Credit Sesame, a free credit report site that will allow you access to your credit report without asking for your credit card information.
What is the Importance of Knowing Your Credit Report?
Your credit report comprises information about your payment history and financial accounts. A credit report includes details of the number of accounts you hold and the number of times you have made payments on time. The report also shows any write-offs, bankruptcy reports, inquiries, delinquencies, and flags and messages.
It is recommended to check your credit reports regularly to ensure that your personal and financial information provided to the credit bureaus is correct. Errors on your credit report can make you pay higher rates once you are approved.
The errors can also lower your chances of getting approved. Besides, when you monitor your credit report regularly, you will identify fraud early. The report helps you to be certain that no fraudulent accounts are in your name.
Additionally, having this information at hand can help you make an informed decision when buying a house or a car. Authorized persons that have access to your credit information will use your credit report information to accept or deny your credit information. They use the report to determine the interest rate to charge you.
According to federal law, you are entitled to a copy of a free credit report every year/ 12 months from the three credit reporting agencies.
What is the Best Way to Get a Free Credit Report: Credit Sesame
There are several ways that you can monitor your credit report. While you can get credit reports from the three major credit bureaus like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, you will be charged a fee.
Other companies claim to give you a free credit report at first, but ask you for your credit information. After a while, the company will charge you if you don’t cancel the membership within a specified period of time.
Fortunately, there are several websites online that provide free credit reports without asking for your credit card information. With that said, it is important to find a secure website like Credit Sesame for the best free credit reports.
Credit Sesame is a financial management tool that focuses on tracking and monitoring user’s financial standing. The company pulls financial information from various sources to a single location. Credit Sesame is one of the best free credit report services on the market.
The company offers credit reports and credit scores from TransUnion, a US-based bureau and one of the major credit reporting agencies. You can also upgrade to the Credit Sesame plan for a full credit report from all three credit reporting agencies.
What’s more, the company is best known for providing personalized tips and money-saving suggestions based on your credit information. After analyzing your credit information, they will give you recommendations for financial products like loans and credit cards. Getting credit report services from this site is absolutely free and you won’t need to enter your credit card information when signing up. Besides, it is not mandatory to sign up if you are not applying for a new loan.
When you notice any errors or fraud issues with your credit report, Credit Sesame offers free fraud resolution assistance worth $50,000. They also offer credit monitoring and alerts when your identity or profile is comprised.
Credit Sesame Provides:
- Credit reports from TransUnion credit bureau
- A detailed history of your account and credit use
- New credit line dates
- Information about tax liens, court judgments, and bankruptcy
- Suggestions on how to build and protect your credit
To get started, you need to provide your personal information such as:
- Date birth
- Social Security number
How to Use Credit Sesame
The sign-up process to Credit Sesame is very easy and straightforward. Becoming a member does not involve a lot of tedious processes as is the case with some sites. Here are the steps for subscribing:
- Create Your Account
To become a member of Credit Sesame, you first need to create an account. To do this, visit their website and sign up.
- Enter Your Personal Information
Once you have created your account, you now need to fill in your personal information including your name, date of birth, current address, previous address if you just moved, and your Social Security number (last four digits).
- Verify Your Identity
You will be asked security questions to verify your identity. If you can’t verify some information or find this process daunting, consider requesting your credit reports by email.
- Generate Your Credit Report
Now that you have an account, you can order your free reports from TransUnion. You will have access to your personal financial information including your credit report, credit score, a summary of your assets and debts, credit monitoring alerts, and more.
Credit Sesame Description and Features
Some of the features that make Credit Sesame stand out from the competition are as follows;
- Service Tiers
Credit Sesame offers its clients 4 subscription levels. They include:
- Free Membership
Credit Sesame offers a free tier that provides free services like credit reports, credit monitoring and alerts, error detection, and more. However, as a free member, you should note that you won’t get access to your full credit report.
- Advanced Credit
The Advanced Credit plan goes for $9.95 monthly. Other than the free features, this plan has two extra features that include daily TransUnion credit score updates and monthly full credit report updates from the three major bureaus.
- Pro Credit Plan
This Credit Sesame plan goes for $15.95 monthly. This plan includes everything included in the Advanced Credit plan plus two additional features. When you sign up for this membership, you will get access to 24/7 live experts to help you with any credit report accuracy issues you may have. This plan also comes with ongoing credit report monitoring from the three credit report agencies. Plus, you will get alerts in case your score changes.
