Credit Cards

What’s Better Than Credit Karma

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

What’s Better Than Credit Karma? Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are good options if you want to monitor your financial progress. As you plan your financial future, it’s a good idea to know your credit history. Tracking your credit score can help you identify whether you are eligible for specific financial products, interest rates, or other services; it may even help you assess your progress in developing credit and keep an eye out for significant changes in your credit report information.

Fortunately, monitoring your personal credit score won’t adversely affect your credit rating. Keeping tabs on your credit with a tool like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma can also be beneficial. Which one, therefore, should you select? In this post, we’ll compare and contrast Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma in detail.

About Credit Sesame

TransUnion VantageScore is the only score that Credit Sesame cares about. In order to arrive at your VantageScore, the three main credit bureaus used a scoring methodology they developed. This is not your FICO score, produced by the Fair Isaac Corporation, which has been the industry standard for decades. Because the algorithms employed by each credit scoring model place a little different emphasis on different factors, your VantageScore and FICO scores are likely to differ.

Regardless of whatever credit score you see, you should be able to gain a rough sense of your credit position regardless of whether you use VantageScore or FICO. A lender’s view of your credit may differ from what you see on Credit Sesame if you apply for a loan and they run a credit check. In the meanwhile, you can receive a general notion of your creditworthiness.

Credit Sesame allows you to see many areas of your financial situation and provides you with useful recommendations. Credit Sesame assists you with the following financial aspects:

Credit score analysis

As a result, you’ll be able to better understand the factors that influence your credit score. It also explains how each aspect affects your score, where you presently stand, and what you can do to improve.

Credit alerts

You may also check your account for credit notifications. You’ll be able to see when your credit score has increased and when a payment is a past due. With the help of Credit Sesame, you can see which of your accounts are past due and how they are affecting your credit score.

Aside from the credit and identity monitoring, Credit Sesame provides sophisticated possibilities. One credit bureau (TransUnion) is included in the free version, but for $15.95 a month, you can get credit monitoring from all three bureaus and access to live experts who can help you fix errors in your credit reports.

Sesame Cash

Prepaid debit cards from Community Federal Savings Bank are also available through Credit Sesame. You may also establish a virtual credit card with your Sesame Cash card and use it to build credit.

With each purchase you make with your debit card, Credit Sesame transfers money to your protected credit card account, which you can then use to pay for future purchases. As a result, you’re making regular purchases with your secured card, which might assist establish a positive payment history for you. It is possible that your credit score will rise over time as a result of your payment history and credit use.


Additionally, Credit Sesame provides tips on how to improve your financial status. “My Actions” is where you’ll find recommendations for actions that might help enhance your credit score. Credit Sesame will also evaluate the impact on your score of certain activities.

As an example, my credit score may rise by 16 points in eight months if I were to add a new credit card to the list of accounts I already had. A score of 54 points is possible, but Credit Sesame warns that a new credit card might lower my score by 17 points.

When it comes to achieving your objectives, Credit Sesame not only advises activities but also credit cards and other items. Credit Sesame generates money from free accounts by earning a commission on the products you choose.

However, this does not rule out the possibility of making a product recommendation. When I refinanced my house seven years ago, I saved $300 a month by utilizing a business that Credit Sesame advised. Approval probabilities are also included in Credit Sesame, allowing you to make educated guesses about which goods you could qualify for.

What is Credit Karma?

Credit Karma, like Credit Sesame, relies on VantageScore data. Credit Karma, on the other hand, incorporates data from both your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports. To be sure, it’s helpful to view various ratings, but keep in mind that the scores you see won’t be the same across all three credit agencies. In fact, your score may vary widely from one credit reporting agency to the next, depending on the model being employed.

There has been a nine-point increase in my TransUnion score, but my Equifax score has fallen by 24 points. Tracking your progress and getting an overall picture is possible by using these ratings, but they aren’t fixed in stone. In addition, when you apply for a loan, you may receive even another score.

Credit analysis

In-depth credit analysis is provided by Credit Karma, which examines the components that go into calculating your VantageScore. The influence they have on your score can be seen, and you may examine different elements of your score to determine what might be preventing you from achieving greatness with your credit score.

