ScoreSense Review in a NutshellAlthough ScoreSense provides access to fresh credit reports, acceptable monitoring, interesting tools, and well-designed mobile apps, the company also sells customer information, pushes inaccurate credit scores, has a high monthly price, signup issues, and a poor reputation for misleading clients that it just can’t seem to shake off. We do NOT recommend them at this time.
Monthly Credit Reports From All Three Bureaus
ScoreSense offers solid credit report coverage by providing customers with full access to all three of their credit reports as often as once a month. Unfortunately, they don’t automatically pull these reports for their customers, instead requiring users to either log in and refresh them manually on the website or through the app.
Nevertheless, having the option to pull all three bureaus monthly is commendable.
How Good is ScoreSense’s Credit Monitoring?
It’s average. Here’s what they monitor for:
- New accounts opened
- New derogatory marks
- New public records
- New inquiries (when someone applies for credit with your info)
- Change in personal information (like a new address)
You can get this level of credit monitoring from nearly any company in the industry.
Credit Score Simulator
In addition to a library of basic educational content, ScoreSense provides subscribers with ScoreCast, a credit score simulator (powered by CreditXpert) that allows customers to see how different actions, like opening a new account or paying off a credit card, might affect their estimated credit score.
We appreciate the value of these kinds of tools and applaud ScoreSense for including them, but as always, caution users against putting too much stock into them. They help put borrowers on the right track, but the exact numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, as they are provided “for educational purposes” only.
ScoreSense has released a mobile app, entitled Scores To Go, on both the Apple (iPhone and iPad) and Android app stores. It features a slick, mobile design and provides users with access to their credit scores on the go, score tracking over time and credit tips.
The most frequent complaint we were able to find for both apps was the inability to, at the time of writing, view one’s entire credit report within the app itself. The developers appear responsive to feedback, rolling out updates and bugfixes on a regular basis.
Beware: Questionable App Reviews
Although the rankings for these apps are both high, after performing an audit of the reviews and some detective work on LinkedIn, our review team found several five-star reviews from current employees of ScoreSense, inflating the score.
Misleading Credit Score Claims
ScoreSense spends a lot of time talking up the importance of knowing your credit score so you can “Know how you look to potential lenders, landlords, insurers, and employers”, about having the “score strength to negotiate a great rate on a new car, get the affordable mortgage on your dream home, qualify for a personal loan”.
The only problem is that ScoreSense doesn’t actually provide you with the credit scores that major lenders actually use. The scores they provide come from a company called “CreditXpert” and are essentially useless since no major lender uses them. The vast majority of lenders use some variation of the FICO score.
Credit Score Details Buried in the Fine Print
This is especially troubling since ScoreSense does not disclose the nature of their much-praised “credit scores” in a clear or conspicuous manner to customers before they sign up. The only place it can be found is hidden in the fine print of the Terms and Conditions (Section 19 to be specific), where it is disclosed that their credit scoring algorithms are provided by CreditXpert and aren’t FICO scores.
How Accurate is ScoreSense?
There have been numerous reports and complaints from customers of ScoreSense about their ScoreSense credit scores being off by as much as 70-100 points from their actual FICO scores pulled by lenders, leading many to overestimate (or underestimate) how creditworthy they actually are.
Seriously, just google “CreditXpert vs FICO” and read all the stories yourself if you don’t believe us–the scores often aren’t even in the same ballpark.
High Monthly Cost
At $39.95 per month, ScoreSense is the most expensive credit monitoring company we’ve reviewed so far. Although they do theoretically allow customers to pull their reports on a monthly basis (assuming customers don’t forget), the lack of FICO scores and completely average monitoring capabilities lead us to believe the service is overpriced.
Especially when you realize that, on top of the monthly cost, they also profit from selling client information on the side, which brings us to our next point.
They Sell, Trade, and Rent Customer Data
Although ScoreSense is secure as a site (employing 128-bit encryption and being certified as secure by Norton, Verisign, and McAfee) we can’t help but ask, what good is site security if they openly trade and sell your personal data to others?
