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Credit Sesame Review: Legit Free Credit Score or Scam?

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Brandon Brunner

Brandon Brunner

Countries Visited: U.S. States Visited:

Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 39U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Credit Sesame offers a number of free services to help manage your credit and provide important financial information on savings accounts and other financial services.

The company has been around since 2010 and acts as a consumer advocate to help millions of Credit Sesame users reach their financial goals.

Here we will explain in detail what Credit Sesame is, how it can help you manage your financial goals, and how it stacks up against the other free credit score and monitoring services out there.

Why Credit Sesame?

Credit Sesame is 100% free! It’s easy to sign up and get instant access to your credit score, identity theft protection, personalized savings advice, and more.

It’s important to know and understand your credit score before applying for your favorite travel rewards credit cards.

Credit Score and Monitoring

One of the best features of Credit Sesame is the ability to access your credit score. Your score will be updated on a monthly basis so you can begin to track important financial trends that appear in your credit report.

Using Credit Sesame will not hurt your credit score. Since this service is just for your personal information, it results in a “soft inquiry” that does not impact your credit.

However, Credit Sesame does not reflect your real “FICO” score. Instead, it provides a VantageScore which is not commonly used by banks for credit card applications.

Hot Tip: Knowing your credit score can help you save money with better loan rates and give you an idea of what type of credit cards you qualify for, including travel rewards credit cards.

Your credit score is dependent on a number of factors, and Credit Sesame explains in detail how your personal credit history impacts your credit score. Here are those main factors:

Image Credit: Credit Sesame

  • Payment History: Late payments, accounts in collections, foreclosures, and bankruptcies can all negatively impact your credit score. It’s best to avoid any of these happening, but if they do occur it’s important to recognize this negative mark on your credit report and how to take care of it.
  • Credit Usage: Comparing how much total credit you have available to borrow with the amount of debt owed helps banks understand your credit utilization. A high credit utilization can look like a risk to lenders, so it’s best to keep it low.
  • Credit Age: Credit Sesame provides the age of your oldest account and your newest account. Lenders like to see a longer average age of accounts to know you have a long history with lenders.
  • Account Mix: Having a good mix of different types of accounts shows lenders how dynamic your credit history is. Credit Sesame breaks down your accounts by type and includes home loans, student loans, and credit card accounts.
  • Credit Inquiries: A low number of credit inquiries is good because it shows that you are not seeking a lot of debt.

In addition to the detailed information, Credit Sesame provides based on your credit report, it also gives you a grade based on common market trends.

Image Credit: Credit Sesame

They also give recommendations on how to improve or maintain your credit score and explain what factors impact your score most.

The credit monitoring service will provide you with alerts when your credit score changes, when an account is opened or closed, or when you apply for new credit.

Credit Sesame’s credit score and monitoring service helps you keep tabs on financial events that can have major impacts on your creditworthiness. It will also protect you against fraud and identity theft by keeping you aware of your credit all the time.

Identity Theft Protection

Credit Monitoring from Credit Sesame. Image Credit: Credit Sesame

Identity theft has become a very serious problem that can lead to devastating financial troubles for those that fall victim to this serious crime.

That’s why it’s extremely important to be able to monitor your credit for any unusual activity. Credit Sesame actively monitors the use of your personal information for new credit and will alert you when new activity occurs.

Credit Sesame is so confident their service prevents identity theft that they offer a $50,000 identity theft insurance policy to all members for free!

This insurance will provide guidance and financial support to help restore your identity if it is stolen and used to obtain false credit accounts. You can learn more about how to prevent credit card fraud here.

Personalized Savings Advice and Other Financial Services

Credit Sesame offers personalized savings advice and other financial loan offers targeted especially for you using their proprietary software and your credit profile.

This system will evaluate your credit score, existing loans, current home value, and other factors to provide personalized loans and savings offers from top national lenders to best meet your financial goals.

Credit Sesame will match you with the best financial offers, like the highest APY rate for a new savings account, competitive rates for a new mortgage, or a car loan.

