UPDATED: September 25, 2022

If you’re planning for a big financial decision soon, you know that checking and monitoring your credit score is an important part of the process.

You might have heard about apps you can use to see your credit score but wonder which one is accurate. Most financial decisions would depend on your credit score, so it’s important to monitor and improve it.

Several apps provide credit scores, paid or free, but you shouldn't choose whichever you see first. Understanding how the app works and how it can help you is crucial. 

We scoured the web for the best credit score apps, checked their official sources, and reviewed dozens of feedback from real users through independent sites.

At the end of this article, you’ll discover the top consideration when deciding to use a credit score app. Don’t miss out on key factors to consider and end up with an app that's not right for your needs.

What are the top six credit score monitoring apps?

Credit score apps allow you to check one or more of your credit scores. It collects information from the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, to provide instant access to your scores. You may see your FICO® Score or VantageScore®, depending on your chosen app.

1. Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame started in 2010 and was developed by UC Berkeley and Stanford scientists.

It offers a free Transunion credit report and VantageScore® 3.0 score monitoring once a month. But if you need to review your credit scores on the other two bureaus, you must sign up for Advanced Credit, which costs $9.95 per month.

You can also get alerts if you subscribe to the Pro Credit plan for $15.95 monthly. It also provides 24/7 support for credit report inaccuracies.

Credit Sesame Key Features

  • Three-bureau credit report and score monitoring for paid plans
  • $50,000 identity theft insurance for the free membership
  • Live experts for credit file inaccuracies

PROS

  • Free Transunion credit report and score
  • Free identity theft insurance
  • No need for credit card information

CONS

  • Only shows VantageScore® 3.0, which isn’t the most popular scoring model
  • Expensive premium plans
  • Suggestions don’t include advanced strategies

When we looked into Reddit reviews, most users say that Credit Sesame’s trustworthy. But if you want to see the score lenders rely on, you need credit apps that show your FICO® Score 8 rather than the VantageScore® 3.0.

2. Credit Karma

Credit Karma started in 2007, earlier than Credit Sesame’s establishment date. It provides free monitoring services on your Equifax and Transunion credit reports. You can also find extensive guides on building your credit.

Are you looking for free credit score apps? Unlike Credit Sesame, Credit Karma offers its services for free.

Credit Karma Key Features

  • Two-bureau credit report and score monitoring for free
  • Financial products based on your credit standing
  • Financial education tools

PROS

  • Free credit monitoring and reporting services
  • Credit card, insurance, and loan options for different credit standings
  • Provides detailed guides suitable for beginners

CONS

  • Uses VantageScore 3.0
  • Only monitors reports from Equifax and Transunion
  • Website shows unorganized tabs and menus

According to most reviews, Credit Karma doesn’t show the credit score that your lenders see because it uses the VantageScore 3.0 model, which most creditors don’t use. 

Still, several review sites consider it the best free credit score app due to its educational tools, which are helpful for credit beginners.

3. Mint

Mint is a budgeting app offering free credit score monitoring. It’s also known as Intuit Mint due to its parent company, Intuit. We also found out that the same company owns Credit Karma.

Since the two websites have the same owner, Mint is one of the apps like Credit Karma. It also uses the VantageScore 3.0 model and relies on your Equifax report to show your credit score.

But if you want to check your credit reports from all three bureaus every month, you need to pay $16.99 per month. It includes an Equifax risk score for each report and monthly identity theft monitoring services.

Mint Key Features

  • Easily accessible on the Mint app
  • Three-bureau credit report and score monitoring for the premium plan
  • Identity theft monitoring for the paid plan

PROS

  • Free monitoring and reporting of Equifax report
  • Easy sign-up process
  • Free Equifax credit score

CONS

  • Uses VantageScore 3.0
  • Free account only monitors Equifax report
  • Expensive premium plan

We noticed the same sentiments from people who use Credit Sesame, Credit Karma, and Mint. They recognize that these apps utilize the VantageScore 3.0 model, which isn’t what most lenders use.

Still, Mint score offers another way to monitor your score effectively.

4. myFICO

You’ve always read about FICO® Score 8 in this article, but who invented this scoring model? 

It’s developed by Fair Isaac, the same company that owns myFICO. Since 1960, it has provided credit risk scoring, which most lenders use today.

