Our SmartCredit Review in a Nutshell

SmartCredit.com offers a unique Smart Credit Report that provides users with more insight than a normal credit report, along with the ability to directly contact lenders through their service to quickly negotiate better terms, lower interest rates, higher credit limits, and the like. Although they don't provide true FICO scores or credit reports from two of the three bureaus, our review team was impressed by SmartCredit's innovative tools. While they fall short of what we look for in a comprehensive credit monitoring solution, they may be a good option for those looking for one site to manage their both their credit report and personal finances.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Reports Available
Our Score
#1
$19.95 - 29.95
3/3
8.3
#2
Free
2/3
7.4
#3
$19.95
Up to 3/3
7.2
#14
SmartCredit-thumbnail
$19.95 - 29.95
1/3
5.8

The Good

Integrated Personal Finance Tools

A big part of what makes SmartCredit more unique than a standard credit monitoring service is that they provide their customers with personal finance tools alongside their credit. Similar to Mint, SmartCredit can link to all of your banks, lenders, brokerage accounts, and so forth. Once these accounts are linked, SmartCredit begins pulling all of your transactions, purchases and payments each day.

This lets you see all of your spending in one place, and even includes handy reports and pretty charts to see where all your money went, as well as net worth calculations and the like. It also plays heavily into the capabilities of the Smart Credit Report, which we’ll talk about next.SmartCredit Personal Finance Screenshot

Smart Credit Report

SmartCredit’s major selling point is their patented Smart Credit Report, which is basically a new way of displaying information found in a traditional credit report alongside money management features. For example, if you’re browsing your credit report and see one of your credit cards has a higher balance than you remember, you can click a button and quickly see all of the recent transactions on that card.Smart Credit Report Screenshot

This provides users with a really cool way of being able to see how their individual daily decisions contribute and form the numbers on their credit reports. If your credit score is hurting because you’re carrying a high balance on one of your cards, you can quickly dive in and see what you can cut from your spending to bring that balance down and improve your score.

Smart Credit Report Screenshot

We have to admit that the format takes a little getting used to at first, but once we spent a minute or two playing around with it, our review team found it quite intuitive and easy to use.

But probably the most impressive feature of the Smart Credit Report were the action buttons.

Action Buttons

While browsing the Smart Credit Report, users are presented with a giant orange button for each account that reads Take Action. Clicking on it will take customers to a window where they can take many actions, for example:

  • Request an increased credit limit
  • Inquire about a particular transaction
  • Request a lower interest rate
  • Ask for a derogatory mark to be removed
  • Negotiate to settle or defer payments

These are all things that can typically be done over the phone or at each lender/bank’s website, but being able to do all of them from one central location is pretty impressive and is a definite time-saving tool. What’s more, they even allow users to dispute individual credit card charges that they don’t recognize.SmartCredit Action Button Screenshot

SmartCredit makes it very easy and simple to negotiate with lenders and correct inaccuracies on one’s credit report. We haven’t seen this kind of functionality on any other service we’ve reviewed thus far.

Bi-Weekly Credit Report Refreshes

On their basic $19.99/month plan, SmartCredit allows users to refresh their credit report every two weeks, which is quite good within this industry. On the premium $29.99/mnth membership, users can refresh their report as often as six times per month, which is fantastic. We love services that allow users to frequently access up-to-date versions of their credit reports, as it allows for timely and accurate monitoring.

Mobile App Offered

SmartCredit earns marks for providing a mobile app for their service. We downloaded it and found it provided most of the functionality of the full website, allowing one access to their full smart credit report, score, money management features, and the like. Although there weren’t any reviews for it in the app store, we didn’t encounter any major bugs while using it.

The Bad

As much as we applaud SmartCredit for the many innovative steps they’ve taken with their service, there are some drawbacks that merit attention for users that are serious about monitoring their credit reports.

