What to Look for in an Online Credit Score Tool
The best credit score tools not only provide you with your actual score but a full credit report as well. A credit report contains your actual credit history along with your score. In addition, some of the best tools also do credit monitoring, a way to get back on track and improve your credit.
For example, the Top10CreditReport.com, which shows side-by-side comparisons of the leading credit reporting sites, claims that TransUnion, Fast3CreditScores, and Experian are the top three sites. While each of these differs slightly in services, they all go beyond just informing you of your credit score; they guide you on how to refine your credit.
Although there are many free credit reporting tools, they often come with limitations of how many free reports you can receive either in a lifetime or over a period of time. Top10CreditReport states that free sites may only provide one type of report, but potential creditors could be using a completely different type of report. They recommend finding a service that provides all three credit scores from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for best results.
Why It’s Important to Know Your Credit Score
Knowing your credit score is more than just seeing the actual number; it’s part of the process of managing your finances. Seeing your full report is even more helpful because you can see if there are any possible mistakes in your credit history, which you can then dispute.
Not to mention, both the Experian blog and USAToday say that checking your credit can help you prevent potential fraud or identity theft. Plus, having that credit score number in mind can motivate you to make it better, give you an idea of what types of loans you may qualify for, and so on. At the very minimum, you should check your credit once every 12 months, Experian advises.
Is Credit Sesame Accurate
Credit Sesame provides you with a free credit score once a month from TransUnion, one of Top10CreditReports best reporting services. It appears that Credit Sesame used to use Experian’s National Equivalency Score, which was actually just an estimate of a user’s score and is no longer in use. But according to a Credit Sesame blog post originally written on February by Kimberly Rotter, the company now uses the VantageScore® 3.0 scoring model provided by TransUnion. The standard, though, is the FICO credit score, which is most commonly used by lenders. From their website:
Source: Credit Sesame.com, Accessed: May 29th, 2017
Despite claims that the VantageScore is similar to FICO and is utilized by thousands of lenders, many refer to it as one of the “FAKO scoring systems”, an obvious play on words that means it is not commonly used by lenders. However, Credit Sesame goes on to say in that same blog post that it is a myth lenders primarily look at one score.
It can be hard to argue the accuracy given that a FICO score, created by predictive analytics company Fair Issacs Corporation, pulls from the three major reports (Equifax, Experian andTransUnion, discussed above). But, others state that their FAKO score does appear to be close to their FICO score.
That said, what’s brilliant about Credit Sesame is they will give you your credit score for free. Click here if you’re interested in learning more.
Considering you are not expected to submit your credit card numbers in order to retrieve your score from Credit Sesame, it does not seem to hurt to utilize their services. To be safe, you should also check your FICO score. You can still check your FICO score for free at least once a year. Because Credit Sesame still uses a 300-850 scoring range, you should still be able to get at least an idea of where you stand with your credit through their information.
What are your thoughts? Is Credit Sesame accurate enough? Feel free to start a conversation in our forums.