Investment Apps and Websites

Credit Sesame Vs Credit Karma: Best Credit Monitoring Tool For You

If you are looking for ways to improve your credit score, there are two platforms that are known for doing such — it’s in fact a battle between Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma. In this comparative review, we will help you understand better these two tools — more so, we are going to discuss thoroughly what makes one different or similar to the other.

Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma a comparative review

Perhaps some of you will agree if we say that your credit score can be considered as a financial asset. Well, it is in fact an underrated financial asset. While it is not something that you can buy or sell, your credit score can leave you thousands of dollars richer or poorer.

Why is that so?

Well, your credit score is key to a lot of things like it unlocks the best interest rates on loans such as a personal loan, or a car, and home loans; it allows you to get accepted (without too much hassle) for credit cards; and lastly, it is your key to be able to set up an account with an internet or phone provider.

With all that’s been said, it is not surprising why a lot of Americans work hard to ensure they have a good credit score.


Good thing there are platforms like Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. Both offer free credit monitoring services. These two are actually just two of the many who have earned popularity particularly these days in the wake of many data breaches.

By the way, just before we move on, we thought you may find these facts interesting — We were, a while ago, talking about the importance of good credit score to be able to take advantage of different benefits. But here are something we found from Fortunly, a website that offers insights about money. From the said site, it says that:

  • More than 29.8% of Americans have a credit score of 680 or higher.
  • 42.5% of America’s youth earning $49,999 or less per year have a credit score of 639 or lower, with only 24.6% reaching a score over 680.
  • Nearly one in two people don’t pay off their credit balances each month.
  • Only 12% of the US population has a FICO score (which is vital in order to get approval for loans) lower than 550.
  • Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in student debt

You see, from the above statistics alone, it only goes to show that credit monitoring services like Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are indeed very important tools for a lot of people to achieve good or an ideal credit score.

But among the two, Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, which is a better (if not the best) option?

For us to be able to answer that question, we are going to look into the following:

  • What is Credit Sesame/Credit Karma?
  • What are the features offers by Credit Sesame/Credit Karma?
  • What are the key differences between the two?
  • What are the key similarities between the two?
  • What credit bureaus does Credit Sesame/Credit Karma use?
  • How accurate is the Credit Sesame/Credit Karma score is?
  • How do both platforms make money?


Before anything else, let us get to know each of the companies first. For any potential customer or user, it is important that you make time in getting to know the company before you even deal with it. Take note that you will be sharing very important personal information. Thus, it is just right to ensure that you are sharing it with a credible platform.


Credit Sesame is a free credit monitoring platform that, according to the company itself, has “already helped millions of users improve their credit scores, increase their approval odds, lower the cost of credit and save money.”

The company, which was launched in 2010, and is currently based in Mountain View, California, has a membership that totals around 9 million based on what’s available online.

With Credit Sesame, you can use the tool anytime you want without having to worry about getting billed or something like that.

Now, when it comes to your personal information, the thing about Credit Sesame is that the company will only pull your information from just one credit bureau. In this case, your score will be based on your TransUnion credit file, and it’s based on the VantageScore 3.0.

In addition, Credit Sesame offers a slick interface. More so, we particularly like the fact that the company does not only provide you with your current score, but also some information about why you have such a score. You can also take advantage of their credit monitoring alerts by simply signing up.

To give you an idea, below are some features offered by Credit Sesame for free:

  • Best Rates Available – The app/tool helps you find the best rates available on investment accounts, as well as personal loans, and auto insurance policies.
  • Identity Theft Protection – Once you sign up on Credit Sesame, you immediately get a $50,000 worth of identity theft insurance and fraud resolution assistance — for FREE.
  • Mobile App – Credit Sesame app is available for both Android and iOS mobile phone users. More so, it also has tools you can use for free on its website.
  • Credit Card Suggestions – Based on the information you provided in your credit profile, the company suggests balance transfer, as well as rewards, offers that may be beneficial to you.