Their patent-pending technology finds these loans by running 5,000 different financial scenarios to forecast how the loans will perform over time and showing you the top 3.

Digital Bank Account: Sesame Cash

Credit Sesame offers a no-fee digital bank account called Sesame Cash. The account has no minimum balance requirement, no overdraft fees, no monthly service fees, and comes with a debit card that runs on the MasterCard network.

Bottom Line: Credit Sesame offers a free credit monitoring service, monthly VantageScore, great identity theft protection, $50,000 in identity theft insurance, and targeted money-saving offers based on your financial goals.

How Do I Sign up and Use Credit Sesame?

Using Credit Sesame is easy. You just need to sign up for an account, provide a few pieces of important information, and you’ll be all set! No credit card information is ever required since the service is totally free.

You will need to provide the last 4 numbers of your social security number so they can access your credit history for personal use.

It will also ask you some important identity verification questions to ensure the highest level of security and make sure your personal information is protected.

Once you’ve created your account, you can log in to your account using the website or mobile app (where you can also sign up for an account).

Does Credit Sesame Have an App?

Image Credit: Credit Sesame

Yes, Credit Sesame has an app for Apple users on the iTunes App Store and Android users on Google Play.

The app is easy to use and even allows you to sign in using Touch ID or a 4 digit PIN to access the app quickly while you’re on the go.

Most find the mobile app easier to use and understand since it primarily focuses on the most important information, including your VantageScore and the factors that determine it.

You will be able to access your VantageScore, credit monitoring report (including all the factors that impact your score), recommendations to improve or maintain your score, and personalized offers on other financial products.

The full website is great if you want to look deeper into their personalized financial recommendations and see what type of financial offers you may qualify for.

Is Credit Sesame Safe?

The simple answer is yes. Credit Sesame is safe and uses the same security measures as banks and the government to keep your information safe and secure.

Credit Sesame is not a scam; it is providing a legitimate service. Safeguarding your information is extremely important for them to keep your credit accurate and protected.

Your information is secure with 24-hour monitoring by Credit Sesame, and will never be sold for marketing purposes.

How Do I Contact Credit Sesame?

Credit Sesame prefers customers contact them through their support center on the website. There is an online form to submit your request, which also lets you add attachments so they can better understand your issue.

Social media is another great method to use to contact Credit Sesame for support issues, and it appears that they provide timely responses on both Twitter and Facebook.

Credit Sesame does offer a few contact email addresses on their website, but these are mainly for feedback and business/media relations. Helpful email addresses for customers are:

Unfortunately, Credit Sesame does not appear to have a functioning phone number for customers to call and speak to a live human being for support.

Bottom Line: Credit Sesame is safe and easy to use. Download the app to track your VantageScore wherever you are and get alerts of new activity straight to your phone or email!

Credit Sesame vs. Credit Karma

Credit Sesame is just one of many credit monitoring services, but its main competitor in the free service category is Credit Karma.

Both companies provide easy free services to help you monitor and understand your credit, but let’s take a look at their differences.

Image Credit: Credit Karma

Credit Sesame is very similar to Credit Karma since both offer your VantageScore and monitoring services.

However, one notable difference is that Credit Karma actually provides an additional VantageScore that reflects Equifax, in addition to the TransUnion score both services provide.

You also get access to your full credit report for both of those agencies as a member of Credit Karma, something Credit Sesame does not provide for free.

Credit Karma also updates more frequently than Credit Sesame (about once a week on average), but we find the credit monitoring alerts showing new activity on your credit report are easier to find on Credit Sesame.

While both services promote that their credit monitoring services prevent identity theft, Credit Sesame comes up on top by offering an additional layer of protection with $50,000 identity theft insurance free to all members.

Bottom Line: Credit Sesame is the only service that offers free identity theft insurance. Credit Karma is the only one to offer your VantageScore based on Equifax. It also provides a full credit report. Chase Credit Journey is another free tool that’s available to check your credit score.

Final Thoughts

Credit Sesame is an amazing free credit and monitoring service that also adds extra protection against identity theft and personalized financial offers.

