Free Credit Reporting Sites – Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma

Keeping a good credit score is important to business success. For years now there have been places where you can view your credit scores online, but all of them charged for this service, some gave away free trials but if you did not cancel in full ASAP you would be charged a huge fee, and they made it hard to cancel.  Sites had to charge because the data cost them money, so did building the site.

Check your score for freeAlso for the longest time credit card companies would pay sites who refer them business (ie. Applications) a small commission for doing so.  Finally someone got the bright idea to make a credit score site and is paid for, not by the users, but by the advertisers, the lending  companies who the site would suggest that people use.

Two such sites popped up.  One is Credit Karma, and the other is Credit Sesame.  Both sites offer scores for free, and limited credit information and both offer advice and suggested loans or cards you may receive based upon your credit score.

But Which One is BETTER?

I have signed up with both of these sites a while ago, and I have been using both for months now, both have their pros and cons.  Here is a breakdown of the differences.

[table caption=”Credit Karma vs Credit Sesame” border=”1″]

“”,Credit Karma,Credit Sesame

Founded,March 2008,September 2012

Score Source, TransUnion, Experian National~~Equivalency Score~~this is a score that is usually~~10-15 points less than a normal FICO Score

Data Freshness, Every 5 Days~~I have noted that when they both update on the same day this is much more fresh, Once per month

Design, Clean and fresh blue design, fresh teal design with but much more pushy with the advertising and trying to upgrade you to full credit reports for extra money

Android App, Very nice app with lots of info and is clean, Not nearly as clean with much less data and more ads

Connections, Allows you to get data from some of your credit cards directly to show on the site, Does not do this.

History Feature, Shows a list of all changes from last report and keeps track of it in a feed type log~~they also show a graph of the last 12 months of scores and you can also see last 12 months of balance history of any card, Just a few months of your score only

Best Feature,The See how you compare section,Allows you to enter your financial goals and it will inform you when they find a product to fit that goal.

Worst Feature,They use TransUnion which is not as correct and is more focuses on the east coast way of doing things, You can’t actually see who your debt is with~~it is all just given names like Credit Card 1 and Auto Loan not the real names of the companies~~the information is much more limited

Advice, The Advice is mostly Q&A that is crowdsourced it has quite a few great questions with some really good answers~~There are also 5 Calculators along with 61 articles about credit and a fairly active blog, The advice they offer is all products from their sponsors that may help you go more into debt

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Conclusion

In summary I think that Credit Karma is a mature all around good tool, they offer a fairly good level of information and allow you to view each open account you have on your CBR in full with history graphs and sometimes it can link to your actual bank to get even more current data (This data does not reflect in your score).  The Advice section is robust.  There is a good focus on the amount of your available credit that you are using, which is one of the most important things you need to focus on Credit Sesame does not show this information at all.

Basically I feel that Credit Karma is a really good tool on many levels, something that can help you out. Credit Sesame on the other hand brings almost nothing to the table except more offers and a lot of advertising.  The only reason to use it is to check a different credit company to see if there are differences.

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