If you are interested to know more about Credit Sesame, check out below very insightful review by Rebecca Brand:


Credit Karma was launched in San Francisco back in 2007. Having gained over 100 million subscribers to date, it is no wonder why Credit Karma is tagged as the largest free credit monitoring service in the country.

The primary and perhaps the ultimate draw of this tool is its free access to your credit score anytime, anywhere. But the thing is, Credit Karma offers more than just that. It also offers resources for your car, as well as tax preparation, and high yield savings account offering.

More so, it also allows you to take advantage of free estimated credit score, as well as free automatic credit alerts, email alerts should there be important changes that happened, as well as identity theft tracking and protection.

Unlike the previous one, Credit Karma is known to track your estimated score according to two different credit reports, which are TransUnion and Equifax. While the company did not disclose the exact monitoring model they use, some industry experts suggest that they are using either the VantageScore model or the TranUnion’s New Account score.

Credit Karma also takes pride of its free credit simulator, which takes into account all your current credit information, and then allows you to look into the different effects on your credit score depending on your movements. With the stimulator, Credit Karma users can easily figure out which financial choices will likely have a big impact on their credit score. This tool is definitely ideal for those who want to improve their credit score.


Later on, we will be sharing a few things that are common and different between these two popular credit monitoring platforms, but first, here are some key features worth knowing:


  • Free $50,000 worth of Fraud Insurance – Upon signing up with Credit Sesame, you will immediately get to take advantage of this special feature. With so much identity theft around and data breaches, this is so much helpful. Meanwhile, if you want a bigger coverage, you may do so by simply signing up for a Pro Credit subscription. This entitles you to a $1 million worth of identity insurance. Apart from the theft insurance, you also get a free helpline to talk with experts regarding the matter.


Unlike Credit Sesame, Credit Karma does not have awesome free insurance. However, they have their own set of amazing features which include:

  • Free Unclaimed Cash – This may sound a little weird, but actually very common than you think. Basically, Credit Karma allows you to run a search for your name and state to check whether a business owes you money. For instance, you left town before your internet provider gets the chance to return your over-prices deposit. The provider will then turn the cash over to the state, and you can claim it overtime.
  • Credit Score Stimulator – Credit Karma has a tool that helps estimate what will happen to your credit score under particular circumstances. This will give you an idea which move is ideal, and which ones are not.
  • Miscellaneous Calculators – The Credit Karma dashboard comes with handy links to a few different calculators such as debt refinance calculator, mortgage repayment calculator, and more. While this is not entirely unique or ground-breaking, it won’t hurt to have.


Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are totally different from one another, it is not surprising that both have key differences.

For instance, although both of them can be used for free, Credit Sesame offers premium membership levels. The premium plans charge monthly fees for you to be able to use and take advantage of some features.

However, for this aspect, we will focus mainly on the free services offered by both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma.

Here’s what we found:

Credit Scores TransUnion TransUnion & Equifax
Credit Reports None TransUnion & Equifax
Credit Monitoring Yes Yes
Identity Theft Protection and Insurance Yes  
Identity Monitoring None Yes
Free Tax preparation and filing None Yes
Auto value, DMV and auto recall information None Yes
Unclaimed Money finder None Yes
High Yield Savings Account None Yes
Premium Plans Yes None

As you can see, Credit Karma offers a more comprehensive suite of products for free. As for Credit Sesame, it offers basic tools. Nonetheless, both are equally helpful.

