With credit such an important part of our lives, it’s frustrating not to know where you stand.
Is your credit good enough to get approved for the loan you want? Has someone stolen your identity after your personal information was compromised in a major data breach?
WalletHub’s completely free credit scoring and credit monitoring service can help answer these questions.
But is it worth your time? Use this WalletHub review to guide your decision.
WalletHub review: Free credit scoring and monitoring
No credit card number required
Unlike other “free” services that really just offer a trial period, then charge you a monthly fee in perpetuity, WalletHub doesn’t require you to provide a credit card number to gain access to your credit data.
But the service is paid for entirely by advertising. That means you’ll need to be willing to see a few credit card ads when you log into your account.
In exchange, here’s what you get:
- Your complete credit report based on the information in your TransUnion file, presented in an easy-to-read format that lists each of your open accounts, their balances and whether you’re current on your payments.
- Your closed accounts and whether there are any collections or public record activity (like a bankruptcy) on your credit report.
- The names, addresses and employers associated with your credit file.
If anything looks like a mistake or a possible sign of fraud, a link at the bottom of your credit report will take you directly to TransUnion’s dispute page.
What WalletHub doesn’t offer
What you won’t see is your Experian or Equifax credit report data or score. Without this information, you don’t have a complete picture of your credit situation. A WalletHub competitor, CreditKarma, provides your Equifax credit report and score in addition to your TransUnion score, though these are updated weekly, not daily.
You can get your free Experian credit score, but no free report, from Credit.com — another competitor — once every 14 days.
WalletHub uses VantageScore
WalletHub’s free credit score is a VantageScore, one of the many variations of credit scores that exist.
VantageScore was created by all three national credit reporting agencies — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
WalletHub’s credit analysis will tell you why your score is what it is, which can help you improve it.
For example, you might get an A for payment history if you pay your bills on time, an A for credit utilization if you aren’t using much of your available credit and a D for account age if the average age of your accounts is low.
WalletHub also tells you how important each factor is for your credit score. For example, credit utilization is very important, while account age is moderately important.
To get all of this information, you must provide your address, date of birth and the last four digits of your Social Security number, then answer a few security questions to verify your identity. You might be wondering if it’s worth the risk to hand over your data to yet another company in exchange for the information WalletHub provides.
According to Robert Siciliano, a Boston-based identity theft expert and CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, our consumer data is already out there being bought, sold and traded by criminal hackers. Companies that are providing free services in exchange for personal information are actually providing value, he says.
Siciliano notes that there is risk in providing all personally identifiable information, but it’s riskier not to monitor your credit closely.
When you sign up for an account, WalletHub also asks about your annual household income, your monthly expenses, your monthly savings, your most important financial need (e.g., save for retirement, improve my credit, get out of debt) and whether you carry a balance on your credit cards, though you can choose to skip these questions.
WalletHub uses your answers, if you provide them, to recommend financial products and services that might save you money.
Overall, WalletHub provides a useful service. But we hope to one day see a service that provides one-stop shopping for your free credit reports and scores from all three bureaus.