There are a lot of services out there that promise a free credit report, but are actually scams – remember all those free credit report TV and radio jingles? Everyone is entitled to a free credit report once a year through the website annualcreditreport.com, but if you want to know your actual credit score – the number that rates your credit-worthiness – you’re going to have to pay extra. Enter Credit Sesame, a new startup that will let you get both your credit report and credit score for free.
Credit Sesame has partnered with Experian to provide your credit score, so you won’t know what the other two major credit ratings agencies (Equifax and TransUnion) think, but it’s a good start. Credit Sesame will also offer you loan and credit card advice about the debt you already have, and can send you updates about changes to your credit report. If you’re actually in the market for a loan or credit card, they’ll send you offers from bank they think match your financial needs: if you choose to go with one of those offers, Credit Sesame makes a commission. That’s how they can provide their other services for free, but they promise that the offers will truly be helpful to consumers.
Credit scores are mysterious. But they’re important, especially if you’re looking to finance a business through personal loans or credit cards. Monitoring your credit to make sure your report is correct is a critical “good financial habit,” because credit and identity theft is an ever-growing problem for consumers. Catching mistakes early can save a ton of time and trouble: the longer an error is on your report, the more damage it can do to your credit score, and the harder it can be to get it removed. It makes sense to be constantly vigilant about your credit, and Credit Sesame has made it much easier for the average person to stay on top of their credit score and credit report.