Meanwhile, as mentioned, while Credit Sesame does offer a free membership option, it also has paid membership selections. These subscription plans are as follows:

  • Advanced ($9.95 per month)
  • Pro Credit ($15.95 per month)
  • Platinum Protection ($19.95 per month)

For your reference, here’s what you will get from each of these premium services:

Advanced Credit Pro Credit Platinum Credit
Subscription Cost:  

$9.95 per month

What It Provides:

Daily credit score updates from TransUnion  

Full credit reports each month from all three credit bureaus  

Monthly credit score updates from all three major credit bureaus
Subscription Cost:

$15.95 per month  

What It Provides:  

All that Advance Credit offers  

Full identity protection  

Credit monitoring with alerts for all three credit bureaus  

24/7 access to live experts to help solve credit report inaccuracies
Subscription Cost:  

$19.95 per month  

What It Provides:  

All that Advance Credit and Pro Credit offer  

24/7 access to live experts for stolen/lost wallet protection  

Black market website monitoring  

Public records monitoring  

Social Security Number monitoring

For some, given the difference between the services offered by these two platforms based on the free version, what makes Credit Sesame standout over Credit Karma and its competitors is the fact that it offers $50,000 of identity theft insurance for free. This alone makes signing up with Credit Sesame worth it.


As we have said earlier, both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are popular free credit monitoring tools. While both of them have their key differences — because after all, they are two totally different platforms (they just sound alike, but both are entirely different from one another), they do have a few commonalities, which include:

  • Both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma offers a free credit score.
  • These two platforms show details of underlying factors that greatly impact your credit score.
  • Both platforms provide free monitoring of your credit from any suspicious activity or fraud.
  • Credit Sesame and Credit Karma give recommendations specifically on how you can improve your credit score.
  • Both do not require you to share your credit card information when signing up.
  • Last but not the least, both can be used for FREE!


This time around we are going to look into the accuracy as well of the underlying information that both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma provides. Thus, let’s check the credit bureau being used by these two platforms.

For Credit Sesame, they access data from TransUnion. TransUnion is one of the three major Credit Reporting agencies that banks and other financial institutions rely on when it comes to calculating credit scores.

Meanwhile, Credit Karma is a bit leveled up when it comes to this aspect. Unlike the other, Credit Karma’s software accesses data from both TransUnion as well as Equifax. Having access to both definitely gives Credit Karma an obvious advantage over Credit Sesame. This also means you have the chance to catch suspicious activity in two out of three possible places.


For a lot of people, they may say that both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are accurate enough. But what does “enough” mean really, right?

Well, both credit monitoring platforms rely on a scoring model called VantageScore 3.0. It is an actual credit score and was developed as a joint venture between TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

Unfortunately, though, most lenders do not use the VantageScore. Instead, most lenders use the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) scores. While this may be confusing, at the end of the day, it should not greatly affect the information you get. As in one government study, it says that they found all the different scoring models to still place consumers in similar credit quality categories — about 73% to 80% of the time.

So, between the two, who gives better accuracy? Well, it’s a draw. Both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, after all, use the same tool. While it’s not 100% accurate, both are close enough for monitoring purposes.


Perhaps you are wondering how both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma make money when they can be freely used by consumers. Well, that is a very legit question.

Credit Sesame and Credit Karma make money through referrals from both banks and credit card companies. When you use either of these platforms, do not be surprised if you see ads for pre-qualified loans, credit cards, and more.

These ads should not be bothersome at all — unless of course, you are the type who drives completely nuts when seeing ads.

Meanwhile, for Credit Sesame, apart from the ads, they also earn from their premium services, which range from $10 to $20 per month.


As you can see, both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are great at what they do. However, while both offer credit monitoring services, they do have their respective highs and lows. Thus, choosing which among the two is better will ultimately depend on your personal taste or preference.

For instance, if you have poor credit and want to work on improving it, Credit Sesame would be a better choice. Meanwhile, if you are planning to apply for a major loan soon, Credit Karma’s reports from two bureaus would be a great advantage.

So, allow us to ask you, what it is that you are looking for in a credit monitoring platform? More so, what are your plans or goals that involve a good credit standing? These are just some helpful questions for you to be able to decide which platform to sign up for.

As for us, between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma, we got to say that both are very useful tools, and could really help you with regard to your credit score. Again, at the end of the day, it’s about your personal preference.

