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Why Choose Credit Sesame’s Free Credit Score?

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Credit & Loan Analysis

We pull your credit information from TransUnion so reviewing your credit accounts, different debts, and other factors that influence your credit score is made easy and intuitive.

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Save Money

Our advanced analytical technology understands your credit and debt to give your customized recommendations on which cards or loans to choose so you can save money.

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Credit Monitoring

Monitoring your credit is important, so that’s why Credit Sesame will update your Credit Score from TransUnion once a month to show you your progress towards your goal.

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Credit Card Offers

Choosing the best credit card can be difficult, but with Credit Sesame’s recommendation engine we make it easy by helping your select the credit card best for you.

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Community

Discovering how others improve their credit score is a great way to learn and with our community of members you can join in on the conversation.

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Loan Offers

Finding the right personal loan, car loan, or student loan is now easy with our in-depth credit and debt analysis of your account that gives you specific recommendations.

Is My Credit Score Really Free?

Yes! Sign up now to get your free credit score, no credit card needed.

At Credit Sesame we believe that knowing your credit worthiness is vital to your financial well being,
and that is why offering you this free service is an important part of our company. Our patented
analysis takes a look at your credit history and any debt situation daily and advises you on how much
you can save on loans, credit card debt, and your home mortgage. Being aware of your credit score
will help you understand your financial standing and give you the ability to know what next steps to
take to improve it.

How Does Credit Sesame Work?

Manage your finances, all in one place

Credit Sesame automatically pulls in your credit information every month, including your free credit score and your debts, and always for free.

Get personalized recommendations

We deliver recommendations that are best for your bottom line in order for you to make better financial decisions.

Get Your Free Credit Score

What Can You Do With Your Score?

Navigate to your financial future starting with your credit score.

We use TransUnion (VantageScore) to show you what’s impacting your credit score, if you are
overpaying on your loans and credit cards, and how your financial picture compares to your peers.
We’ll show you personalized, objective savings recommendations on home loans, credit cards, auto
loans and more.

Don’t Take Our Word for It
Hear what our customers are saying.

 

Selecting the right balance transfer offer for you has to be done carefully. Here are a few tips: read the fine print and pay attention to the terms such as the introductory APR being offered, if there is a balance transfer fee and if so how much is it, what is the regular APR (the APR offered after the introductory period ends).

 
Anne Knapp July 1,2016

 

How Often Do Credit Scores Change?

Example Timeline of Credit Score Changes

Credit scores can change once a week for some and not at all for months (or even longer) for others. It usually takes specific changes to your credit information for your score to move, and once these changes occur, it could take some time for your credit report to reflect your new status. Due to this fact, you may want to consider tracking your credit score over longer periods of time. While the fact that your credit score hasn’t moved in a few months might seem concerning, it will likely seem less so in the context of a sixty-point improvement over an entire year.

Example Timeline of Credit Score Changes

When you open a new line of credit, a few immediate changes are usually made to your credit report. Most instantly, a new hard inquiry will probably be added to your report, and your average age of credit history could drop. Due to these factors, opening a new account is likely to drop your credit score in the short term. However, as you begin to diligently pay off your bills, the additional on-time payments, the higher number of total accounts and your now-growing age of credit history will likely outweigh the initial downsides, and your score can benefit in the long term.

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Credit?

Credit is simply the ability for a consumer to be able to borrow money in order to purchase a product or service. You can get credit from a grantor (for example, from a bank), to whom you will need to pay back the full amount and possible interest charges that might add up over the period of time. There are four different types of credit starting with revolving credit, charge card, service credit, and installment credit. When you get credit and pay it back on time your credit rating improves over time and allows you the opportunity to borrow more from grantors. You have several credit scores you can check from the three top credit bureaus to see where your stand in the range. Check your credit often to see where you stand.

What is Bad, Good, & Excellent Credit?

The most popular credit scoring system in the United States is based on the FICO (Fair Isaac Corp.) range. This scoring range starts at 300 as the poorest score and goes up to 850 as the highest range possible, or excellent credit. Specifically, bad credit ranges from 300 to 629, fair credit ranges from 630 to 689, good credit ranges from 690 to 719, and finally, excellent credit which ranges from 720 and to 850. Other popular credit score range formulas exist, such as the VantageScore, which is what TransUnion, our credit score provider uses. It too ranges from 300 to 850. Checking your credit score with Credit Sesame is easy and can be done every month to see how your credit is performing.

What is My Credit Score Upon Account Opening?

Everyone begins with a blank slate, without any records or credit score. If you do not have any data on your consumer report you cannot have a credit score since there is nothing to calculate. The credit bureaus will begin collecting your data at the age of 18 if you begin to borrow credit. This means what when you are getting your credit card or loan you will have to go to banks or other lenders that will approve those with no credit history – usually meaning you will end up paying high interest rates. The lender will pull your credit score and find nothing upon credit request. If you are approved and pay you wills on time the lender will typically report it to the bureau.

