Review of

The good news and the bad news is that credit monitoring sites are not uncommon these days. Sorting through them to find the good ones is a different matter. certainly is one of the good ones, but let’s make sure we know exactly what they offer.

Signing up is easy. No social security number or credit card information is required. The site is easy to navigate. You will be asked during the sign up process if you want to upgrade to one of three monthly monitoring services including Monthly Monitoring @ $5 month, Level 1 Package @ $15 monthly, or Level 1 Package plus 1 million dollar coverage for identity theft @ $25 monthly. If you are not interested just click “no thanks” and continue for the free info. Unfortunately these offers come up every time you sign in – a tad annoying.

Free Credit Score and Report

Once you set up your account you will have access to your Experian Credit Score and complete Experian credit report. Just so you know, the Experian Credit Score is a based on a different formula than a FICO score. They are not trying to trick you into believing it’s the same. There is a debate these days as to whether the FICO is the only true credit score, but the reality is they are both accurate – just different. “Educational credit score” is another term used for this formula. Bottom line, knowing either score can help you understand and improve it.

For our purposes we can say that the score and the report are a great way to determine the health of your credit and the accuracy of the information within the report. The credit report is detailed and contains the following information:
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  • An Account Summary
  • A List of Open Accounts
  • Closed Accounts
  • Negative Accounts
  • Credit Inquiries
  • Public Records – like owed child support and liens on your property to name a few


Valuable Guidance

Budgeting help is available if you are willing to take the time to enter your loan information (no specific account numbers), income, insurance, utilities, etc. Based on this information, you will get tips on how to budget your ongoing finances. Like I said, upgraded monitoring and improvement services are available but even without the extras bells and whistles; there is good practical information here – for free.

Quizzle will encourage you to establish a rainy day fund. This is important in any long term financial planning. Six months of your net income is their proposed goal. It actually calculates the exact amount you need in your rainy day account based on your annual income.

Great information is also available for anyone in the market for a new home. They have a nifty calculator, mortgage recommendations and a wealth of information regarding neighborhoods of interest. Of course there are mortgage offers galore.

The Skinny will provide your Experian credit score, a detailed Experian credit report, budgeting tips, mortgage tips, and a glimpse at what’s lurking behind the curtain. It’s a free peak and more – and I do mean FREE.

Go Free Credit Review

It is important to know your credit score and it is extremely important that the information is accurate. There are many online credit monitoring services that provide valuable information for you if you subscribe. Right now, is offering a 7 day free trial offer.

Here’s what you get:

  • Access to all three major credit scores – TransUnion, Experian and EQUIFAX
  • Daily monitoring of all three credit bureaus with alerts if there are any changes affecting your credit
  • A detailed analysis of your credit history – allowing you to correct inaccuracies
  • Information regarding who has viewed your credit history


Signing Up

On the home page it states that after the free 7 day period there is a monthly membership fee of $14.95. It also indicates that by signing up with, you are actually subscribing to the services of which, interestingly, has its own website and charges a $29.95 monthly fee plus a couple extra features.

Once you enter your initial information, you will get to the next screen. On this screen it indicates that the cost of the service after the free 7 day offer is $19.95 per month. So is it $14.95 or $19.95? Whether this is a mistake or not, I am immediately in suspicion mode.

How To Cancel

Being skeptical I now wanted to find out how someone cancels their membership – just in case. It says canceling is easy, just go to and, according to their website; you should be able to log in, go to “My Account” and cancel. GoFreeCredit also listed 1-800-316-8750 to to cancel. In the current Terms and Agreement under Termination of Membership, it states that you can cancel by writing to Member Savings, 9500 W. Dodge Road, Suite 100, Omaha, NE 68114-3331.

Do You Need Constant Monitoring?

You might want a monitoring service if you have had problems in the past with incorrect credit information or identity theft. If you have had poor credit and you are diligently trying to dig out, it could be helpful to see how you are doing. The degree of monitoring is really up to you. I personally believe that for most people, paying for this service is an unnecessary expense. Consider that at $14.95 a month you are paying $179.40 annually. At $19.95 a month you are paying $239.40 annually. That’s serious money.

