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Credit Karma Vs. Credit Sesame: Which One Is Best

Updated on September 28, 2019

You may question whether you should use Credit Karma or Credit Sesame to monitor your credit score. While both sites offer you the convenience of seeing your score in real-time without having to wait for it to arrive in the mail, the two credit monitoring services have differences. By comparing and contrasting, you can make an informed decision regarding which one better suits your needs. Plus, you can avoid signing up for both accounts by understanding the differences between the two.

General Information About Credit Karma

Credit Karma offers you access to a full credit report, and you can monitor changes from both the Equifax and TransUnion credit reporting agencies. You receive a detailed overview of your credit score, including your credit usage, age of your credit history, any derogatory remarks, and the number of hard inquiries you had recently. It even implemented a credit monitoring system users can participate in that alerts you of potential threats to your identity.

Credit Karma was founded in 2007 and touts that it had its first user in 2008. By 2010, the site had more than one million members and now provides services to more than 100 million users wordwide. The company states its goal is to make users feel confident about their finances. Credit Karma's services are 100-percent free, and you never have to provide them with your credit card number for any reason. Moreover, it received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau.

General Information About Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame is another credit monitoring agency that provides you with detailed information about your credit score. Its free account shows your TransUnion score only, including any derogatory marks, credit usage, credit age, credit inquiries, and types of accounts you have. You may upgrade to a premium account that features detailed credit information from the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. However, you pay a monthly fee to gain access to these scores. This credit reporting agency supplies a credit monitoring service that alerts you about any potential identity theft on your account.

The company began in 2010 with a mission to help users achieve financial success. Today, it has millions of users that use its free and premium accounts. It received accreditation from the Better Business Bureau.

Types of Scores Offered

You may either view your FICO score or VantageScore when you assess your credit history. A FICO score, also known as a Fair Isaac Corp. score, is a three-digit number that includes information from one of the three major credit bureaus. It ranges between 300 and 850. Your FICO score uses a specialized algorithm to determine how reliable you are in terms of your payment history. This number uses a specialized algorithm that calculates medical debt differently than late car payments, for example. Additionally, your FICO score doesn't take into consideration any debt you paid off, and the score includes rent payments. To receive a FICO score, you must establish credit for at least six months. This score has a longer history of use than your VantageScore.

Your VantageScore, on the other hand, is a newer type of three-digit score. It takes into account information from the three main credit reporting agencies. It uses a slightly different algorithm than FICO when determining your score. Your VantageScore ranges from 501 to 990. It's beneficial if you don't have a long credit history because it allows you to monitor your score with only one account and a one-month-long credit history. When assessing your creditworthiness, your VantageScore judges your late payments based on the type of account you pay late. On the contrary, your FICO score judges all late payments the same.

Both Credit Karma and Credit Sesame show your VantageScore. Your credit rating updates each week with Credit Karma while it only updates once per month with Credit Sesame.

It's important to understand the pros and cons of Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. You want to choose the one that fits your needs the most. Some vital aspects to consider include how often you monitor your score as well as how detailed of a score you wish to see because each site varies in what it offers. You also want to keep in mind that neither offers your FICO score, so you may still want to view the number the banks see rather than just a roundabout figure.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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