How Accurate is Credit Sesame’s Score? And What Are Their Features?

Credit Sesame offers a free way to track your credit score with tools to assist in improving your financial well-being.

So, how accurate is Credit Sesame’s Score?

Credit Sesame is one of the widely known credit management platforms.

They offer its members access to credit reports, credit score monitoring, and tools for identity protection.

Their accuracy, however, is put into question as they do not use the FICO rating system to track your progress, instead, they use  VantageScore 3.0.

This score was co-developed by the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and is relatively new.

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How Accurate is Credit Sesame’s Score?

how accurate is credit sesames score

Most lenders will pull your FICO score when determining your creditworthiness – not your VantageScore.

Therefore the accuracy of the three digit number Credit Sesame is showing vs the score lenders will see won’t be identical.

Regardless, if you’re taking steps to improve your score (paying balances in full each month, keeping credit utilization low, etc) then both versions of your credit score will improve.

Credit Sesame features

There are still benefits to using Credit Sesame that include a complete Personal Credit Management (PCP) feature.

Their PCP gives you a credit report card, your score, tells you why your score is at a certain level and what influences your rating.

They also offers personalized recommendations based on your credit score regarding:

  • home loans
  • credit cards
  • personal loans
  • student loans, and
  • refinancing opportunities

All this is aimed to help its members enhance their credit and purchasing power.

Since 2010, the platform has helped several million consumers locate ideal financial products and get a lot more done using their credit score.

If interested in improving your credit, you can sign-up via the link below. Otherwise, let’s revisit some credit score basics.

Credit Score Basics

credit score basics

How accurate is Credit Sesame’s Score? – Credit Score Basics

There are multiple resources, similar to Credit Sesame, that can help you understand what credit score calculation entails and what the various numbers mean.

To give you a brief overview, a credit score points out your creditworthiness to banks, mortgage lenders, and other potential lenders.

The score denotes how responsible you’d most likely be with clearing your balances. The typical credit score scale range is 300 to 850, with higher numbers being more desirable.

Credit Score vs Credit Report

A credit score and credit report are not the same.

A credit report, as the name indicates, offers you an overview of your financial credibility.

A credit score, on the other hand, is merely a three-digit number created statistically.

How Credit Sesame Works?

Credit Sesame lets its members check their credit scores for free with the help of TransUnion’s VantageScore model.

It also provides you credit score reports, with letter grades attached to credit usage, payment history, and credit age.

You’ll also receive account-change alerts as you continue to make progress on your score

Finally, their Approval Odds feature predicts which credit cards you’re most likely to get accepted from. Those odds will either be poor, fair, good or very good.

All that is found in the My Borrowing Power section of your profile.

What are the costs associated with Credit Sesame?

Unlike most credit monitoring service providers, there is no free trial period with Credit Sesame. Your membership is free to begin with and it never ceases to be so.

In fact, you’ll not be asked to put your credit card on file while registering, which means Credit Sesame will not be able to charge you even if it wanted to (unless you upgrade).

Credit Sesame membership plans

Credit Sesame offers four membership plans: Free Membership, Advanced Credit, Pro Credit, and Platinum Protection.

Free membership
Free Membership provides you with one credit score update per month and credit monitoring alerts.
Advanced Credit
The Advanced Credit plan is $9.95 per month and provides a daily credit score update from one bureau, plus it updates your credit score from the other 2 bureaus monthly. You’ll also receive three monthly credit reports.
Pro Credit
Pro Credit is $15.95 and per month. The Pro Credit plan tops up the Advanced Credit plan with three credit monitoring alerts and 24/7 live expert support to help you address your credit report inaccuracies. Pro Credit, according to Credit Sesame, offers the best value of them all.
Platinum Protection
Platinum Protection ($19.95/month) is the complete package that tops up the Pro Credit plan with 24/7 live expert support for lost/stolen wallet protection, along with public records monitoring, black market site monitoring, and Social Security number (SSN) monitoring services.

How else does Credit Sesame make money?

Besides the membership plans offered to users, the company makes money by displaying credit cards and loans tailor-made for its members.

When their members apply for the loan or card and get approved, Credit Sesame receives commission.

Also, the company makes money via partnerships. For instance, the company could power the home loan tool of a third-party website and get commissions every time a buyer uses the tool to sign up for the loan.

What is VantageScore and how does it work?

VantageScore is a credit scoring system that competes with FICO (the leader). It’s used by lenders, credit card issuers and landlords alike. VantageScore has been developed jointly by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Initially, VantageScore had a unique scale (501 – 990), but over time they’ve updated to make it identical to FICO’s 300-850 scale.

VantageScore has been gaining significant market share in recent years, thanks to its free services. In 2017, according to Oliver Wyman (a management consulting company) they saw a 20 percent increase of financial institutions using the VantageScore system.

VantageScore category breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of categories that determine your VantageScore:

  • Payment history: 40%
  • Credit age and mix: 21%
  • Credit utilization: 20%
  • Balances: 11%
  • Recent credit applications: 5%
  • Available credit: 3%

VantageScore 3.0 scale

VantageScore doesn’t use percentages to delineate the amount of weight it gives different credit factors. “Influence” is used instead:

  • Payment history is deemed extremely influential,
  • while credit type and age and credit percentage are considered highly influential
  • Debt and total balances are moderately influential
  • Recent credit behavior is less influential

Credit Sesame Security

The different security certificates it uses ensures the data stored on the company’s servers are safe and secure making Credit Sesame a safe option to monitor your credit.

Often, different credit bureaus have a slightly different data mix due to their different reporting mechanisms. Your score could therefore differ across bureaus, which should not be anything to worry about.

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