Money Smarts

The Differences Between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma

A comparison of the top 2 free credit score and credit monitoring apps around. What's best for you?

When it comes to the free credit scores and credit monitoring, there are two apps that are consistently mentioned, Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. These apps seem to be two of the best free credit score services I’ve come across.

I thought it would be important and interesting to compare Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. So, you can choose which service is best for you. You can read the full review of each app to get a better understanding of their features: Credit Sesame and Credit Karma.

In this comparison, we tried both apps for a period of 3 months to see how they stack up against each other.

What Credit Sesame and Credit Karma Have in Common

Both apps have very similar features and offers. Here is what Credit Sesame and Credit Karma have in common:

  • 100% Free Monitoring – Both Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are 100% free. You will not be asked to enter your credit card information. And there is no trial period for both apps.
  • Credit Scores – Both these apps provide users access to the VantageScore credit score. The VantageScore is the scoring model developed by all three credit bureaus. You can learn more about VantageScore and the differences in FICO scores.
  • Ease of Use – Both of these services are incredibly easy to use; which just so happens to be one of my favorite aspects of them. They’ve made sure to show you the information you need to know without confusing you with the information that’s not important.

What credit report do these apps use?

  • Credit Sesame uses information found on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Credit Karma provides users access to two credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax.

What are the differences between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma?

Tools only Credit Sesame provides:

Aside from general credit report monitoring services, Credit Sesame gives you access to some pretty neat personal finance tools. Here’s a quick rundown of the tools Credit Sesame has that Credit Karma Doesn’t.

  • Complete Debt & Loan Analysis – If you’re working on digging your way out of debt, this tool is going to prove itself to be overwhelmingly helpful. By digging through your credit report, Credit Sesame comes up with a complete loan and debt analysis.
  • Personalized Savings Advise – Based on your unique financial portfolio, Credit Sesame shows you other options for loans and services that can save you money. The app shows you how to save money by reducing loan interest rates and costs of services. It also shows how to increase income potential on investments.
  • Identity Theft Protection – Credit Sesame offers users up to $50,000 in identity theft insurance to help cover the cost associated with identity theft. You’ll also get access to an identity restoration specialist.

Tools only Credit Karma provides:

  • Credit Score Simulator – This is one of my favorite tools provided by any credit score monitoring app out there. This tool allows you to simulate financial decisions that you may be making in the future to see how those decisions will affect your credit.
  • “Best Of” List Of Financial Products – This is a great list of resources for several different types of financial products ranging from credit cards to debt help, credit repair, checking accounts and more.
  • Advertising – Credit Karma is free, but that doesn’t mean that the company doesn’t get paid. They get paid for showing you advertisements they believe will help make your overall financial outlook better. So, even the advertisements in the system are beneficial.

My Smile Summary: which option is better Credit Sesame or Credit Karma?

To be honest, the answer is neither. Both options are great, and both options are free.

Personally, I use them both in conjunction with each other because both apps provide unique tools that I enjoy using. I don’t see any reason someone wouldn’t benefit from using them both. In fact, if you have both of them, you’ll get the benefits of double monitoring, plus identity theft insurance with Credit Sesame.



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Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is founder at phroogal, creator of the award-winning project the Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and NY Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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2 thoughts on “The Differences Between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma”

  1. It looks like Credit Sesame recently changed from Experian to TransUnion. If you know of any truly free Experian score monitoring sites let me know!

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