I don’t know why I’m so late to the parties these days, but color me a new fan of Credit Sesame – a place where you can get your credit score for free and then have ’em email you when it changes (so you can tell ASAP if something wonky is happening!).
I usually don’t trust the “new players” to the game when it comes to anything financial online (cuz I’m pretty stubborn and/or busy as balls), but I gotta admit I need to quit being that way ;) Some of these companies popping up are helping all kinds of people with interesting products these days to make our lives easier. And even though they ARE in it to make a profit (or what kind of business would they be?), it doesn’t mean they’re not awesome. In that case I’d never be able to visit TJ Maxx or Target, or even use USAA or Mint or anything! Haha… But that’s not the point of today’s post – just me rambling a bit on a distracted Tuesday morning…
The 1-2 Punch!
What I really want to get into is that of the awesome Credit Score. Not only because it plays such a huge factor in any and all loan processes (thereby affecting your interest rates and the extra money you may end up paying for the exact same thing!), but also for reasons such as identify theft and just overall financial goodness.
Even if you’re not in the market lately for a new car loan or mortgage or credit card or whatever, it’s still good to know where you stand. Which is where places like Credit Sesame and Annual Credit Report excel. The latter one, btw, being my usual go-to place to download my ENTIRE credit report at – which you can also do for FREE once a year! :)
So it’s nice 1-2 punch: Hit up Credit Sesame for your free score, but no report, and then Annual Credit Report.com for your entire report, but no score (which I used to end up paying $5 or $10 for each time). Pretty cool, right?
When I sent this around to my V.I.P crew last week, here’s what people sent back to me (Oh, what’s that? You’re not a member? Well sign up already, homey!):
“I love, love, LOVE Credit Sesame. Been using it for about six months – Awesome rec, buddy”
“Cool website, my wife and I are looking to buy a condo early next year so this will be a great resource to make sure there are no surprises when trying to secure a mortgage. PS – 802, I win!!!”
“Thanks for the share J. Money. I’ve always hoped for a site that can give you quick and easy access to your credit score without any fees or gimmicks. It seems like Credit Sesame is it. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my score is a hefty 811 =)”
The Credit Score Challenge
As for my own credit score, the last time I blogged about it we were soaking up a 791 :) This time around though, it looks like I dropped a few points and we’re now at a 788 – which is still killer, of course, but I want it to go UP not DOWN over time! Haha… Anything above 740 is pretty dope though and usually qualifies you for the lowest rates out there, with the highest you could ever hit being a 850 (at least on Experian’s National Equivalency Score). If someone has ever gotten that close, let me know how! I can’t seem to break the 800s…
If you wanna take me up on my challenge today, go check out YOUR score now and then let me know how you’re doing! Even if it’s not too hot, always remember you can improve it! It takes a little time and patience to do so, but it’s surely possible. It’ll save you TONS of money down the road too! Not only in terms of better interest rates as I mentioned, but also in late fees and general financial no-no’s (cuz if your score is high it means you’re paying attention and staying on track!).
So that’s your mission today if you haven’t done it recently. Go to Credit Sesame or your own favorite free score place (and if there is another one let me know about it so I can check it out too!), and then to Annual Credit Report to download your free *report*. They all use the appropriate security online to make sure all is good, but of course if you’re not comfortable doing it then don’t. You just won’t know if you’re beating me or not ;)
At the end of the day, though, the only score that matters is your own. It’s fun to compare it with others to see how you’re doing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s really just for YOU. Keep working at it to improve your overall finances, and you’ll be one happy (and sexy) camper down the line. Keep workin’ it!
PS: While it only takes 60 seconds to sign up to Sesame, there’s a part in the process that’s kinda annoying: It asks you to tell them an area you’d like to improve your finances in (which you have to do if you want your free score). I just did eenie-meenie-miney-mo, but of course if you DO need help in other areas you may find it useful. Either way, just thought you should know… and also that I’m now an affiliate with them cuz I’m a huge fan!
PPS: My wife wanted to remind you all that she has beaten me, yet again, for the 2nd time in 3 years ;) This time with an 811. Which she finds hilarious as I’m the money guy!
Killer resources and apps:
- Best Budget Templates & Spreadsheets (FREE)— The best free budget templates from around the community! Including the ones I use :)
- Personal Capital* (FREE) — A great app to track your investments and net worth. You can see an in-depth review we did here from a millionaire who checks it daily 😂
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)* (FREE TRIAL, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, with new users saving $600 on avg their first two months, and more than $6,000 over their first year! Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪
- Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This is one of my favorite apps for automatically saving money, and I even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much! You can see my full review on Digit here.
- Acorns* ($3-$5/mo) – Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then investing it right away for you. My full review of Acorns can be found here.
- Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there! Click the Honey button any time you're about to buy something online, and BOOM - any discounts it finds will be automatically applied at checkout. You can see my write up on them here.
- Credit Karma* (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND report! See my full review of these guys here.
- My Favorite Blogs + Books < -- Click here to see all my other recommendations!