Credit.com offers free credit scores as well as paid services surrounding credit advice. In addition, the website provides helpful tools, most of which are free. So keep reading to see if Credit.com can help you track and fix your credit.
Is Credit.com really free?
Yes, Credit.com is 100% free. It is similar to other free credit monitoring services like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. But it’s important to realize that you don’t receive your actual FICO score for free, which is the credit score most lenders use to evaluate your application for any type of financing. However, you can use Credit.com’s free credit score for educational purposes.
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 reports and tells you what type of entries may negatively affect your credit score.
This feature offers a way to find out what changes you can make to improve your credit score. Plus, it updates every 30 days so you can track your progress.
How does Credit.com make money?
Credit.com 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 product. Instead, you receive a free Experian credit score or VantageScore 3.0 based on information from the credit bureau Experian.
These credit scoring models are undoubtedly reputable and use the same information as FICO to come up with your credit score, so in that sense, they are accurate.
Different Scoring Models
Since each 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 credit 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 credit scores from all three major credit bureaus, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They often use the middle number, so a credit score from a single credit bureau may not represent what would be used during the credit application process.
What other services does Credit.com offer?
Credit.com provides various other services. We’ll talk more about the credit 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 about it, and now we’ll go in-depth about this free and helpful resource. This feature helps you understand what the information on your report card means concerning your credit health.
First, your credit report shows a snapshot of your payment history. You’ll see a percentage of how frequently you’re on time with your reported payments, and a credit score that ranges 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 valuable part of the credit 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 know if you’re too heavy on credit cards or other types of financing. This feature is very 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 of 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. It’s updated every two to four weeks. So whenever the credit reporting agencies update your credit report, 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 working for you. And even if your credit score isn’t exact, you can at least tell which direction it’s moving!
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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.
Credit.com is 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 would be best if you did your own 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, mortgages, and auto loans.
All the loans discussed anywhere on the site are from third-party lenders who have partnerships with Credit.com, rather than loans originating 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 be redirected to the lender’s page to go through the application process. They also have partnerships with two credit repair companies: Lexington Law and CreditRepair.com. For more in-depth reviews of both credit repair 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.
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-, indicating excellent 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 monitoring space. They certainly offer reputable tools that can be helpful in some situations, many of which are free. While the free resources aren’t entirely comprehensive, they help get 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 scores and consistent, free credit monitoring to see how you’re doing.