Should You Sign Up For Credit Sesame? Probably Not
- Customer service response time
- Customer service workflow–ticketing system? Live chat? Something?
- Buggy payment system (?) charged card, but didn’t grant access to Pro Credit service
- Free recommendations
- Charts, graphs and insights all in one place
My credit was terrible in my early twenties.
Collection calls. Late payments. Even a charged off checking account. It was a difficult time for me.
Ask anyone who’s struggled with their credit how it feels: miserable doesn’t describe the half of it.
I have excellent credit now, and speaking as someone who didn’t for many years, I cannot overstate the benefits of having a proper credit management plan.
With good credit, favorable lending rates are just the beginning. The positives include but aren’t limited to:
- No lump in your throat or chest tightness when a random number shows up on your caller ID
- Free concierge services, comfortable lounges and lots of free travel miles with purchases
- Higher limits, great rewards, great cash back
- Have spending power while still saving cash
- No deposits on utilities, better insurance rates
And much more.
The good news is, because credit management tools keep getting more sophisticated, you can get a full picture of your credit health–and how to build it–in an instant. Credit Sesame is one such tool, and is the subject of this review.
What Is Credit Sesame?
Started in 2010 in Mountain View, California–Credit Sesame purports to be a tool that helps not just with credit monitoring, but through personalized recommendations and credit management. Specific Credit Sesame features include:
- Free credit score: once you create your account you’ll have access to this.
- Free credit monitoring: with this, you’ll receive alerts to any changes in your credit report from any of the 3 major bureaus–Equifax, Experian and TransUnion–as well home value changes, if applicable.
- Free credit and loan management: once your account is setup, you’ll
- Trending charts: Every month, Credit Sesame compiles all your information in a helpful chart so you can see how your financial health is changing over time. The trending chart includes information on your credit score, credit ratios, loan payments and interest rates.
That’s a pretty easy sell to someone looking to build credit or just better manage credit, but does the sales copy translate to actual benefits? We’ll see.
About This Credit Sesame Review
Rather than rehash other Credit Sesame reviews, I decided to just give it a try myself. Here’s what I’ve done for this Credit Sesame review:
- Signed up for Credit Sesame
- Followed a free recommendation
- Upgraded to Credit Sesame ProCredit
- Tested customer service responsiveness
Full disclosure: Credit Sesame nor Careful Cents paid for the bill.
We’ll start with the sign up process and my first impression of their free tools before moving onto their premium offerings and customer service.
1. Signing up for Credit Sesame
Signing up was fast and easy, and involved the same information you’d use for a credit card application, like your name, date of birth, the last four of your social security number and several identify verification questions. After the sign up, I was met with a menu, some charts and graphs. On mobile it feels intuitive, engaging and easy to use. There’s plenty of useful stats and recommendations, too.
- Your current credit score and Your Sesame Potential score
- The Sesame Potential score is your project score should you follow their recommendations
- Your Credit Sesame action plan
- Credit repair offers from Lexington Law
- How to remove the negative marks on your credit
- Credit card offers and your approval odds–a neat feature.
- Personal loan and debt consolidation offers
- Home value and credit card debt charts
The best part about this home page is that it displays everything with approval odds.
It’s frustrating to apply for a credit card that you think you’re qualified for–only to get denied. This prevents that.
Signing up was fast and easy, the personalized recommendations were useful and users will appreciate seeing approval odds.
2. Credit Sesame Free Recommendations
About 35% of your FICO credit score is tied to your payment history. And, to my surprise, I discovered a payment that showed as late on my credit report from over six years ago!
So I opted to follow one of Credit Sesame’s free recommendations and dispute it.
In addition, I applied and was approved for a credit card through their free recommendations list. Both of these steps were completed with ease.
- The ability to dispute errors in your dashboard is convenient and helps keep you organized.
Most folks scramble to dispute credit inaccuracies by calling the original creditor, the collection agency, then the credit bureaus, before finally being able to get something removed. Again, Credit Sesame streamlines this process, while centralizing all of your information in one place so you stay organized.
- You save time applying for offers as Credit Sesame pre-fills your information into the forms, which is also convenient.
The ease of applying for these services–much of my information was prefilled in the credit application, as an example–and the ability to rapidly identify and dispute errors all in one place is great.
I’d have no problem referring friends and family to Credit Sesame based on the quality of their free recommendations alone.
3. Credit Sesame ProCredit Service
This is where things go south. I wish I could have provided you with more insight on this section, but I wasn’t able to even sign up! When I did enter my personal and payment information to upgrade to their ProCredit service, I was met with an error message.
I consulted their FAQ for a solution, but nothing. Afterward, I checked my credit card and, to my surprise, I was charged several times. Perhaps it went through after all? I logged back into the Credit Sesame to see if I had been given access. I wasn’t, despite the multiple charges.
Businesses are imperfect and I didn’t want an error message to get in the way of what could potentially be a good service, I reached out to their customer service.
4. Credit Sesame Customer Service
This is where Credit Sesame hits rock bottom. I sent them an email on Friday, January 25 but heard no word back. After no word, I followed up via Twitter on January 28th, first with a public request for a better contact method. I was met with the following response instead:
I waited some time before sending them a direct message. This wasn’t just a general question after all: I was charged multiple times for a service they never gave.
It’s now Wednesday, January 30 2019 I’ve yet to get a response.
A live chat option–or even some kind of ticketing system or confirmation email that your support request was received– would go a long way here. I sent multiple email requests through their back end and was never even met with a confirmation email.
I did get plenty of solicitations though. For this Credit Sesame I really wanted to try–and like–all the features, but there’s not much else to report here.
I also received an email for someone else. This email spooked me a bit, given the sensitive data Credit Sesame has access to, I was alarmed to receive a solicitation in the name of someone else.
Happy to update if, when, Credit Sesame responds.
In the meantime, spare yourself the trouble and look elsewhere.