Sure enough, during the signup process, before you ever enter credit card information, you are required to enter a phone number so that you can receive “special offers” from their partners.
Our review team was unable to ever complete the signup process on ScoreSense’s website, attempting to complete it with a virtual credit card, then two real credit cards (a VISA and an AMEX). Each time we were told there was a problem with our cards. Our cards are fine, ScoreSense. It’s not me, it’s you.
This would be a serious hurdle for anyone trying to sign up for the service, which is ironic, since ordinarily, the opposite is true. Which brings us to our next point…
ScoreSense has caught a ton of complaints from people who sign up for a free 7-day trial and then find their credit card automatically being billed at $39.95 per month after the seven days are up, unless the customer calls in during business hours to cancel their trial before it expires.
To their credit, the terms of the trial are clearly displayed on the signup page, their customer service center is open 7 days a week, and the number of complaints about being unable to cancel in time have dropped considerably since they got hit with a $22 million lawsuit in 2014 (more on that below).
That said, we don’t like the “free trial that starts auto-billing you” model at all. It feels scammy and we feel that there’s few convincing reasons for a company to do this except to take advantage of customers who forget to cancel in time.
ScoreSense is owned by a company called One Technologies, which was hit by a major FTC Lawsuit after more than 210,000 people complained about them. Many of the complaints alleged they were misled about the price of the product (thinking it was free) before seeing a mysterious “OTL*ScoreSense” charge on their credit card statement each month.
One Technologies faced a judgment and an injunction in November of 2014 for engaging in deceptive business practices with ScoreSense and other similar websites operated by the same company, including FreeScore360.com, FreeScoreOnline.com, etc. They ended up settling the lawsuit for $22 million on November 19th, 2014.
Although ScoreSense does not engage in this specific practice anymore (the price of the service is clearly printed at the top of each signup page), it tells consumers a lot about the attitude of the company’s management towards its customers and may be indicative of other problems clients might face when dealing with them.
After the 7-day trial, the membership cost is $39.95 per month.
ScoreSense offers a 7-day trial for potential members to get to know the company and the services provided. If the user does not cancel during the 7-day trial, their card will automatically begin getting charged the standard $39.95/mnth membership fee.
Additionally there is a one-time refundable $1.00 charge to the card at the beginning of the trial which is presumably used to verify that the provided card is valid.
Scores & Reports Provided
ScoreSense provides Credit Reports from all three credit bureaus, along with a CreditXpert score for each report.
ScoreSense offers standard 3-bureau credit monitoring, alerting users if they detect any of the following changes to any of that user’s credit reports:
- New Credit Account Opened (like a loan being taken out or a credit card opened)
- New Credit Inquiry (which occurs whenever a lender checks your credit)
- New Public Record (such as a judgment, lien, or bankruptcy)
- New Derogatory Mark (such as a late payment)
- New Personal Information (like a new mailing address)
These alerts are delivered by email and/or through the mobile app, if the user has it installed on their device.
Credit Score and Report Refreshes
Users can refresh their credit reports and CreditXpert scores as often as once per month through the website or mobile app. ScoreSense will not refresh the reports for you automatically, but it will send reminders through the mobile app when it’s time for you to do so.
ScoreSense utilizes SSL encryption to secure customer information, and the site itself has been certified as secure by both McAfee and Norton.
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft insurance can cover up to $1 million of ID theft-related costs (make sure to read the fine print to see what it does and does not cover). This protection is outsourced through American International Group. ScoreSense’s identity monitoring system purports to scour millions of internet sites, public records, and more to uncover illicit use of your personal information. An alert is sent by email if there is suspicious activity.
Time in Business
One Technologies has been in business since 2000.
Monday-Friday, 8 am to 8 pm CST
Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm CST
Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm CST
- [email protected]
- 4447 North Central Expressway
Suite 110 PMB 406 Dallas, Texas 75205