The Final Word

For me, the only way this would make sense would be to take advantage of the free trial offer and then cancel before the 7 days are up. But it’s common to forget and it’s often not as easy to cancel as it sounds.

Why not take advantage of a totally FREE website that provides the same credit score and report information, monitoring service and maybe even more. is a good one and there are others as well such as and, all worthy of your consideration.

Credit Karma Review

It’s no secret that your credit score is the most important component of your financial profile. This is why you should regularly check your credit score. Doing so will give you an insight as to how creditors view you. Do they think you’re a credit risk or not? Knowing your credit score will help you answer this question and prepare you for when you need to buy a car or even a house.

Every U.S. citizen has access to their credit report for free. However, there are additional pieces of information that can be helpful to you and you can access such information by using companies like Credit Karma.

  • Access to your FREE Credit Score anytime
  • Exclusive savings based on your score
  • Tools to track your credit score
  • Valuable credit and finance content
  • Calculate and research to find best rates

Get Your Credit Score

It all starts with your credit score. This is what lenders use to determine whether you get “Approved” or not. Your score basically puts a number to your credit history. The higher your score, the better. With Credit Karma you can get your score for free. They say you don’t need a credit card to obtain your score, so I put them to the test.

To get started I had to provide the following information:

    • Email Address
    • Screen Name
    • Password
    • Security Question
    • Contact Information: Name, Address, Phone Number, Birth Date, Last 4 of my social
    • Annual Income

After filling out the online registration form I pressed submit and my credit score was instantly available. I did not have to give any form of payment which is exactly how they advertise it. Also, if you don’t like to provide your entire social security # then you might like Credit Karma because they only asked for my last four.

Account Balances and Notifications

In addition to receiving my credit score, I also had vision to all my accounts with outstanding balances. This included everything like my auto loan, mortgage, student loans, credit cards and more. The Credit Karma Notifcations section showed me how many inquires were on my credit report. This is also the place where it will show you if you have any delinquent accounts.

Debt Management Recommendations

It showed me how much of my credit I have used. It gave me this information for each of my credit cards. It also gave me recommendations on how to raise my credit score. I like this feature because it gives you something to shoot for. It recommended that I lower the balance on my cards so my score will go up. This is something I already know and something I am currently working on. I’m using the debt snowball method I discussed in an article a few weeks ago. Check it out!

There were also several offers that were being presented to me such as credit card offers from Capital One. I also received some recommendations for things like auto insurance and other types of loans. I wasn’t really interested so I didn’t spend too much time here. But, if you’re in the market for this type of thing then I can see how this would be helpful.

My Credit Simulator

The “My Credit Simulator” calculates what your credit score could be if something changes, like paying off a credit card or increasing your available credit. It also shows you what would happen to your score if you miss a monthly payment, take out a car loan or have another inquire on your report. You can choose from a list of options and see how your choice might affect your score. I like this feature because it can help you decide if opening a new account or missing a payment is the smart thing to do. So far all of this is free!

How To Get Started

Getting started is easy. Just go the Credit Karma site and click the Get Started Now button. From there you will just have to complete the online form and within a few minutes you will have access to your credit score. There are other services you can purchase if you choose too, but all the ones I used were absolutely free. You can check back at anytime to see if there have been any changes to your score. My experience with Credit Karma has been and good one. I would recommend the service and I will be checking back in a few weeks (after I pay down my credit cards) to see how my score improves.

Credit Sesame Review

I have always been a big fan of and now there is another great online tool for managing your credit, loans and debt. Credit Sesame is the complete package. It has everything you need to keep track of your financial progress by providing you with a dashboard report of your credit standing, loans and debt. In addition to being super informative, it’s easy to use. For some reason I am always drawn as much to form as I am to function and this site is user-friendly, uncluttered, and simple to navigate. It’s chocked full of all the information you need to maximize your financial decisions.