- Platinum Protection Plan
When you sign up for the $19.95/month Platinum Protection plan, you will enjoy features such as monitoring or black market website, Social Security number, public records, and 24/7 protection for a stolen or lost wallet.
The plan comes with identity theft protection and 24/7 live experts to dispute credit report inaccuracies and any credit card/debit card transaction issues.
- Credit Monitoring and Alerts
Monitoring credit reports can help you manage your finances and ensure financial health. Credit Sesame offers credit monitoring services and alerts to let you know when any changes are made to your credit report. This way, you can always keep tabs on your credit report information.
You will be alerted in good time if there are suspicious activities on your account so you can take the necessary measures. For instance, you will be alerted when someone tries to steal your identity to help you minimize damage to your finances and credit in time.
Once you sign up, you will be automatically be enrolled to get these notifications either as email alerts or through your dashboard.
- Credit Analysis
When you sign up for the free membership, you will get access to Credit Sesame 5-point credit analysis. The credit analysis, which is also known as Credit Report Card, will give you insight into your performance on factors like payment history, credit usage, credit age, credit inquiries, and credit mix.
These factors impact your FICO score, which is the most popular type of score that is gotten from the TransUnion credit report. Credit Sesame will also give you suggestions for improving your performance on each score.
- Debt Analysis
A debt analysis is a comprehensive analysis of the credit mix factor that is given in your Credit Report Card. It also features useful information such as your credit card’s most recent balance, the name of the lender, and cumulative monthly payments on credit and lender accounts. Your debt analysis may also contain information on your other credit accounts like home loans and auto loans.
- Detects Errors
As aforementioned, errors can affect your rates and chances of getting approved. For this reason, the Credit Sesame credit monitoring service comes in handy to help you identify and errors that may cause you to lose important points. The earlier you pinpoint these errors, the faster you can address them.
Who Will Benefit Most From Credit Sesame?
Credit Sesame offers useful services and features that are aimed at helping customers monitor and fix their credit reports. Overall, it is an ideal choice for anyone looking to boost their credit score and stay on top of their credit reports without paying a dime. Nevertheless, its paid features might be worth considering for power users.
What I Like About Credit Sesame
Some of the notable benefits of using Credit Sesame include:
- Free Credit Report
Once you apply for a free membership with Credit Sesame, you are guaranteed free credit reports from TransUnion. No credit card is required and you won’t have to make any commitments or do any trials.
- Great Debt and Tracking Analysis
Credit Sesame obtains your credit information to help you track your debts and credit accounts.
- User-Friendly Dashboard
The process of signing up with Credit Sesame is extremely easy thanks to the intuitive dashboard. The dashboard allows you complete control so you can create your account, add your personal information, and verify your identity with ease.
- Mobile App
Credit Sesame has good mobile accessibility. It has an app on Google Play for Android users and an app on iTunes App Store for Apple users. The mobile app is easier to use and allows you to monitor your credit report regardless of where you are.
- Cash-Back program
Credit Sesame’s Cash has a cash-back program for select shops and restaurants. You will get up to 15% back when you make transactions with merchants that participate in the program.
- Identity Theft Protection
If you are a Platinum Premium member, you will get to enjoy identity thief protection worth $50,000 and fraud resolution assistance without extra charges. This means that you will be insured in the event of identity theft. The protection comprises public records websites and black-market website scans. It also comes in handy when someone else uses your Social Security number without your permission.
What I Don’t Like About Credit Sesame
Just like any other service, Credit Sesame has its benefits and downsides. Some of the downsides include:
- Paid Services are Pricey
While Credit Sesame offers free credit report services, they are still lacking in features compared to competitor sites. Hence, you may want to opt for the paid subscription levels, which can be a bit costly.
- Credit Report for Free Version is Limited
Credit Sesame provides free credit reports from only one bureau agency.
- Limited Customer Support
Credit Sesame has good customer service that is available 24/7. However, it is limited and you can only contact the website via their support centre by filling an online form or through their social media platforms. However, they lack a functioning phone number.
Designed with free personal finance tools, Credit Sesame is an easy way to keep track of your credit and debit to ensure your financial health. It will keep you updated on your credit report from TransUnion so you can make sound financial decisions and find the best loans.
Ultimately, Credit Sesame is the best option if you want to access your TransUnion credit report online or via a mobile app. It is worth considering if you want to improve your credit score thanks to its credit score management features.