Protecting your credit—from identity thieves as well as your own bad decisions—is important. But so is avoiding scammy companies that draw you in with the offer of a free credit report and end up charging you $15 a month until you remember to cancel.
Credit Sesame lets you do both. It offers a credit score, credit monitoring, and basic identity theft protection—for free—no catch or credit card required. And those services are free for always, not for some two-week trial period.
Their free account offers:
- Instant, totally free access to your credit score and report from one credit bureau (TransUnion)
- Free monthly updates to your TransUnion credit score and report
- Daily monitoring and alerts of changes to your TransUnion credit report
- $50,000 of identity theft insurance
In addition, Credit Sesame walks you through the factors that determine your credit score, and explains what about your credit history (missed payments, number of accounts) has a negative or positive affect on that score, and what you can do to make it better. It’ll analyze your debt, telling you your total balance, interest rate, and monthly payment.
Along the way, it’ll also make recommendations about loans, credit cards, and other financial services. (If you haven’t guessed already, those corporate partners are how it keeps its basic services free. Mint and other online financial apps use a similar model to stay afloat without charging customers.)
Credit Sesame’s basic services are great if you want an easy way to get access to your credit score throughout the year.
Premium products from Credit Sesame
But maybe that’s not enough for you. After all, it seems like not a day goes by without news of another massive data breach. We’ve seen it happen to Target, T-Mobile, and Scottrade, just to name a few.
If you’re looking for more identity theft protection and more frequent updates to your credit score, then Credit Sesame also has you covered—but it will cost you.
Credit Sesame offers three levels of premium coverage: Advanced, Pro, and Platinum.
Advanced ($7.95/month if billed annually, $9.95 for month to month) gets you a daily credit score update from one bureau, a monthly credit score update from all three bureaus, and a full credit report from three bureaus each month, as well as $50,000 of identity theft insurance.
Pro ($12.95/month for an annual membership, or $15.95 for month to month) gets all that, plus credit monitoring from all three bureaus, and access to 24/7 live experts to deal with any inaccuracies on your credit report.
Platinum, the most extensive premium service offered by Credit Sesame, gives you everything you got from the Pro service, plus 24/7 assistance if your wallet is stolen or lost, plus the monitoring of public records, black market sites, and tracking of any and all addresses associated with your Social Security number. With this package, your identity theft insurance also goes up to $1 million. Platinum costs $15.95 a month for an annual membership, or $19.95 a month if you pay on a monthly basis.
Do you need all this coverage, or such constant updates to your credit score? Probably not, and these days a lot of credit card companies are offering credit scores for free on their websites. But if you’re the anxious kind, and having as much protection as possible will put you at ease, then the money will be worth it—especially if you are eventually the victim of identity theft.
If not? Then take advantage of Credit Sesame’s excellent free services, and grab your full credit report from the government-mandated http://www.annualcreditreport.com once a year.