How To Sign Up

In a couple of minutes I had access to my Experian credit score – which was awesome by the way – and my entire financial picture. Signing up is easy, but you do have to be prepared to provided your personal information. I did give them my social security number which is necessary to access your credit score, but I did not have to provide any credit card information. As you probably know, many sites require some form of payment type to store in your account. From the homepage just click on “Sign Up” and you can get started. The site is safe and secure with VeriSign Secured, McAfee.

Credit Sesame Key Features

  • Overview: Gives you a summary of total loans and debt.
  • Finances: Shows your credit score (updated monthly), credit worthiness, current debt, total assets, monthly payments, home value.
  • Goals: Helps to optimize finances, refinance, get a home loan, get a credit card, and get a personal loan.
  • Advice: Based on your numbers, credit sesame gives you options for better loan rates, better mortgage rates and credit card offers – all of which you are qualified for. The information is very easy to read and understand. It’s a snapshot of everything that’s important to consider. In my case it said “options available but none better than what you have.” Good to know.


This is a great site if you want to plan a sensible attack on your debt or if you want confirmation that you are already in optimum position financially. You can edit information and see how things would be impacted if you brought in extra income or if you take out another loan. You will be alerted if you have any new money saving advice.

I have a certified financial planner for long-range retirement planning, but I think this kind of tool provides information that would take me endless hours to research. With this site I can make good decisions now and set myself up to stay on track – also very important in the big picture.
Considering all these features are FREE, FREE, FREE, I have to say that I was impressed.

For more information to to check your credit for free, visit Credit Sesame’s website.

myFICO® Score Watch™ Review

The myFICO® Score Watch™ monitors your credit report at Equifax on a daily basis and your FICO® score on a weekly basis and notifies you when you reach your target score or when you might qualify for a better interest rates. You will receive alerts you when unexpected changes to your credit report cause your FICO® score to drop and Score Watch™ will provide you with two Equifax Score Power reports each year. Here are some of the features and benefits myFICO® Score Watch™ offers:

  • Monitor your FICO® score
  • See your new FICO® score every time you get an alert of a change on your credit report. Find out when your FICO® score changes enough to impact the interest rate you would likely receive on a home mortgage, auto loan or home equity loan.
  • Receive alerts via email or wireless text message when Score Watch detects important changes to your FICO® score or Equifax credit report.
  • Receive two Score Power reports when you subscribe – one at enrollment and one to be used at any time during your subscription. In addition, you will receive two additional Score Power reports each year of your Score Watch subscription.
  • Score Power reports include your complete Equifax Credit Report, FICO® score, FICO® score simulator and factors hurting or helping your score. Also, receive additional discounted Score Power reports while you are subscribed to Score Watch.

Monitor your FICO® score
The myFICO® Score Watch™ allows you to see your new FICO® score every there is a change on your credit report. You will be able to find out when your FICO® score has changed enough to impact the interest rate you would most likely receive on a home mortgage, auto loan or home equity loan. Includes a complete and up-to-date Equifax credit report and FICO® score. You can purchase any number of additional Equifax credit reports and FICO® scores at a 30% discount as long as you’re subscribed to Score Watch.

Timely credit alerts
Score Watch™ will alert you when there are changes to your FICO® score which will allow you to always have up to date information. You can customize your alerts so you will only be notified on the things you want to be notified on. The alert will be sent to you via email or wireless message based on what you choose. You can even set a target FICO® score and receive an alert when you reach it. Email alerts sent out upon detection of certain changes to your credit report or FICO® score. Alerts can be sent as text messages to a cell phone or wireless device. Your Equifax credit report is monitored daily for:

  • Newly opened accounts
  • Inquiries from applications for new credit
  • Increases in account balances
  • Changes in account status, such as a missed payment
  • New activity on accounts that were inactive
  • Newly listed public records, such as bankruptcies, court judgments, and tax liens
  • Newly listed collection company records
  • Changes to public records and collection company records
  • Changes to the name listed on your credit report
  • New addresses or phone numbers

Receive two Equifax Score Power reports
You will receive two Score Power reports when you subscribe, one at enrollment and one to be used at any time during your subscription. In addition, you will receive two additional Score Power reports each year of your Score Watch subscription. Score Power reports include your complete Equifax Credit Report, FICO® score, FICO® score simulator and factors hurting or helping your score. Also, you will receive additional Score Power reports at a 30% discount while you are subscribed to Score Watch.

