Frequently Asked Questions

We’re Here to Help!

If you can’t find an answer to your question here, you can always email us at help@creditsesame.com. If you have ideas on how to improve our product, we’d love to hear from you! Email us directly at feedback@creditsesame.com.

General Questions

 

Is Credit Sesame safe?

Is Credit Sesame really free?

How are you different from debt consolidator and debt settlement services?

Why do you need my social security number?

How do you get the estimated value of my home?

Why are your loan recommendations and offers better than offers from other sites?

How do I share my site improvement ideas?

How do I delete my account?

I have additional questions. How do I reach you?

 

Credit Questions

 

What is a credit score and where did you get it?

Will your automatic pull of my credit score then lower my credit score?

What is credit usage?

What if I think my credit score is different from what you show?

How often will you update my credit score?

 

Credit Sesame Advice and Recommendations Questions

 

How do you choose your recommendations for me?

Where do your loan offers come from?

Do you notify me when there’s a new offer?

How do you decide if I’m eligible for an offer?

Can I set my own financial goals?

 

Debt Questions

 

What is debt optimization?

How do you calculate my total monthly debt payments?

What is debt-to-income ratio and why is it important?

Where do you get my debt, current loan and interest rate information?

 

Credit Badge™ Questions

 

What types of badges can I earn?

How do I earn the Credit Sesame Member badge?

How do I earn the Good badge?

How do I earn the Excellent badge?

How do I earn a Guru badge?

What credit score do you use to determine my badge level?

What is a badge certificate?

Is my badge certificate accessible to the public?

What personal information is shared about me on my credit certificate?

Can I disable my badge and/or badge certificate?

Can my badge be downgraded?

How can I maintain my Guru badge?

How can I share my badge?

Why should I share my badge?

If my credit score improves, will my badge and badge certificate be updated automatically?

 

General Questions

 

Is Credit Sesame safe?

Of course! Safeguarding your information is of utmost importance to us. We use bank-level security practices, encryption and firewalls. Take a look at our Privacy and Security Policy to learn more.

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Is Credit Sesame really free?

100% free to you! We earn a small fee from banks, but only after you close on a loan, so it’s in our best interest to find you the best match based on your own personal needs. We never play favorites, and it makes no difference to us which bank you end up working with; we’re just looking for the recommendations that work best for you. Meanwhile, all of our tools and services are 100% free for you – no trial periods, no catches:

  • Free advice: We analyze your loans and credit card debt every day as the market changes, and if there’s a better loan option that saves you money, we alert you.
  • Free tracking and alerts: We update your credit score and loan information every month, then create easy-to-use trending graphs so you can track how you're doing.
  • Free home value estimates: We update the estimates of your home value and the amount of home equity you’ve built up every month.
  • Free financial goal-setting: We help you set your own financial goals – like refinancing a home, borrowing money or buying a house – and alert you when we find an offer that meets your goals and saves you the most money on interest.

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How are you different from debt consolidation and debt settlement services?

Debt consolidators and debt settlement services work with people who are behind on their loan payments and need debt relief. They generally negotiate terms with creditors, and in return charge a fee for their service. Using them can lead to impaired credit.

Credit Sesame works with people who want to make informed credit and loan decisions throughout their lives. We help you find savings, manage debt, borrow smarter and take control of your credit. Our analysis is free and won’t harm your credit

credit-sesame-debt-consolidation-graphic

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Why do you need my social security number?

We need your social security number to retrieve your monthly free credit score and credit profile information from our trusted partner, Experian.

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How do you get the estimated value of my home?

We get the information from DataQuick.com, which pulls together public record data from over 120 million homes to quickly and easily provide an estimated value range.

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Why are your loan recommendations and offers better than offers from other sites?

Most other sites simply give you basic information and can’t tell if you’ll actually qualify for the loans they recommend. We use our proprietary engine to match you, based on information like your existing loans, credit score, current home value, credit usage and debt-to-income ratio, with loans from top national lenders that best meet your goals. But we also take much more into account, including the time horizon of your loan, based on how long you plan to hold the loan or stay in your house, and your payment flexibility (i.e. do you prefer fixed payments, variable payments or a hybrid that saves you the most money).

Then our patent-pending technology runs 5,000 scenarios to forecast how all these loans will perform over time. We narrow down all available products to the top three that could save you the most money. It’s all about giving you the information that no one else can give you, so you can make an informed decision.

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How do I share my site improvement ideas?

We value your input! Our goal is to make site improvements driven by your feedback. You can fill out the feedback form or email us directly at feedback@creditsesame.com.

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How do I delete my account?