Color-coded data from Credit Karma helps you identify what’s hurting your credit score and how important each issue is. Afterward, you’ll be able to figure out exactly why anything is an issue. When I neglected two payments over a year ago, it was extremely damaging to my credit, since a poor payment history can have an enormous influence.

Credit Karma provides an explanation of what’s affecting your score and a pro suggestion to assist you to avoid the problem in the future if you delve deeper into that area. As soon as I switched to autopay, I didn’t have any more issues, but it will take a few months for this component to fade from my life completely.

In addition to getting updates on your credit score, you can also get suggestions for products and services that meet your needs and might help you raise your score in the future. By knowing your chances of getting approved for credit cards and loans, you can make an informed financial decision.

Products and services

To help you locate the financial goods and services you need, Credit Karma offers a variety of simple options. Even if you have a loan, you may use your car record to get insurance or to refinance your loan. Credit Karma even supplies your insurance score and a car-buying marketplace.

You may also use Credit Karma to get help with the following items and services:

  • Preparation and submission of tax returns
  • Locator for unclaimed funds and property
  • Personal and home loans are among the many types of loans available.

To make it easier to keep track of your finances, Credit Karma provides two separate accounts. You may open a high-yield savings account with no fees or minimum balance requirements with the Credit Karma Money Save account. Credit Karma Money Spend is a checking account that has no monthly fees, no overdraft charges, and no minimum balance restrictions. MVB Bank granted both accounts since Credit Karma is not a bank.

Identity monitoring

In addition, Credit Karma provides comprehensive data on a variety of facets of your persona. For those who have been harmed by data breaches, Credit Karma will even let you know. Information regarding freezing your credit will also be provided. For example, you may figure out which passwords should be changed and where to get additional information regarding data breaches using the details supplied our information in the future.


On the Credit Karma website, you’ll also find a variety of useful calculators. Here you’ll discover a mortgage calculator as well as a debt payback schedule, amortization schedules, and more.

However, the credit score simulator is one of the most intriguing calculators. You may experiment with various scenarios by selecting from a number of choices in the simulator. It is estimated that my credit score would decline by around four points should I apply for a balance-transfer credit card.

One of the best aspects of Credit Karma is that it will tell you why your score can be affected, present some advantages and disadvantages, and give you an average recovery time.

Credit Sesame vs. Credit Karma

Credit Sesame and Credit Karma both give possible score results and general consumer information, despite some fundamental distinctions. Since VantageScore information is used, you may obtain a different result if you apply with a lender who uses the FICO score. Be aware that neither company provides data derived from Experian.

Safe to use, Identity theft protection options and mobile apps for your iPhone or Android phone are all provided by Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. Ultimately, how do you choose?
When comparing Credit Sesame vs Credit Karma, here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • TransUnion and Equifax are shown by Credit Karma, but Credit Sesame just shows TransUnion.
  • For improved identity security, use Credit Sesame.
  • Credit Karma’s credit score simulator is more comprehensive.
  • Credit Karma makes a wide range of financial services more easily accessible (like tax prep and the unclaimed money finder).
  • Credit Sesame’s dashboard provides a comprehensive snapshot of your financial position.
  • In my opinion, Credit Sesame’s suggestions are more accurate than Credit Karma.

Identity theft insurance is not the same as identity protection alternatives. The expense of regaining your identity and repairing your credit is often covered by identity theft insurance, which assigns you a case manager and reimburses you for legal expenditures. Consider adding identity theft protection to your property insurance policy in addition to the services offered by Credit Sesame and Credit Karma in the event of an emergency. These policies are available from a wide range of reputable insurance companies.

In addition, you can receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit agencies at Credit Karma and Credit Sesame’s additional features are not included in the free credit report you’ll receive. Also, your credit scores will not be included in this report.

Bottom Line

Even if you’re merely searching for a new credit card or a new vehicle loan, it’s a good idea to learn about your credit score and how your credit report functions.

As a result, deciding between Credit Sesame and Credit Karma is a pointless exercise. At the most basic level, both of these services are free (although you can pay to add identity monitoring with Credit Sesame). Both are useful to me in assessing my own finances, receiving a glimpse of my credit, and gaining a knowledge of credit score ranges. I personally utilize both.

Be mindful of your financial objectives and what you want to achieve with your credit score. In order to get the finest coverage, you may want to consider joining up for both services and comparing their prospective offerings.

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