Pros / It has a basic free option.
Cons / You can’t send disputes through this service.
Verdict / With several tiers of service, including one that provides monthly three-bureau reports, Credit Sesame is a service worth looking at for credit reporting and other financial services.
Credit Sesame is a relatively new service that offers credit monitoring at a variety of levels. We looked at the Platinum Protection Plan that costs $19.95 and includes monthly access to your three-bureau credit reports in addition to identity monitoring features. There are several other plans, including a Pro Credit Plan for $15.95 that includes the three-bureau monitoring but none of the identity protection. Credit Sesame also has a free option that, while very basic, does let you see one bureau’s credit score and sign up for alerts on new credit activity.
With the paid plans, you get monthly updates on your three bureau scores and reports. We find having more frequent updates on the reports is an advantage as it lets you keep a closer watch on your credit and spot any errors. One drawback of Credit Sesame is you can’t send dispute forms through its dashboard; you’ll need to go directly to each of the three bureaus individually. Having the forms available in one place is a timesaver we found helpful in other programs.
Credit Sesame also has a credit score simulator. This lets you check how a new loan or credit card would affect your credit score. Credit Sesame uses the VantageScore model, which was developed by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion and is often used by lenders in making decisions. It’s not as common as a FICO score but uses a similar scale and is a reliable indicator of your credit health.
You’ll receive alerts about new credit activity through email or text. This can be a good tip-off if your account is compromised or someone opens a new line of credit in your name. If this happens, we recommend putting a freeze on your credit accounts for maximum protection.
The Platinum Protection plan also includes a range of identity monitoring tools that check public records databases to ensure no one is using your information. There is also 24/7 lost wallet assistance that will help you by making calls to replace or cancel any cards that are lost.
Credit Sesame has a variety of plans, including one with complete three-bureau credit monitoring and identity protection. At $19.99 the price compares well with other services we reviewed. However, you won’t be able to send disputes through the dashboard and there’s no option to add children to your identity monitoring.