Investment Apps and Websites

Credit Sesame Review: How It Works And Why It’s Right For You

The very purpose of this Credit Sesame Review is to help you understand why this company is the perfect credit monitoring service provider for you. Furthermore, we are going to share with you the very reason why Credit Sesame has earned its spot in the industry.

Credit Sesame review comprehensive review

Let’s face it, data breaches are inevitable. Sometimes, no matter how trustworthy the security and safety features of a company is, data breach still happens. Enter the massive Equifax breach (you can find the whole story on the Federal Trade Commission) that happened in late 2017. This exposed sensitive information of almost 146 million Americans. Yes, that huge!

Can you just imagine how these people felt when their information was out there!? That’s crazy!


No wonder why today, consumers are on high alert and are extra cautious when it comes to their credit. People now are, in fact, looking for ways to always keep an eye on their credit than ever before.

The nice thing about monitoring your credit information is that it helps empower you to take action in case something unusual happens. More so, it leads you to take steps to help improve your score, and also, helps you prepare should you need financial services in the future.

All these and more are the very reason why Credit Sesame exists, which refers to themselves as “a fast-growing credit and loan management platform”.

In this Credit Sesame review, we are going to specifically talk about the following:

  • What is Credit Sesame?
  • How does it work?
  • Is it accurate?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Will it help you save money?
  • How does it make money?
  • Is it safe?
  • What are the other services it offers?


Before anything else, like in anything, as a consumer or potential user of this platform, it is important that you get to know the company first. We thought to know what Credit Sesame is all about — in the first place — is vital especially if you are in the process of making a decision whether or not this tool would work for you.

Anyway, Credit Sesame describes itself as “a fast-growing credit and loan management platform”. It offers four primary credit management services. Upon signing up with Credit Sesame, you will automatically have access to the following:

  • Your credit score
  • Your credit report
  • Daily credit monitoring (that comes with an alert system, thus, letting you know when your TransUnion credit score changes)
  • Identity theft protection (of up to $50,000)

Founded in 2010 by Adrian Nazari, over the years Credit Sesame has grown as a company. In fact, it currently employs 119 people. Furthermore, it has also grown its users — from zero to millions of people using Credit Sesame to date. Although the company does not disclose the exact numbers, some sites estimate its users to be at around six to twelve million people.

One of the things that make Credit Sesame a standout among the rest is the fact that its basic service is free for everyone — regardless of how long you use it. However, if you wish to receive a higher service level, you have the option to upgrade for a fee. Upgrading your plan gives you access to more features that may be valuable for those who are working to have an improved credit.

Later on, we are going to talk more about the different plans that Credit Sesame offers – apart from the free one.


This time around in our Credit Sesame review, we are going to talk about how this platform actually works. Again, for any user or potential customer, it is important to know how a tool works before jumping into it. This will give you a thorough idea of what to expect once you start using the platform.

Anyway, so, once you sign up with Credit Sesame, you automatically gain the ability to monitor your credit accounts, as well as your credit score. By the way, signing up with Credit Sesame is easy. You will just need to provide a few pieces of vital information. Do not worry as the platform will not ask for your credit card information — after all, the basic service is given for free. It’s a different story though if you wish to upgrade.

Part of the information you will be asked to provide though is the last four digits of your Social Security number. This allows them to have access to your credit history for personal use only. Furthermore, Credit Sesame will ask you some essential identity verification questions. This is to make sure you get the highest level of security as well as to ensure that your personal information is protected.

Once you are done creating your account, you can now log into your Credit Sesame account either through their website or using its mobile app.

With Credit Sesame, you will see tips on how you can improve your credit based on their analysis. Also, it includes basic credit monitoring. Basically, if something on your credit report changes, they will immediately inform you.

Furthermore, you also get to see a credit score from TransUnion. This one’s updated on a monthly basis. However, please take note that this is not a FICO score, which is the one that a lot of lenders use when making credit decisions. Rather, it is an alternative, which is the VantageScore 3.0. VantageScore 3.0 is used by other lenders and uses a 300 to 850 range — basically like a FICO score.