How To Subscribe
You subscribe online and receive your FICO score online. The cost is $29.95 a month. You can get more details and see your score at the FICO official website.

FICO® Standard Review

FICO® Standard is an easy way for you to access your FICO and credit scores. Most lenders use these score to determine what type of credit risk you are. When you apply for a credit card or loan, your scores are going to be the determining factor in whether you get approved and at what rate. By knowing your scores, you can work to improve your scores and you will know what type of risk lenders think you are. You have multiple FICO scores, one from each credit bureau. Each FICO score is based on the information that each credit bureau keeps on file about you. When you purchase your FICO scores and credit reports, you are getting a snapshot that is accurate at the time of your purchase. However, it’s important to note as the information in your credit reports changes, your FICO scores can also change. That’s why it is important to check your score regularly and with the FICO® Standard you can do that. Here are some of the features FICO® Standard offers its customers:

  • Get your FICO® scores from your choice of Equifax or TransUnion. Each comes with a full explanation of the credit score and how lenders view you. Also includes actions you can take to get your FICO® score into the higher ranges.
  • Get your credit reports from your choice of Equifax or TransUnion. Each credit report is a detailed snapshot of credit cards and loans opened in your name, companies accessing your credit file, delinquent payments and more.
  • This simulator analyzes your personal credit information and answers questions such as, “What happens to my FICO® score if I pay off a credit card or open a new account?

FICO Credit Score
With the FICO Credit Score you can get your FICO scores from your choice of Equifax or TransUnion. You can choose which ever one you want to receive and both come with a full explanation of the credit score and how lenders view you. They also include an explanation of the positive and negative factors affecting your score. This will give you the detailed information you need to understand exactly why your score is being factored in the way that it is. Knowing your credit score is the first step in working to improve your overall score or just maintain your score. Here is an example of what you will see when it comes to your credit score:

Credit Report
You will be able to get your credit reports from your choice of Equifax or TransUnion. Each credit report is a detailed snapshot of credit cards and loans opened in your name, companies accessing your credit file, delinquent payments and more. Each credit report lists things like credit accounts, including all credit cards, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages in your name, including the creditor, balance, date opened, payment history, and current status. You will also be able to view things like inquiries such as recent applications for new credit, when a collection agency is seeking you to repay a debt and court judgments such as a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or tax lien. Here is a snapshot of what the FICO Standard will provide you:

FICO Score Simulator
The FICO Score Simulator is a tool that analyzes your credit information and then helps you learn how to raise your score. The simulator will answer questions like, “What happens to my FICO score if I pay off a credit card or open a new account?” The FICO Score Simulator shows how your FICO credit score from TransUnion or Equifax can change when you:

  • Pay your bills on time for many months
  • Miss a payment
  • Pay down your debt balances right away or monthly
  • “Max out” your credit cards
  • Get a new mortgage, auto loan, credit card
  • Get instant credit at a department store
  • Transfer balances to a new credit card
  • Declare bankruptcy

How To Sign Up For FICO® Standard
You can buy FICO® Standard for $15.95 which will give you access to either your TransUnion scores or Equifax scores. You do have the option to purchase both FICO scores and credit reports for the price of $31.90. This is a one time payment and not a monthly reoccurring payment. The service provides you with one FICO score and one credit report from either one or both of the credit bureaus based on what you choose. You purchase the FICO® Standard online with your credit card today.