Unlike the three apps we mentioned, myFICO doesn’t have a free membership plan. Its basic plan includes one-bureau coverage and monthly updates about your Experian credit report. It costs $19.95 per month.

But if you want a three-bureau coverage, you must pay $29.95 for the Advanced plan. However, it only gives updates every three months.  

The company collects $39.95 per month for the Premier plan. You can choose this option if you want monthly updates of your credit reports from the three agencies. The Advanced and Premier options also have identity monitoring features.

Since you need to pay for its services, you might ask, “Is myFICO app accurate?” According to most reviews, myFICO provides the most accurate score because it’s offered by the company that invented FICO® Score 8. You’ll likely see the same score lenders pull when accessing your files.

Due to its accuracy, review sites and consumers consider it the best credit score app of 2022.

myFICO Key Features

  • Uses the FICO® Score 8 model, which 90% of lenders use
  • Score and credit monitoring for all plans
  • $1 million identity theft insurance

PROS

  • Uses the accurate FICO® scoring model
  • Most lenders refer to the score it provides
  • Offers identity theft insurance and identity restoration

CONS

  • No free membership plans
  • Basic plan starts at $19.95 per month
  • Cheapest plan only shows Experian score and report

5. Discover Credit Scorecard

Discover has been providing banking and credit products since 1985. One of the benefits it offers is the Credit Scorecard.

If you have a Discover card, you can see your FICO® credit score for free. The company relies on your Transunion report, and it makes a disclaimer that it might be different from your other scores. Still, most lenders use FICO® Score 8, so you can rely on Discover for an accurate score.

Discover Credit Scorecard Key Features

  • Uses the FICO® Score 8 model
  • Free for Discover credit cardholders
  • Shows your total accounts, length of credit, revolving utilization, and other credit information

PROS

  • Uses the accurate FICO® scoring model
  • Most lenders refer to the score it provides
  • Gives detailed information about your credit standing

CONS

  • Only accessible for Discover cardholders

Most users swear by the accuracy of Discover Credit Scorecard because it uses FICO® Score 8. So if you have a Discover card, there’s no need to pay for score monitoring.

6. Experian CreditWorks Basic

Experian is a major credit bureau offering credit monitoring and score tracking services. It’s the oldest company mentioned in this article since it has been around since 1899.

It offers CreditWorks Basic for free, but you can only monitor your Experian report. If you want to see your FICO® Score 8 from the three bureaus, you need to pay $24.99 per month.

Are Experian scores accurate? Yes, because the bureau uses the FICO® scoring model, which most creditors use. So if you want to know the score your lenders see, you can consider signing up for Experian CreditWorks Basic.

Experian CreditWorks Basic Key Features

  • Experian credit file and score monitoring
  • Score tracking and FICO® score alerts

PROS

  • Uses the accurate FICO® scoring model
  • Free monitoring of Experian credit file and score
  • Sends alerts regarding your FICO® score

CONS

  • Free version only offers Experian score
  • Identity theft protection only available for the premium plan
  • No identity theft insurance for the free version

Most reviews claim that CreditWorks Basic is already enough since it shows the FICO® score. You can see an accurate credit score even if you don’t sign up for the premium plan.

Here’s a common question we encountered: “What is the best way to check my credit score?”

You can check your score on free credit scoring websites, but they only show VantageScore 3.0. If you want to see your accurate score, we recommend signing up for a paid plan because they use the FICO® scoring model.

But here’s what you must consider: credit scoring apps may pose security issues because they ask for sensitive information, such as employment information, Social Security Number (SSN), driver’s license, and passport number.

Does checking your credit score hurt it?

Contrary to popular misconception, checking your credit report won’t affect your score. It actually helps you to:

  • Ensure accurate information
  • Prevent further damage in case of identity theft
  • Prepare for significant financial decisions

Use credit score apps to monitor your credit standing

You can take advantage of Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, Mint, and Experian’s free score monitoring. But if you want a three-bureau coverage, we recommend myFICO and Discover Credit Scorecard.

Each app has varying key features, but you should consider which of them provides an accurate report of your score. Most likely, these are myFICO, Discover, and Experian because they utilize the FICO® scoring model.

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