CreditSesame: Would You Like Me More If I Showed You My Credit Score?

CreditSesame just launched a “credit badge” that is intended for random folks on the internet to show how big their… I mean how high their credit score is. Instead of wearing Armani or driving a Porsche, I can show off my CreditSesame badge. It’s supposed to help me find a job, find a mate, and find an apartment to rent. Really? I thought I was the only one who thought paying bills on time was hot.

Why should I share my badge?
The Credit Sesame Credit Badge™ program is designed to give you a competitive edge in life and helps you to develop your personal brand by promoting your financial responsibility and showcasing your good or excellent credit. You’ve worked hard to maintain your good or excellent credit and your shared badge allows you to stand out from the crowd as a creditworthy and financially responsible individual.

The Good badge requires a 640+ credit score. An Excellent badge requires 740+. The Guru badge requires 740+ and you must “maintain an optimized level of debt so that Credit Sesame cannot find you more ways to save.” Basically you have to sign up for one of their offers. Well, I decline since it also requires you to reveal your last name, first initial, and city of residence. However, I’ll take the free monthly score updates.

All jokes aside, consider this a reminder that you can get a free FAKO credit score estimates from each of the three major credit bureaus. There is CreditSesame for Experian, CreditKarma for TransUnion, and Equifax Score Card for Equifax. All free, but obviously you do have to provide your Social Security Number.

This is all in addition to the government-mandated free credit report available from AnnualCreditReport.com. As of July 2011, lenders are required to provide a free credit score to anyone who is denied or given worse terms because of their credit. I see no reason to pay $100+ a year for credit monitoring or other credit score products.

Comments

  1. It’s a very strange site. They tell me in my overview that I have a 746 score and that I could save save $1,460. Let me just say this. I have no mortgage and my only monthly recurring debts are three 0% interest payments for furniture and electronics totaling approx $4300; at 407 per month (finished in 11 months). That’s it.

    Here is the kicker – their advice is for me to take out a 20 year fixed mortgage for $4399.00 at 4.875% to lower my payments to $29 per month. By the way the closing costs are $1,493.

  2. Ah ha… seems it has a lot to do with their presets of “my goals.” It’s default settings have to be majorly tweaked.

    They automatically select for you to ‘Lower monthly payments’ and not to ‘Save most money on interest over time.’ You must also tailor the selection for ‘Over how many years do you want to optimize your loans?.’

    Once I selected save the most… and 1 year their new motto for me became: You’re doing well! We haven’t found savings. We ran 3,072 scenarios, analyzed your entire debt and found 13 options but they are not better than what you already have.

    Once I did all this my badge was indeed changed to Guru. And i did not in any way sign up for one of their offers.

  3. This site is nearly identical to Credt Kamra: http://www.creditkarma.com/ sans cool “credit badges”, of course.

  4. Just thinking about possible uses for the badge.

    I wonder if some people in a position to do a hard pull on credit might accept this in place of the hard pull. I mean, obviously nobody’s going to sell you a house or give you a line of credit with this badge, but maybe it could fill a need in a less critical situation like renting a room of a house? Maybe even checking on a new employee?

    I mean, if you can save a hard pull on your credit report and still guarantee to someone you’re over 740, maybe could be worthwhile…

    Although I notice on the preview certificate page they make for you, there’s no obvious link to an explanation of what the different badges mean like there is on this blog post. Big mistake by CreditSesame if you ask me, but easily fixable.

  5. @MattyG funny enough, since I do have a mortgage I put it to ‘minimize my monthly payments’ then it gave up trying to optimize (otherwise the suggestion was basically to move to a 15yr mortgage). After that it popped up the ‘guru’ level badge for me as well. Seems like an easy enough thing to game one way or the other, now if that badge actually meant something.

  6. I dunno, it seems like in any situation important enough that I’d require a credit check, as a potential lender or landlord or employer, I’d just pay the $20 and get the whole report. If checking a credit report took $500 or something, then perhaps I’d be tempted to skip it.

  7. After a massive identity theft, credit karma was the first free service I felt comfortable to replace paid-for monitoring service with. (It does the job – a massive drop to the FICO score is a clue, or a change in credit account #s, etc. – all of which it alerts you of it you check once in a while).

    I will probably stick with credit karma, because I don’t like putting my social security number out there more than I have to. Most stuff will eventually show up on all 3 bureau accounts. BUT, I do appreciate all the free options.

  8. wow 840 out of 850. go me.

  9. I’m not sure about the company, but it is a neat idea to be able to show off credit scores rather than material goods as a social standing. In our society there is SO much pressure to keep up with the Joneses, and it’s virtually impossible. Instead, it would be great if we could focus on getting out of debt and managing money properly – it would be even better if doing this were viewed as a good thing. It deserves a badge of sorts!

  10. I need to disagree with your point that there is no reason to pay $100 to have your credit monitored. There is definitely too much identity theft or people who are at higher risk due to their SS, DOB, etc stolen.

  11. The Equifax Score Card” does NOT provide your Equifax score. it only gives you information about how to improve your score. You have to pay to see the score.

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