Only One Credit Report

The biggest issue that our review team has with the Smart Credit Report is that it is limited only to data pulled from a user’s TransUnion report. There is no monitoring or ability to view credit reports from the other two credit bureaus, Equifax and Experian. This is a rather large blind spot as customers of SmartCredit are effectively only monitoring a third of their credit profile.

The reason this is a problem is that inaccuracies or fraud could show up on any of the three credit bureau’s reports, not just TransUnion’s. Without using another service to handle the gaps in this coverage, a customer could find find themselves in trouble with the other two credit bureaus.

Furthermore, unlike most Credit Monitoring services, SmartCredit only monitors for changes to a user’s TransUnion report, not even alerting them of changes to the other two credit reports. This falls far behind the offerings of the rest of the industry.

No FICO Score

SmartCredit provides its users with a single VantageScore credit score based off of the information in their TransUnion credit report, which is different from the FICO credit scores used by the majority (over 90%) of lenders in their credit decisions. Although the VantageScore has gained some limited traction, it isn’t considered an industry-standard score.

What this means for users is that the credit score provided by the Smart Credit Report isn’t an accurate measure of the score your lender will use, in fact, in some cases it won’t be anywhere close, with many complaints alleging scores being off by 70-100 points. Take this score with a grain of salt.

Although SmartCredit also provides its users with two other scores, an auto loan score and an insurance score, these scores are based off of internal models developed by SmartCredit and are even less reliable than the VantageScore; essentially worthless.

Clunky Mobile App

Although we applaud SmartCredit for even providing a mobile app, the app itself feels extremely clunky and dated. The information is poorly laid out, the interface isn’t intuitive, and many portions of the app just feel like a mobile version of the website. Long load times when accessing parts of the app add to the frustration.SmartCredit Mobile App Screenshot

Customer Service Not Open Weekends

SmartCredit, like many companies in the industry, requires its customers to call in to the service in order to cancel over the phone. What escalates this complaint from being a minor quibble to troublesome is the fact that SmartCredit’s customer service agents are not available on the weekend. For users that are working or otherwise busy during the week, the lack of weekend service hours could represent a hurdle.

Although the number of these claims is very small, we nevertheless advise customers to carefully research these complaints and even call customer service before subscribing to ensure they meet your expectations.

Security Concerns

Although there have been no reported data breaches or privacy complaints, one must always be wary about handing over so much personal information to one website. Because it does more than monitor your credit, SmartCredit has access to banking information and other sensitive data that makes it an especially big target to hackers.

We noted that their website is certified as secure by Norton, McAfee, and others, but we encourage users to carefully consider whether or not they’re comfortable with placing all their financial eggs in one basket, particularly with a company as relatively new as SmartCredit.

The Bottom Line

SmartCredit brings a unique blend of personal financial tools and credit monitoring to the industry. Our review team was really impressed by the functionality of the Smart Credit Report and its action buttons; we applaud the company for innovating and thinking outside the box. It’s an intelligent strategy and the sort of thing we like to see more of in this space.

For those looking for a robust toolset for managing their personal finances with integrated credit monitoring, SmartCredit makes a pretty compelling offer with its $19.99/mnth option.

That being said, we have some reservations in recommending SmartCredit for those looking solely to monitor their credit. Once you strip away the impressive features, gadgets, and polish, SmartCredit does not offer anywhere close to the same level credit monitoring functionality as many of its competitors.

The lack of FICO scores, three-bureau monitoring, and access to only a single credit report seriously hinders SmartCredit’s ability to seriously contend in this space; especially when there are free alternatives for both personal financial tools and for obtaining multiple credit reports.

Ultimately, we feel that SmartCredit could be a good option if you expect to make heavy use of its action buttons to dispute inaccuracies, negotiate better terms, and streamline communication with your lenders, otherwise, our review team feels that users could find a better value elsewhere.

