Credit.com offers free credit scores as well as paid services surrounding credit advice. The website offers helpful tools, most of which are free. Keep reading to see if Credit.com can help you track and fix your own credit.
Is Credit.com really free?
Yes, Credit.com is 100% free. They provide a free credit score service similar to Credit Karma. But it’s important to realize that you don’t receive your actual FICO score for free, which is what most lenders use to evaluate your application for any type of financing. However, these credit scores can be used for educational purposes.
Still, you don’t need to enter a credit card to access your free credit scores from Credit.com. So it’s a low-risk way to get a baseline of where your credit score is at the moment.
Another service you can receive from Credit.com is a credit report card. This tool analyzes your credit report and tells you what type of entries may be negatively affecting your credit score.
This feature offers a way to find out what kind of changes you can make to start improving your credit score. Plus, it updates every 30 days so you can track your progress.
How does Credit.com make money?
Its primary revenue streams come from selling FICO scores and offering comprehensive credit score monitoring and identity theft protection packages.
Credit.com also receives compensation through various offers throughout the site. They’re not an entirely neutral third party because they receive a commission when users select financial products from the site. Any place where they promote loan offers or other financial services is probably sponsored.
Is your credit score from Credit.com accurate?
As we mentioned earlier, Credit.com does not offer a FICO score as part of its free promotion. Instead, you actually receive two sets of scores: one from the credit bureau Experian and one called the VantageScore 3.0.
These scoring models are certainly reputable and use the same exact information as FICO to come up with your credit score, so in that sense they are accurate.
Different Scoring Models
Since each specific credit scoring company uses its own algorithms, none of them will be 100% identical. So you might find a significant discrepancy between your free credit scores from Credit.com and your actual scores used during credit applications. The difference of just a few points can impact how much you can borrow and what interest rate you pay.
On top of that, most lenders check all three credit bureau scores, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They often use the middle number so a credit score from a single credit bureau may not be representative of what would be used during the credit application process.
What other services does Credit.com offer?
Credit.com provides a variety of other services. We’ll talk more about the report card, as well as some paid services you can take advantage of if they seem right for you.
Credit Report Card
We’ve already talked a little bit about it and now we’ll go in-depth about this free and helpful resource. This feature helps you understand what exactly the information on your credit card means in relation to your credit health.
First, your report shows a snapshot of your payment history. You’ll see a percentage of how frequently you’re on time with your reported payments, as well as a credit score on a range anywhere from “very poor” to “excellent.” You know that if your payments have been less than 100% on time, you have some work to do.
Analysis of Existing Debt
Another helpful part of the report card is an analysis of your existing debt. You’ll see a visual of how much outstanding debt you have compared to your overall credit limit. It puts all of this financial information in one place without having to worry about pulling together all of your loan and credit card statements.
Debt-To-Credit Limit Ratio
You’ll also see your debt-to-credit limit ratio, which is the percentage of your credit limits that are currently outstanding. If it’s a high percentage, you can start focusing on paying that excessive debt.
Age of Credit History
The next section shows the age of your credit history. You can even see the average length of your accounts. It’s a factor used in all credit scoring models to some degree.
Finally, you can get a visual representation of your credit mix to see how your accounts are spread out over different types of credit lines. That can help you see if you’re too heavy on credit cards or other types of financing. This feature is definitely helpful; especially considering that it’s entirely free.
Custom Action Plan
Once you know where your credit health stands from your report card, you can figure out how to fix any issues with a free custom action plan from Credit.com.
It takes you step-by-step through your credit report and gives you action items based on the information you’ve already seen. While you may be able to assume much it, it’s helpful to check the list and see if you’ve missed anything.
You might get tips on how to lower your credit utilization ratio or how to manage your existing accounts to maximize your credit age. You might even get ideas on how to diversify your credit mix to increase your credit score.
As part of your free account, you also get access to basic free credit monitoring. This basically just updates all of the free services every two weeks to one month. So whenever your report is updated by the credit reporting agencies, you’ll receive a new free educational credit score, report card, and custom action plan.
It’s an easy and cheap way to track your progress and see what changes are actually working for you. And even if your credit score isn’t exact, you can at least tell which direction it’s moving!
In addition to the free bi-weekly/monthly updates, you can also sign up for a more comprehensive paid service with Credit.com. This package deal comes in partnership with Experian and FICO.
You’ll get access to your full Experian credit report as well as your actual FICO score, so you can see exactly what lenders are seeing, at least from one of the credit bureaus. Remember, many lenders look at all three major credit bureaus, so even this credit score may not be the exact number used in your financing application.
With this package, you can also access your credit information anytime, day or night, through their website. Although you have to pay for this service, you get an instant alert when your credit report or FICO score has any change.
Identity Theft Protection
If you’re actively working to rebuild your credit, this could potentially be a worthwhile service for you. The package also includes ID theft protection. This includes professional help in restoring your financial health in the event your credit identity is stolen.
Credit.com’s credit monitoring package is part of a program called Experian CreditWorks. You can start off with a $1 free trial where you’ll get your Experian report and your current FICO 8 score.
You can check out the program for a seven-day trial, after which point you’ll be automatically billed each month unless you cancel your subscription. The monthly fee after the trial period is $21.95. To get your credit reports and FICO scores from all three major credit bureaus, you can pay a one-time fee of $39.95.
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Credit.com also serves as a resource for offers on various financial products. We talked about this when discussing how the website generates income. But in reality, this isn’t an uncommon practice for any content website devoted to personal finance.
They are upfront with its advertiser disclosure, stating that the products they offer and how they appear on the website may be influenced by how they’re compensated. So it’s important for you to do your own independent research on how great an offer is, rather than trusting Credit.com to only provide you with the best options.
Available Loan Options
The biggest section of product offers on Credit.com is its Loans page. You can view all types of loans at once, or navigate by specific categories. The options available include personal loans, student loans, mortgages, auto loans, and debt consolidation loans.
All of the loans discussed anywhere on the site are from third-party lenders who have partnerships with Credit.com, rather than being loans originated directly through the website. You can search by your credit rating and loan amount or scroll through every lender partner to view their general terms.
If you do choose a lender through them, you’ll simply be redirected to the lender’s page to go through the application process. They also have limited partnerships with two credit repair companies: Lexington Law and CreditRepair.com. For more in-depth reviews of both companies and a few others, check out our reviews.
Credit.com Mobile App
The Credit.com app allows you to access all of your credit information on the go from your phone. Unfortunately, it’s currently only available at the Apple App Store. Android users will have to wait to gain access. If you do have an iPhone, the app is completely free to use.
One of the best ways to research credit monitoring services is by reading third-party reviews. You can discover what actual customers are saying about them before you choose to do business with them.
Credit.com’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is currently A-, which is an indicator of great customer service. They also have very few complaints. You can find more Credit.com reviews at other review sites as well.
Credit.com is a professional company with a large footprint in the online credit space. They certainly offer reputable tools that can be helpful in some situations, many of which are free. While their free resources aren’t entirely comprehensive, they’re useful for getting your feet wet with what’s going on with your credit.
If you’re already well on your way to repairing your credit, some more in-depth counseling or service may be of greater benefit. Still, they offer risk-free checks on your credit, and even consistent monitoring to see how you’re doing.