Once you are logged in, simply click Hi, Your Name at the top of the site, then click Profile. Scroll to the bottom of the Profile page and you will see a link to delete your account.

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Credit Questions

 

What is a credit score and where did you get it?

Your credit score is number that indicates your creditworthiness. Credit scores are based on your personal credit history recorded by credit bureaus. Banks and credit bureaus collect all of your credit and debt information and give you a score: the higher the number, the better the score.
Credit Sesame uses Experian’s National Equivalency Score (not FICO) to give consumers a better idea of their credit standing. The National Equivalency Score ranges from 360-840.

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Will your automatic pull of my credit score then lower my credit score?

Never! Because we pull your credit score for your own personal information on a monthly basis and don’t share it with lenders, this results in what is called a “soft inquiry.” Unless you apply for a loan, your credit score will not be impacted.

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What is credit usage?

Your credit usage ratio compares how much credit you have available versus the amount of credit you actually use. The more unused credit you have available, the higher your score. We let you monitor your credit usage so you can tell if you’re eligible for the loan amount you’re looking for and so you’re always aware of your borrowing power.

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What if I think my credit score is different from what you show?

Your credit score can change on a daily basis, and there are three credit reporting bureaus that calculate your scores based on what may be different information since not all lenders report to all three bureaus. You may have seen your credit score on a different day, or you may have seen a score from a different bureau. Scores can also vary depending on how often lenders and creditors update their information with the credit bureaus.

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How often will you update my credit score?

We update your credit score monthly and show you how it’s trending over time. This monthly check won’t affect your credit score. Note that we don’t provide a full credit report detailing all of your payments and loan activities; we only provide the score.

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Credit Sesame Advice and Recommendations Questions

How do you choose your recommendations for me?

Our patent-pending technology pulls in loan offers and eligibility information from all major banks, then matches this information against your personal situation (like your annual income, debt-to-income ratio and current loans). In just minutes, we run 5,000 scenarios to forecast how your existing loans compare to all the loans you qualify for, and then we narrow this down to the three options that save you the most money over time.

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Where does your loan and debt advice come from?

We get new loan, mortgage and refinance information, as well as the eligibility requirements from all major banks on a daily basis. Then we analyze this information against your credit profile and your financial situation to find the best-matched advice.

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Do you notify me when there’s a new offer?

We do. Every day, we analyze the latest loan and mortgage information from all major banks. When there’s a loan, mortgage, refinance loan or other product that meets your needs and/or saves you money, we alert you.

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How do you decide if I’m eligible for an offer?

We use our proprietary engine to match you based on your information, like your existing loans, credit score, current home value, credit usage and debt-to-income ratio, etc., with loans from top national lenders that best meet your goals. But we also take much more into account, including the time horizon of your loan, based on how long you plan to hold the loan or stay in your house, and your payment flexibility (i.e. do you prefer fixed payments, variable payments or a hybrid that could save you the most money).

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Can I set my own financial goals?

Absolutely! That’s one of our best services: In addition to us proactively looking for savings, you can also create your own goals and have us send you an alert when we find the best offer. You can specify goals like refinancing your home, buying a new home or consolidating credit card debt. And you can specify preferences like how long you’d like to hold on to the loan (15 years? 30 years?) or what kind of payments you’d like to make (fixed? variable?). All for free!

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Debt Questions

 

What is debt optimization?

That’s when we figure out the best, most optimal options for your loans and credit. We look at all of your combined monthly payments to see if there’s a way to restructure your loans and credit card debt so that you’re saving money while still paying them down. For example, you may have the best possible first mortgage and the best possible interest rates on your credit cards, but we may find a loan that combines all your credit cards into one loan with a significantly lower interest rate. You’d save thousands on interest alone, while paying down your debt faster. That’s what we call optimized!

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How do you calculate my total monthly debt payments?

We get the total amount of all your minimum monthly payments for all your loans – mortgage, credit cards, student loans, etc. – from your credit report.

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What is debt-to-income ratio and why is it important?

That’s the ratio that compares your debt payments to your monthly income. If your debt-to-income ratio is high, that means a large portion of your income goes to cover your debts, so you might not be able to manage your payments over time. Lenders use this ratio to decide how much of a loan you can afford.

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Where do you get my debt, current loan and interest rate information?

We use Experian to get your credit score, existing loan information and current interest rates.

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Credit Badge™ Questions

 

What types of badges can I earn?

Credit Sesame currently offers 4 badges to showcase your financial responsibility and creditworthiness. The badges are: Member, Good, Excellent and Guru.

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How do I earn the Credit Sesame Member badge?