Can I Check My Credit Score Everyday?

Credit Sesame will give you your free credit score once a month based on the VantageScore. You can check your credit score everyday but it will cost you. Typically, your credit score will gradually improve over time, so it is best to check on occassion to see a much more significant improvement or decline. If you do choose to check your credit score often you do not have to worry about it affecting your credit score. There are two types of credit inquiries that can happen. Hard inquiries are the types of credit checks that can impact your credit score slightly and is usually done by a creditor. While soft credit checks will not impact your credit score.

What is in a Credit Score

 

Payment History

Credit payment history determines 35% of a FICO Score. The first thing any lender wants to know is whether you’ve paid past credit accounts on time. This is one of the most important factors in a FICO® Score.

Credit Age

Your credit age plays a role in your final credit score. It consists of factors such as age of oldest credit account, newest credit account, average of all accounts, types of accounts (mortgage, auto loans, etc), and last time each account was used.

Credit Utilization

Your credit utilization is the ratio of the amount of your credit card balances compared to the credit limits you have available. For example, if you have $500 credit balance while your limit is $1000, then your credit utilization is 50%.

Account Mix

Accounts mix (or credit mix) involves different types of accounts that you have, such as revolving accounts, installment accounts, or open accounts. Having a mix of accounts does have an impact on your overall credit score.

Credit Inquries

When applying for credit, lenders will check your credit score (inquiry), which will impact your credit score depending on your account. A soft inquiry will not affect your score but a hard inquiry on the other hand will.
 
 

Credit Score Range

 

Poor (Bad) Credit Score

If you have a bad / poor credit score then it means you are sitting between the credit score range of 300 to 629, which is were about 22% of Americans are currently sitting. Having a bad credit score does have quite a significant impact on your ability to borrow credit from lenders. Getting anything from an auto loan to an excellent credit card at low interest rates will very difficult to achieve. Auto or home insurance can be higher along with utility deposits that those will higher credit score usually get to skip on will not be likely. Dipping to a bad credit standing usually means you forgot to pay some bills on your credit card or car loan but it isn’t the end of your ability to credit. You can find providers who will be willing to lend and if you continue paying your bills on time your credit can improve over time.

Fair Credit Score

If you are sitting at fair credit then you are right between bad and good credit. This usually means that you are between the low and mid 600’s. At this credit score range you will have a lot more options available than those with bad credit score ranges. At this point you can start applying for mortgages which typically begin at the score of 620. Auto loans are quite common in this range as well. When it comes to credit cards you begin to have a lot more options as well but not quite to the point where you can enjoy 0% interest rates or high rewards. At this point the most ideal option is to continue to push for a good credit score to open up even more options when it comes to mortgages, loans, credit cards, and more.

Good Credit Score

A good credit score ranges from 700 to 749 according to the FICO credit range while on a Vantage Score 3.0 you would end up at a B grade. You can check your credit score for free with Credit Sesame to see whether you fall inside the ‘good’ credit range. If you find yourself below the ‘good’ range then you can do several important actions to get yourself back up. First pay your bills on time, watch your balances, don’t go overboard applying for credit, live within your means, mix up your accounts, and finally, look into the future – credit history counts. With a good credit score range you will get a lot of great perks when it comes to applying for credit such as credit cards or loans.

Excellent Credit Score

If you find yourself sitting at an excellent credit score range then you are on the range of 750 or above according to the FICO range or an A if you are measuring based on the VantageScore 3.0 range. Getting to this position in the credit scale means that your payment history, credit utilization, credit age, credit mix, and inquiries are at the perfect (or excellent) amount. Having excellent credit opens numerous doors to the top credit card offers, best rates of loans, and other offers offered by lenders. This doesn’t mean that you are ‘done’ building your credit, especially if you are on the low end of excellent. It is recommended to continuously improve your credit.

What Can Hurt Your Credit?

Hard Inquiries

Checking your credit can affect your credit score but only if it is a hard credit inquiry. This type of credit check is typically done by creditors when they want to see your entire profile in order to approve or decline you for credit when you are applying. Keep in mind that this is usually a small decline and temporary until you start paying your loan back. Be sure to check your credit score every month from Credit Sesame to see if you have anything negative on your credit report.

Loan Default

Missing a payment on a loan, whether student or personal, will have a negative impact on your credit score. It is important tht you set reminders for yourself to pay your bills on time or you can potentially slip into a lower credit range bracket limiting your ability to get new credit at low rates. Loan defaults remain on your credit history for 7 years. Paying it back will be your top priority at that point.

Late Payments

You can be late to make a payment by 5 days or a month it won’t matter, having late payments on your report will have an impact on your credit score. Other consequences include being charged a late fee and increased interest rates on your account. Not every lender will report to the bureau, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t end up on your file.

