Our SmartCredit Review in a NutshellSmartCredit.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Basic- $19.95 monthly
- Premium- $29.95 monthly
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monday – Friday 10AM – 8PM Eastern
- [email protected]
- 3187 Red Hill Ave #100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626