Price Range
  • Basic- $19.95 monthly
  • Premium- $29.95 monthly
Trial Details

They offer a 7-day trial.  During the trial all services are available including credit report, credit score, auto and insurance score, hiring risk index, identity theft alerts, daily money manager, action buttons, and alerts.  Please note in their details that “if you were charged a refundable $1.00 Identity Verification fee at enrollment you may request a refund of this $1.00 Identity Verification fee with our customer service.”

Scores & Reports Provided

They offer credit report and VantageScore through TransUnion.

Error Dispute

Get out of debt by negotiating directly with your creditors.  If there is an error with a creditor on your account, you are able to dispute it through the website.  There are three different options on how you can go about disputing it.  You can settle debts, lower interest rates or defer monthly payments due to hardship.  No need to call anyone or join a debt consolidation program.  It even works great for those small annoying collection accounts that seem to pop-up out of nowhere on your credit report.

Monitoring

Get important credit monitoring alerts with changes to your TransUnion credit report by phone or email.  If you suspect identity theft, just push the button to stop it.

Anytime you make a purchase, you get transaction monitoring alerts to make sure it is you spending your hard earned money.  If you find a transaction that was not made by you, simply push the action button to stop the theft.

Credit Score and Report Refreshes

SmartCredit updates the provided TransUnion credit report twice a month on the basic service, and allows users to refresh it up to six times per month on the advanced service.

Data Security

SmartCredit will not give any information out once you have signed up.  Customer service cannot see your credit report or score.  The website carries valid security certifications from both McAfee and Norton.

Identity Theft Protection

If you get a new creditor or inquiry on your account it will automatically send an alert to you.  Providing you the chance to see if this is something you requested, or if it’s a potential identity theft threat.  If you see identity theft on your credit report or financial accounts, you’ll use the action button to tell your creditor to stop the account and remove any reporting of it or reverse the fraudulent transaction.

Alert Options

SmartCredit offers 24/7 alerts to give their customers peace of mind.  Credit monitoring alerts let you stop bank account theft, unauthorized credit card transactions, stop credit report theft of unknown accounts, and id theft with a click of a button on your account.  Alerts are sent via text and/or email.  Those are the only two options they provide.

Contact Information

  • 877-372-3895
    Monday – Friday 10AM – 8PM Eastern
  • [email protected]
  • 3187 Red Hill Ave #100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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6 SmartCredit.com Reviews

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  1. User Score

    0

    September 3rd, 2014 Wexford, PA

    I was to get a free week then when I tried to cancel I was told I would get 30 days free. I tried to cancel 3 days later and all I get is a phone loop.

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  2. User Score

    1

    June 2nd, 2014 Houston, TX

    Terrible customer service. I did not know which option I was signing up for as it doesn’t give you the choice. Tried contacting customer service to resolve the issue. 20 minutes on hold. Tried to cancel my membership online and I was forced to call back as they would not cancel it. Never again.

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  3. User Score

    1

    December 9th, 2013 Chicago, IL

    probably THE worst customer service I have ever received. When I called to cancel my recurring monthly payments (and was told they would cancel any future payments) no change was actually made to the account. When checking my credit card statement I noticed they had continued to bill me the next 2 months. I called back to request a refund, (since they did NOT in fact cancel my payments as they told me they would) but they would not issue a refund as they somehow had no record of my call.

    I was very disappointed with the rude way I was spoken to on the phone and also with the company’s refusal to discuss the matter in a civilized way.

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  4. User Score

    10

    October 11th, 2012 Lehi, UT

    Still in the trial, but I like what I see! Totally simple to see where your credit is at, and easy to contact each creditor! Best news is, it’s higher than I thought. 🙂

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  5. User Score

    9

    October 1st, 2012 Lehi, UT

    Just signed up after the trial. Worth it’s weight. Signing up my son too.

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  6. User Score

    10

    September 9th, 2012 Lehi, UT

    I’m not sure what other credit report sites let you contact your creditor directly, but I think thats the best feature. I’ve used it many times, and was able to make many corrections to my credit report because of it. Nothing major, but some wrong info can sink you like a stone!

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