Collections

Not paying your bills on time can make your debt end up in collections. For example, if you become delinquent on a debt, whether it is a medical bill or credit card bill, this type of debt can end up at a collections agency who will then try to recover that lost debt. Checking your credit score for free with Credit Sesame to see your credit standing and whether you have anything negative on your report.

Bankruptcy

Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is common among those who cannot handle their debt and need a way out. The way this impacts your credit score really depends on how your score was when you applied for bankruptcy, it will affect different ranges differently. If you had a good standing, your score will dip quite a bit, while on the other hand if you already had fair or bad credit, the dip won’t be as significant.

What Can Help Your Credit?

Disputing Errors

The latest FTC report shows that approximately 1 in 4 Americans found at least one significant error on their report. What most aren’t aware of or take action on is the ability to dispute credit report errors with the bureaus. First, spot the error on your credit report. Review all of your reports with the bureaus to make sure you have all the information. Next file the dispute with the right bureaus online. Finally, follow up.

Paying Debt

Make sure that you are paying all of your debt on time if possible. Doing so will not only improve your credit rating it will ensure that it doesn’t decline. Paying your debts on time will eventually open up more doors to better interest rate credit cards and other more attractive credit offers. You can set up alerts as reminders to pay your bills so it won’t slip your mind.

Rent

Although not every landlord does so, rent can play a role in improving your credit score in some cases. Making sure that you are paying your rent on time every month is just as important as paying any other bill or debt. Not doing so can make it end up as a late payment and impact your credit score negatively. Ask your landlord if they submit to any of the three major bureaus.

Good Debt

Do not remove debt that has been on your credit report for a while and has been paid on time and in full. Leaving good debt and closed accounts is actually good for your credit report and can help improve your credit score by showing your committment to paying your creditors.

Increasing Credit Limit

Try to increase your credit line which will in turn improve your credit utilization ratio (percentage of your credit limit that you have used) which will in turn help improve your score. You typically get the option to do this with your credit card issuers, and if it is offered we recommend you take it.

Get Your Free Credit Score

Credit Report vs. Credit Score: What’s the Difference?

  Free Credit Report Free Credit Score
What is it? Your credit report is a summary of all of your credit history over time. Your credit score is a formula used by bureaus to determine how creditworthy you are.
Where can you get it? You can get your report with Credit Sesame or with an major credit bureau. You can get your credit score from Credit Sesame or other places such as myFico.
What kind of information does it show?
  • Name, address, and social security number
  • Types of credit you use
  • Dates of new credit lines
  • Balances & available credit
  • Accounts that are in collections
  • Any recent credit
  • Information related to bankruptcy, tax liens, and court judgements
  • The amount of debt you owe
  • The length of your credit history
  • What your credit mix is made up of
  • New credit
Who uses which? Your creditor will typically do a hard credit inquiry to see if there is risk to giving you credit. Your utility or phone company will do a soft credit inquiry before making a decision if you have to make a downpayment or not.

 
 

Credit Myths

My credit report is the same at all three bureaus

Your credit report will not be the same across all of the three major bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) because not all lenders report to all three. Some might have inputted the data wrong and might show up with errors while others might be perfectly correct. That is why it is important to check your report from all three of the major bureaus at least once a year (which is free) to determine if there are any issues. You cannot make any lender report your credit, so it is important to know the differences between your reports since different lenders pull your report usually from different bureaus.

Lenders are required by law to report my payments to bureaus

Lenders are not required by law to report to credit bureaus but they typically do report to at least one bureau. This is why your credit reports might not be the same across all bureaus. Some lenders might report it to one bureau while others might report to all three – while others won’t report it at all. Check your credit score and credit report across all major bureaus to make sure that you have no errors being reported as that would be a much bigger issue than your credit reports in one bureau missing some information.

Paying off bad debts, past due payments, collections, tax liens will remove them from my report

Your debts and collections will remain on your credit report. Most items ranging from bankruptcies to collections will remain on your credit report for 7 years. It impacts different credit scores differently as well. For example, if you are looking at your FICO score, then the age of the bad debt or collections account will have less impact the older it is, compared to other credit scores who do not take that into account. Bankruptcies can vary as well, where Chapter 10 remains for 7 years, Chapter 7 will remain on your credit report for 10 years.

Checking my own credit report will hurt my credit score

Checking your own credit score will not impact it in anyway positively or negatively. There is a difference between doing a soft credit check, which is what utility companies, landlords, or cell phone companies may do to see if you qualify for perks such as not having to pay a downpayment, and other types of credit checks that lenders usually do, which are called hard credit inquiries. Hard credit inquiries will typically reduce your score by a slight amount, but only temporarily until you start paying your loan.

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