Equifax 3-in-1 Monitoring with Credit Scores Review

The Equifax Credit Watch™ Gold with 3-in-1 Monitoring offers a free 30-day trial which gives you comprehensive credit monitoring and alerts within 24 hours of changes to your credit files at the three top credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To receive your 30-Day free trial, you will be required to provide a credit card when you sign up. If you don’t cancel your membership by the end of the 30-Day free trial period, we will automatically renew your subscription and you credit card will be charged $14.95 for each month that you continue your subscription. You can cancel your subscription at any time by calling customer service. Here are the benefits you will receive when you use the free 30 day trial:

  • FREE Score — Unlimited access to your Equifax Credit Report and Score, with detailed explanations
  • Interactive Score Estimator™ — See what might happen if you increase credit limits or pay down debts
  • Daily monitoring and alerts to key changes to your Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports
  • Unlimited access to your Equifax Credit Report™ and score
  • Trend your credit score over time with Interactive Score Estimator™
  • $1 Million ID Theft Insurance

As we know, maintaining a high credit score is vital to your financial stability. Whether you are working towards buying a car or a home, having a high credit score can save you thousands of dollars. Equifax 3-in-1 Monitoring with Credit Scores is a tool to help you keep an eye on your credit by monitoring your credit score. The better your credit score the more purchasing power you will have and you will receive better rates which translates into a bigger savings. The service makes it easy for you to know what your credit score is, set up alerts so you are aware of changes to your score, , and work to improve your credit score over time.

Monitoring Your Credit Files and Viewing Reports

The Equifax Credit Score is a proprietary credit scoring model developed by Equifax. There are many scoring models on the market today and Equifax works similar to them by predicting credit risk. It provides a calculation of the information contained in your credit file to determine what type of credit risk you are. The Equifax Credit Score ranges from 280 to 850, with higher scores representing lower credit risk. So basically, the higher scores are the better scores. Not all score models use the same scoring range and they don’t all use the same factors in determining the overall credit score. When you use the Equifax 3-in-1 Monitoring with Credit Scores you will be able to see exactly what your credit score is. In addition, there are easy to understand graphs that lay out your debit to credit ratio so you have a clear picture of your profile. You will receive unlimited service to the graphs and your credit score will always be up to date.

Score Monitoring Alerts

Equifax 3-in-1 Monitoring allows you to set up alert preferences so you can track specific areas of your credit score and get up to date information. When changes are made to your file you will be notified by email or wireless alert, which ever you choose. You can customize your alerts so you are automatically notified only when you want to be. For example, you can be alerted when a credit balance exceeds a preset limit, or a dormant card suddenly becomes active. when specific changes have been made to your credit score. Equifax uses certain criteria that helps determine possible warning signs of identity theft. You will also have the ability to receive alerts based on the alert preferences you have set up. You have the ability to customize three different alert options such as: Balance changes on your Equifax credit file by a certain dollar ($) amount, Balance changes on your Equifax credit file by a certain %, and Dormant card activity on your Equifax credit file in months. All Equifax members can easily access their alert preferences and change them at anytime just by logging into your account. Changes that result in an alert include any of these 8 items:

  1. New accounts opened in your name
  2. Credit inquiries resulting from a company requesting a copy of your credit report
  3. An address change
  4. Name changes
  5. Bankruptcies and other public records
  6. Some changes to current accounts
  7. Balance increase/decrease alerts based on a self-selected dollar amount or percentage
  8. Dormant card activity based on a self-selected dormancy period

Improving Your Score

It takes time to improve your credit score, there is no quick fix. However, there are specific things you can do to get your score moving in the right direction. Equifax can provide you will the information you need to help you understand exactly how your credit score works so you can improve your score. You will learn what can negatively affect your score and how you score can be positively affected as well.

How To Sign Up
You can easily sign up for Equifax 3-in-1 Monitoring with Credit Scores by completing the online registration. You have to provide a valid credit card and you will be billed monthly for the product if you don’t cancel after the 30 day free trial. You will have to provide all the personal information listed below in two easy steps:

  • Step 1: Enter your personal and contact information including name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Step 2: Enter your social security number, Date of birth, phone number, pick an account password and secret question, provide payment information and accept the terms and conditions.
  • strong>Step 3: Confirm your identity by answering four questions only you would know. If you fail to answer any of these questions, you will be asked a few more.

You are able to cancel your products at any time without any sort of penalty fee. If you purchased a subscription product that is billed monthly, the cancellation will occur at the end of your current billing cycle. In order to cancel you do have to call customer service (866-547-2622), you can’t cancel your subscription online.