Meanwhile, if you are interested to know more about Credit Sesame and how it helps increase your credit score, we recommend you check out the below review by Rebecca Brand:


In this Credit Sesame review, we are also going to look into the accuracy of the platform.

Based on what we found, Credit Sesame is as accurate as any other alternative out there. This is because the basis comes from your credit report.

The only thing that we — and perhaps a lot of Credit Sesame reviews, too — found debatable is the company’s use of VantageScore instead of FICO score (which we already talked about a while ago). As mentioned, most lenders use FICO score more than VantageScore in making credit decisions. Needless to say, your FICO score is likely different from your VantageScore, which may be confusing.

However, it is important to note also that any decisions that lead to a higher VantageScore normally benefit your FICO score as well. The only thing that matters really is for users to understand that these two models do not come up with the same results, which means there may be times when your FICO is higher or lower than what you see in your VantageScore.

But you know, if you are someone who doesn’t really mind about the difference between FICO and VantageScore, this should not be a problem. Well, after all, you are using a free tool.


This Credit Sesame review will not be complete without us tackling costs. Of course, money matters are always vital in making decisions, right?

As mentioned, Credit Sesame has a basic plan, which anyone can use free of charge. If you are someone who finds the basic Credit Sesame membership good enough, then great! You can use it for as long as you want without having to worry about getting charged.

But, as we have earlier said, if you want to take advantage of more features provided by Credit Sesame, you may do so but this time, for a fee. Yes, Credit Sesame also offers paid services, which are offered in the form of three different subscription plans, namely:

  • Advanced Credit
  • Pro Credit
  • Platinum Credit

To give you a glimpse of what to expect from these plans, check the information in below table:

Advanced Credit Pro Credit Platinum Credit
Subscription Cost:  

$9.95 per month

What It Provides:

Daily credit score updates from TransUnion  

Full credit reports each month from all three credit bureaus  

Monthly credit score updates from all three major credit bureaus
Subscription Cost:

$15.95 per month  

What It Provides:  

All that Advance Credit offers  

Full identity protection  

Credit monitoring with alerts for all three credit bureaus  

24/7 access to live experts to help solve credit report inaccuracies
Subscription Cost:  

$19.95 per month  

What It Provides:  

All that Advance Credit and Pro Credit offer  

24/7 access to live experts for stolen/lost wallet protection  

Black market website monitoring  

Public records monitoring  

Social Security Number monitoring

As you can see, each subscription plan comes with their respective offerings. As expected, the price differs depending on the features it provides.


The answer to this question is a resounding YES. Yes, Credit Sesame can help you save money. However, it is important to understand that this does not happen automatically by simply using the service.

There are actually a few ways you can proceed with saving money by using Credit Sesame. Here are some of them:

– By using the tools to improve your credit, you get to secure lower interest rates on products such as credit cards, and/or loans

– Credit Sesame may also recommend a product that some users do not usually find on their own

What is good about Credit Sesame is that it shows alternative financing options that will help you with your finances. This includes products and ways to help reduce your interest rates.


Perhaps you are wondering how Credit Sesame makes money given the fact that it offers basic service for free. Well, as mentioned, the company also offers paid services to customers. By offering subscription plans that come with more advanced features as well as monitoring options, the company gets to earn.

Apart from that, Credit Sesame also displays loan products and credit cards that customers may be interested in depending on their profile. It is typically an example of an affiliate program. What does that mean? Well, should you or any customer choose to apply to those advertised loan products or credit cards, Credit Sesame gets to receive a commission.

Though Credit Sesame receives different amounts of compensation, this does not mean that the advice they give is not reliable. One thing you must be confident about as a user or consumer is that Credit Sesame stays in business because they live up to their core mission, which is to help consumers. Furthermore, you are assured that the company’s suggestions are all based on analyzing the customer’s situation, as well as finding options that will benefit the customer. Making money on their end is just secondary.

