Free Experian Credit Monitoring from Credit Sesame

You may be familiar with Credit Sesame from my popular free credit scores with no trials post, as they offer you a free credit score based on your Experian credit report, updated once a month. They make money by presenting you with credit-related offers like mortgage refinances or auto loans. I’ve been happily getting my updates for years now… I don’t worry about the absolute number as much as the relative change each month to see if anything new has either hurt or boosted my creditworthiness significantly.

Per this press release, Credit Sesame is now offering free daily credit monitoring as well. No tricks, no trials, no credit card required. If you’re already a member, just log in and opt into the new feature. You can also get push alerts via their Android and iPhone apps. Here’s a screenshot with nothing exciting since it’s only been 5 minutes:

As opposed to the free monthly score, monitoring checks your Experian credit report daily and sends you an email alert if any activities have occurred – for example, if there was a credit pull by a lender or a new address added. This can provide early warning of attempted identity theft, reporting errors, or simply am overzealous lender checking your credit without permission. Many providers charge $10-$20 a month for similar monitoring, and while it’s potentially useful I’ve never recommended paying a hundred bucks a year for it. But hey, Credit Sesame already has my info, so I’ll definitely sign up for free.

(Note: You can get also free credit scores and similar monitoring alerts based on your TransUnion credit data at CreditKarma.com.)

From their FAQ, here’s a sample of events on your Experian credit report that may trigger an alert:

Public records
Derogatory credit
Changes to your accounts
Security or fraud alerts
Address changes
Lost or stolen card notifications
New accounts opened
Credit inquiries
Balance changes
Credit limit changes
Credit usage changes
Credit score changes

Just to be clear, checking your own credit with such services does not affect your credit score. Also, this only covers Experian and not Equifax or TransUnion, but most information gets on all 3 bureaus eventually (see CreditKarma note above). You can also opt out at any time or completely delete your account. Directions are found in the Terms and Service (which I actually read! I know, I’m a hit at parties), and copied and pasted selected parts below.

OPTING-OUT; TERMINATION OF ACCOUNT
We allow you to stop receiving our commercial and marketing emails at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions included in these emails or you can contact us at privacy@creditsesame.com, as set forth in our Privacy and Security Policy. You will still receive periodic transactional emails pertaining to account information, alerts and updates, as well as registration confirmation and responses to direct requests you have made. If you wish to stop receiving such periodic transactional emails, you may notify the Company that you wish to delete your account on the Site by emailing privacy@creditsesame.com. You may also delete your account at any time for any reason by emailing support@creditsesame.com or by logging in to your account and clicking on “delete my account” under “my profile.”

Comments

  1. Cool. I wish I knew about this before. I have been paying a monthly fee for mine at experian itself. I love this website. Has helped me so much

  2. Jonathan, how would you rate this service relative to CreditKarma? Aside from pulling from a different bureau, is there a compelling reason to sign up for both services (i.e., does one provide something the other one doesn’t)? I appreciate all your insights!

  3. Well THAT was one of the most useful tips I’ve found in years. I have been looking everywhere for an easy way to get a credit score rapidly without having to pay for it each time or join an expensive service.

    Credit Sesame did not work for me – they kept insisting my addresses were wrong. Credit Karma however worked beautifully. Even gave me the potential negatives on my credit report and auto insurance history – not bad just for blowing by some ads.

  4. @Pedro – The primary benefit would be to get alerts from two different bureaus. Usually your credit lines and payment information eventually get reported to all 3 major bureaus, but things like a credit pull might only show up on one bureau.

  5. @Hank – Glad you found it useful!

  6. Is there one for Equifax as well? I mean free (advertisement based revenue model and free for users) one for monitoring Equifax credit data will be helpful.

  7. i could not find the free monitoring option on credit Karma??

  8. i could not find the free monitoring option on credit Karma?? on credit sesame it asked me when i logged in if i want to sign for daily monitoring, any one figured if there is such an option on credit karma?

  9. I don’t think Credit Karma offers free credit monitoring like Credit Sesame.

    There is not a known free source to use for Equifax.

    Thanks Jonathan. I found these sites through FatWallet. They are really helpful for rebuilding your credit and monitoring your score improvement without any credit pulls or cost. Hopefully they will remain free of charge.

  10. Credit Karma does offer free credit monitoring, just go to your profile to activate. Here’s what they have to say about it:

    Credit monitoring is a service that tracks your credit report on a daily basis and notifies you of any significant changes on your report. Since the credit monitoring service will notify a consumer any time a new account is opened in their name, many consumers use credit monitoring as a means of preventing identity theft. In addition, credit monitoring can help prevent errors from credit reports. Mostly notably, credit monitoring will notify a consumer of derogatory reports such as a delinquencies from a creditor. These derogatory reports can often hurt a credit score for years. Tracking them is very important to building a good credit score.

    Historically, credit monitoring services have been expensive. Many charge $10-30 per month. Credit Karma offers credit monitoring for free. Our service is powered by TransUnion, one of the three major credit report agencies. Credit Karma leverages an advertising model, meaning that advertisers pay for the credit monitoring service, so consumers are never charged. We don’t require a credit card and there are never any hidden obligations.

    I also don’t know of any similar service for Equifax.

  11. Hi,

    Just to confirm…this has no negative effect on your credit score? An actual report is not pulled in other words?

    Thanks,

    John

  12. I thought that you might like to hear of my troubles in trying to sign up…

    I tried to sign up for Credit Sesame, but they wouldn’t take my correct address and then said that they couldn’t find a match. The signup is locked out for 30 days now. After that, I’ll try other games with my name (which is actually two words but frequently squished together by bad programming of company’s systems).

    I really hate systems that try to be too smart. I know what my name and address looks like in my credit report, but Credit Sesame’s systems try to “correct” my information and end up putting it in an incorrect format! Grrr…

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