It provides accurate information based on your TransUnion credit report to help you stay informed of your credit activity and review your credit history.

The service is safe, secure, and easy to use. With lots of detailed financial information on the full website and a simple mobile app, Credit Sesame should be on everyone’s radar to track their credit. It is not a scam!

The one major improvement Credit Sesame could make to beat the competition would be to add another free VantageScore and report from another credit bureau like Equifax. Even better, Credit Sesame could provide a free FICO score since that is the most commonly used score by banks for credit card applications.

Since there is no harm to your credit score using these free credit monitoring services, it’s worth trying them all out and seeing which one works best for you. However, Credit Sesame is definitely worth having for the identity theft insurance alone.

It’s important to monitor activity on your credit report, especially if you are in the market for new credit like travel rewards credit cards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Credit Sesame is safe and uses the same security measures as banks and the government to keep your information safe and secure. Credit Sesame is not a scam; it is providing a legitimate service.

Credit Sesame uses VantageScore 3.0.

Credit Sesame does not provide your FICO credit score, it provides you with your VantageScore – which is not the same.

Many of the services from Credit Sesame, like the credit report card and credit monitoring, are free. Those who pay $9.95 a month for a full membership receive extra benefits like debt and asset analysis.

About Brandon Brunner

Brandon was born and raised in California and really didn’t travel much growing up, even outside of his own state. While attending college, he was constantly looking to find the cheapest fares to any destination abroad, and quickly learned about the motto- “Chase the fare, not the destination”. Luckily, his first international flight was to Costa Rica (under $300 roundtrip) where that “Pura Vida” lifestyle (and Imperials) hit him hard, and he knew he had to see more.


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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


Mac Rooney

April 13, 2019

Would it make sense to get a credit card when in the process of cleaning out my arrears?
At this time, I only have a debt/credit account. This does not give me any credit I need.

Christine Krzyszton

April 16, 2019

Hello Mac. If I understand your question, you want to know if you should get a credit card while you have other debt that you’re having difficulty paying. If this is the case, it makes sense to wait until you are caught up and in a better financial situation. A secured credit card may be an option at that time to get back on track.


March 08, 2022

Credit Sesame was canceled on the 27th of Feb but took money out of my account on March 6 illegally.


April 30, 2019

Question: On my credit report with you all it shows I have a credit limit 3149.00 but I don’t with my American Express card. It’s bringing down my score, bad, and I’ve tried calling, texting, email, and I’m not getting any reply from Credit Sesame at all that will answer my question.

Hi Patricia. First, please be advised that we are not Credit Sesame. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in providing travel-related resources and information on how to use points/miles for travel. To dispute an error on your credit report, you should contact Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion, which are credit bureaus that report information that shows up on your credit report. You can find the information on submitting a dispute on your credit report. I hope this helps.

Penny March

June 02, 2019

Credit sesame said to help with a higher credit number apply for a credit card. I’m already in trouble that is way I joined. Now I was denied and another black mark on my credit report and my score went down. That was real helpful!

Karen Becker

September 25, 2019

Penny March, Credit Sesame did the exact thing to me. I followed their “helpful” advice and it lowered my score.


September 20, 2019

50,000 to cover theft but you posted that no phone calls and no live person to help. That leaves this push-button device that no one has to answer or be responsible for its actions. No thanks.


October 06, 2019

Yeah I’m monitoring my score every way I possibly can because I’m working very hard to fix some credit problems I caused for myself a few years ago. It’s really hard when nobody seems to agree on what my credit score actually is. Credit Sesame is way way out of the ball park in comparison with Credit Karma and neither are even close to what my Experian score is. I don’t understand how TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian can differ so much. Then you have Credit Karma and Credit Sesame that supposedly both use your Trans and Equifax scores as factors and for me these 2 sites differ by more then 100 points. All so very confusing.

JT Thomas

November 10, 2019

Why can’t this website give a FICO score? What score is being used? Vantage? What is a vantage score derived from?