In addition, Credit Sesame also makes money through its paid advertising partners like the banner ads on any webpage out there.


Credit Sesame is obviously an online tool — thus, as user/consumer, one of the things that we always look into is the safety of the platform.

Based on our assessment, we have not found anything that will indicate Credit Sesame as unsafe. First thing, we like the fact that it does not require you to input your credit card information. More so, we also like the fact that it only asks you to enter the last four digits of your Social Security number to be able to establish an account.

As of this writing, we have not found any data breaches or other loss of private user information associated with Credit Sesame.

Overall, I got to say that signing up with Credit Sesame is not worrisome at all.


As part of our Credit Sesame review, we also thought of sharing with you some of the other services offered by the company.

Apart from credit scores and reports, Credit Sesame also offers the following products:

– Credit Monitoring

Using your free Credit Sesame account, you get to take advantage of the credit monitoring service for your TransUnion credit report. You will receive alerts should there be new activities on your TransUnion report. If you, however, wish to receive credit monitoring as well as alerts for all three of your credit reports — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax — you will need to upgrade to a Pro plan subscription, which amounts to $15.95 per month.

– Credit Card Recommendations

Depending on your likelihood of approval, Credit Sesame will recommend credit cards to you. Furthermore, these offers will also show how much credit you are likely to gain access should you get approved.

In addition, you can also check if you pre-qualify for any personal loans plus you can also look for mortgage lenders.

– Identity Theft Insurance

Perhaps this is where Credit Sesame really stands out from the rest. While most credit score sites do not give you free access to identity theft insurance, Credit Sesame does otherwise. In fact, you will get $50,000 in insurance coverage should you become a victim of identity theft, fraud, and other financial crimes.

Imagine getting insured without having to pay for it! Meanwhile, if you want more coverage, you may opt to sign up for a Pro Credit subscription that entitles you to get $1 million identity insurance.

And that does not end there, you will also get some identity restoration tools, which come in the form of documents that show you how to report fraud to government agencies, as well as letters to credit bureaus, and more.


Credit Sesame has a support center on its website, which is where they prefer customers to contact them. You basically have to submit your request through an online form. The form allows you to add attachments to help them understand better your issues and concerns.

Apart from the support center, Credit Sesame may also be reached through its social media accounts particularly via Twitter and Facebook. Based on customers’ feedbacks, Credit Sesame seems to provide timely responses on either of the two social media platforms.

Meanwhile, for feedback and media relations, Credit Sesame may be reached through the following email addresses:

  • For help:
  • For feedback:

For those who prefer phone calls, unfortunately, Credit Sesame does not seem to have a functioning phone number intended for customer care.


To be honest, there’s so much to like and love about Credit Sesame. It is probably safe to say that the company offers an amazing free credit as well as monitoring service. Needless to say, it adds extra protection against identity theft, which is a very common concern among customers or users. In addition to that, Credit Sesame also provides personalized financial offers.

We also like the fact that it provides accurate information according to your TransUnion credit report, which helps you stay informed of your credit activity, as well as review your own credit history.

Overall, we find the service to be safe, secure, and very easy to use. More so, it provides detailed financial information on the full website, as well as a simple mobile app. That said, Credit Sesame should be a great choice for those who want to track their credit.

No worries as Credit Sesame is not a scam at all. It is legit!

To sum it up, we find Credit Sesame ideal for those who:

  • Wants to know their TransUnion credit score without spending a penny
  • Wants free credit monitoring
  • Wants free identity theft insurance (cost is at $50,000)
  • Are willing to pay for a higher credit management platform or service

Having said all that, how do you find Credit Sesame? Are you convinced of how helpful and amazing the platform is?

Well, we hope that through this Credit Sesame review we are able to enlighten you regarding how useful this platform is, and why it is worth getting into your radar especially if you want an efficient credit management service.