Every member with a valid Credit Sesame account qualifies for a Member badge. This badge confirms that you are currently a verified member of the Credit Sesame and communicates that you take financial responsibility seriously by managing your credit and loans online. This badge does not convey any information about your credit history or score. Every member of Credit Sesame can share this badge and the associated badge certificate.

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How do I earn the Good badge?

You have to sign-up for an account on Credit Sesame. Sign-up is free, secure and only takes a couple of minutes. You will earn a Good badge if you have maintained a good credit report and a credit score of at least 680.

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How do I earn the Excellent badge?

You have to sign-up for an account on Credit Sesame. Sign-up is free, secure and only takes a couple of minutes. You will earn the Excellent badge if you have maintained an excellent credit report and a credit score of at least 740.

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How do I earn a Guru badge?

You have to sign-up for an account on Credit Sesame. Sign-up is free, secure and only takes a couple of minutes. In order to get the Guru badge you must not only qualify for the Excellent badge, but also take actions to make sure your Credit Sesame profile is complete and your debt is optimized.

New users and existing users can earn a Guru badge by following these steps:
Step 1: Sign up or log in to Credit Sesame and see your Excellent badge.
Step 2: Follow the tips on the overview page or click on the “Edit Debt” link on the overview page and validate the accuracy of your financial information.
Step 3: Confirm that you’ve reviewed your information by checking the “Data Verified” box underneath your list of liabilities, and save your changes.

Credit Sesame will then search the market for money saving opportunities. If Credit Sesame determines that none of the loans we can currently find for you would save you any money, your debt is optimized and you have just earned the Guru badge! If Credit Sesame presents you with savings advice, you can still instantly earn a Guru badge by taking action and applying for a savings opportunity you found on Credit Sesame.

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What credit score do you use to determine my badge level?

The credit score that we use to determine your badge level is the Experian National Equivalency Score provided as part of your Credit Sesame free membership.

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What is a badge certificate?

A badge certificate is a personalized web page that allows interested parties with whom you’ve shared your badge to verify that you meet the requirements of that badge. The badge certificate can be accessed by clicking on your badge that is embedded in a web page or directly through a certificate URL.

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Is my badge certificate accessible to the public?

All Credit Sesame badges are private by default. Once you decide to publicly share your badge, a public badge certificate is created to allow interested parties to verify that your badge status is current. The badge certificate is available to the public, although they would need to have the URL to your certificate or to be able to click on an embedded badge.

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What personal information is shared about me on my credit certificate?

In order for an interested party to verify your badge, we need to display a minimal amount of personal information for purposes of identification. Your first initial, last name and city and state of residence are on your badge certificate. You have the option to customize your badge certificate by adding additional information. See “My Badges” under “My Account” link.

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Can I disable my badge and/or badge certificate?

Yes, after you initially share your badge, you can easily change the sharing settings by visiting the My Badges page. If you no longer wish to share your badge, you can switch your share settings to “disabled” and your badge will become invisible and your badge certificate page will become hidden. If in the future you decide to share your badge, you can change your share settings to “enabled” and your badge and badge certificate will be reactivated.

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Can my badge be downgraded?

Yes, your badge can be downgraded if your financial information and credit score no longer meets the requirements of that badge. Should that happen, you will be granted the highest level of badge for which you qualify. You will receive a notification email of an impending change at least five days prior to any change to your badge. If you are sharing your badge, you have the option to show the new badge or show the member badge instead or show nothing by editing your display preferences located under “My Badges” page.

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How can I maintain my Guru badge?

In order to maintain you Guru badge you must:

  • Have an active Credit Sesame account and have the Excellent badge,
  • Log in to Credit Sesame every time your credit data is updated and confirm that it is accurate,
  • Maintain an optimized level of debt so that Credit Sesame cannot find you more ways to save.

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How can I share my badge?

There are several different ways to share your badge.

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Why should I share my badge?

The Credit Sesame Credit Badge™ program is designed to give you a competitive edge in life and helps you to develop your personal brand by promoting your financial responsibility and showcasing your good or excellent credit. You’ve worked hard to maintain your good or excellent credit and your shared badge allows you to stand out from the crowd as a creditworthy and financially responsible individual.

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If my credit score improves, will my badge and badge certificate be updated automatically?

Yes, if you qualify for a higher-level badge, your shared badge and certificate will automatically be updated to reflect your new badge status.

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I have additional questions. How do I reach you?

We’re here to help! If you can’t find an answer to your question here, you can always email us at help@creditsesame.com. If you have ideas on how to improve our product, we’d love to hear from you! Email us directly at feedback@creditsesame.com.

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