Jarrod West

November 12, 2019

Hi JT,

Credit Sesame does not have access to your FICO score, only your Vantage score. You can learn more about the Vantage Score and how it is derived at the Vantage Score website.

Len Krouner

January 08, 2020

Please provide telephone numbers for a credit monitoring company that will answer specific questions about how closing credit card accounts will effect a FICO Score?

Jarrod West

January 09, 2020

Hi Len,

Any credit monitoring company imparticular that you’re looking for a phone number for?


January 27, 2020

Credit score numbers are a joke. It’s just something to always keep you guessing. None of it makes any sense nor will it ever and anyone who claims they have the answer to it is fulla S! It’s all just another racket as most things in life. Here’s the deal: Pay bills on time and you will always be fine and be offered Credit. Don’t live above your means. If you work at McDonald’s don’t spend like a CEO of a multi billion company.
And definitely do not put much into what Credit Karma/Sesame says. IF you can’t tell, they are in it for sponsoring debt companies and credit cards. They are not a Credit Bureau. You are giving people your information and you can’t even speak to them as they have no contact number. You must contact them by email and hope they respond if you have issues, it’s insane!


March 04, 2020

I’ve used credit karma and credit sesame. I trust credit karma and don’t use credit sesame.
Credit sesame recommended good approval odds to me for 2 credit cards that denied me. Credit sesame has more flash and does a lot of commercials to get you but credit karma has integrity in my experience. I’m a real user and no, credit karma didn’t pay to post this. Just thinking I might be able to help some people.


March 05, 2020

Thanks for letting me know what you got out of the two and their differences.

Better Know Inc

June 28, 2020

All these credit repair companies may have good intentions in helping people to get their credit back on track, but there is a downside. Not sure if they really know or how credit repair actually works when these companies are pulling credit scores. The credit reports and credit scores that all these companies are offering are not a persons actual and true credit score. These companies actually are accessing what is called a consumer credit report and score. These scores will always differ anywhere from 10 to 100 points from a consumers actual credit report.

The only way to get your actual credit score is to apply for some type of credit. The credit scoring system is industry specific. Every industry has a different type of scoring system that is used for various types of purchases. For example, if you purchase a car your credit score will not be the same as your credit score for purchasing a house or applying for credit cards.

This is the reason why some many consumers get frustrate when they see a high consumer score on these consumer credit reports and believe that is their actual credit score.

This is not put down any credit repair company because some of the help they provide does assist in getting consumers credit score increased, but you will not actually know by how much it increased until you apply for credit to a specific industry.

Hope this helps give a better understanding of how the credit scoring system works.


July 08, 2020

Credit Sesame does not have 2-factor authentication. This is critical for a site that handles sensitive data. You should be able to get a code sent to your email or phone before logging in. How do they not have this? And how is this not part of your review?

Jarrod West

July 09, 2020

Hi Johnny,

You’re correct that Credit Sesame does not offer 2-factor authentication. But they do encrypt your information using firewalls, 128-bit SSL encryption, and 256-bit AES encryption, which is the industry standard of encryption used by banks and the government. The Credit Sesame service is both free and voluntary, so if someone is not comfortable with the level of security that the website provides then they should consider other options.

Thanks for reading!

Walter Huston

February 09, 2021

I find it hard to believe that Credit Sesame is legit considering they keep offering to check my father’s credit rating (by emailing me). My father died 15 years ago.

Jarrod West

February 10, 2021

Hi Walter,

There should be an option for you to unsubscribe to those emails at the bottom of the email text.


April 19, 2021

Credit-sesame doesn’t respect your desire to be taken off of daily informational mailing list. Although there is an “unsubscribe” link and site page, they’ll ignore whatever you choose.

Marilyn Leader

August 12, 2023

I received a message saying a new account has been identified on my credit report. I didn’t know I had credit sesame. I had to add a new password. I am trying to find out what this is about? I just want the free service for now. How do I find out if this is a scam?

Jarrod West

August 14, 2023

Hi Marilyn,

You can always contact the Credit Sesame customer service team to verify details about your account.

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