Credit Sesame's personal credit management service gives you access to your credit score, credit report card, and credit monitoring. In addition, Credit Sesame offers identity protection, credit card offers, and credit education.
Credit Sesame provides a fully-featured free membership level (no credit card required), which allows users to get a good taste of what their credit health is like by providing them with an overview of their credit from TransUnion along with a VantageScore credit score. Credit Sesame offers daily credit score and report refreshes.
Credit Sesame's premium credit monitoring membership provides full credit reports from all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Platinum Protection memberships also monitor your Social Security number, public records, and the use of personal information on black market websites.
Although most services are able to pull current loan payments and financial obligations, credit card balances, etc., Credit Sesame is unique in that it pulls a surprisingly accurate estimate of income. Pulling a user's estimated income (which users can modify if inaccurate) lets Credit Sesame providing users with their debt-to-income ratio, something many lenders take into account when extending credit, especially for mortgages.
Building upon the debt-to-income ratio, Credit Sesame puts your monthly credit obligations against your current income and estimates the interest rate you'll receive based on your credit score before showing you an estimate of how big of a mortgage you qualify for.
Credit Sesame is one of the only services we've monitored that actually provides some (admittedly very limited) ID theft monitoring for free as part of its basic membership. While the free features are limited, they become more robust as one upgrades their membership, and we appreciate the effort to include even minimal ID monitoring as part of the free product.
Since the free service doesn't actually pull a full credit report, Credit Sesame doesn't require you to put in your full social security number. Instead, the company allows you to just enter the last four digits, which limits the exposure of free members in the event of a data breach and should help mitigate concerns anyone might have over handing over too much personal information.
Although the free service earns high marks for not requiring a credit card and provides plenty of functionality, it doesn't actually pull a full credit report for the user, just an estimate based on TransUnion data. For those looking to have full access to their credit reports at no cost, there are better options out there. If one is looking for a comprehensive monitoring solution, the free service here is probably not going to deliver.
Credit Sesame provides its customers with a VantageScore 3.0 rather than a FICO score, which is the score that most lenders actually look at when deciding whether or not an individual is worthy of a loan. This could result in some users believing themselves to be more or less creditworthy than they actually are.