The Best Free Credit Apps
What better way to monitor your credit score than with the best credit apps? To purchase a house, car, or any other valuable property, you need good credit to lock in the best rates. To keep tabs on your credit score and learn financial management skills, consider turning to a personal finance app.
A good credit app doesn’t stop at showing your credit score. It can also link with your bank accounts and serve as a convenient budgeting tool to help you develop healthy spending habits and meet your financial goals. In this article, we review some of the best credit apps, including the best free credit apps.
What Is a Credit App?
A credit app is a mobile application used to monitor your credit report, preview upcoming bills, and keep tabs on your financial accounts. Some credit apps even notify users about suspicious activity that may indicate identity theft or other types of fraud.
In some cases, credit score apps allow you to simulate changes to your financial life such as reduced credit usage, new credit checks, etc. They then employ a credit scoring model to predict how these changes would affect your credit score.
Why Do People Use Credit Apps?
People use credit apps to stay abreast of updates to their credit reports. However, some credit apps offer suggestions that will improve a subscriber’s credit score. In 2018, about 57 percent of consumers used at least one credit app according to the Consumer Federation of America.
How the Best Credit Apps Can Help You Maintain a Good Credit Score
A credit app can do a lot besides simply showing you your credit score. Here are some features commonly found in credit apps with a large number of favorable reviews.
Identity Theft and Fraud Monitoring
Good credit apps serve as credit monitoring services that check for suspicious activity in your financial accounts in real-time in addition to keeping tabs on other changes to your credit picture. If it goes undetected for a prolonged time, identity theft can adversely affect your credit score.
Updates From Credit Reporting Agencies
Credit apps also provide credit tracking and updates on all your financial activities. According to Forbes, to improve your credit score, you should make on-time payments. The best credit apps send alerts to help you meet minimum payments and pay loans and other bills on time.
Credit apps can suggest ways to improve your credit score if you have bad credit. They can also put you in touch with potential lenders and help you find credit cards with reasonable interest rates. You can also get helpful financial planning tips.
The 10 Best Credit Apps: Overview
|Credit Karma||iOS, Android||Provides TransUnion and Equifax credit reports||Free|
|Credit Sesame||iOS, Android||$50,000 in identity theft insurance, self-service tools||$0–$19.95 per month|
|CreditWise||iOS, Android||Weekly update of your TransUnion report, suggestions for improving your credit score||Free|
|Discover Credit Scorecard||iOS, Android||Monthly FICO score, Social Security fraud monitoring||Free|
|Experian||iOS, Android||Updates to your score every 30 days||$0–$24.99 per month|
|Mint||iOS, Android||In-depth credit monitoring and explanation of your credit report||Free|
|MyCredit Guide||iOS, Android||Full set of alerts and money management techniques to improve your credit score||Free|
|myFICO||iOS, Android||Provides updates to credit score changes||$19.95–$39.95 per month|
|ScoreSense||iOS, Android||Information from three major credit bureaus, daily credit monitoring||$29.95 per month|
|Self Credit Builder||iOS, Android||Features for tracking and building credit||Varies|
The Best Credit Apps to Make Your Life Easier
With so much emphasis on credit scores by businesses when issuing credit cards, you must get the best credit apps to keep a good score. You probably know a few free credit apps. Unfortunately, some free credit apps have a limit on the services they provide. To get the best premium services from credit apps, give those listed here a try.
Credit Sesame | $0–$19.95 per month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Advanced credit monitoring
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Product recommendations are limited to Credit Sesame’s partners
Credit Sesame offers free and premium plans. Users receive $50,000 in identity theft insurance.
Experian | $0–$24.99 per month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Credit reports from all three major bureaus
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Lacks some common features
Like other major credit bureaus, Experian has an app. The Experian credit app updates your score every 30 days. Details such as credit card account activity and debt factor into the updates. Experian offers customers a seven-day free trial.
myFICO | $19.95–$39.95 per month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Frequent credit monitoring
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: No customer credit repair feature
myFICO is the official credit monitoring app for the FICO credit bureau. The monthly subscription cost starts at $19.95, with the premier plan priced at $39.95 per month.
ScoreSense Scores | $29.95 per month
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Score tracking features
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: No free credit monitoring
The ScoreSense credit app offers customers a seven-day trial period, then automatically charges $29.95 per month for its services, so remember to cancel if you no longer wish to use it after the end of the trial period. Users are provided with creditor contact details so you can reach out if there are any errors on their part.
Self Credit Builder | Varies
- Best Feature of Paid Version: Personal loans designed to help build credit
- Biggest Downside of Paid Version: Non-refundable administrative fee
You can track and build your credit score with Self Credit Builder. First, you apply for a personal loan. If your application is approved, the funds are held in deposit instead of being transferred to you. You then pay off the loan on a monthly basis over a one- or two-year term in order to improve your credit score.
The Best Free Credit Apps
Many of the best-known credit and money apps—Credit Karma and Mint, for example—are available entirely free of charge and do not offer premium plans. Below, we help you decide which option to choose.
- Best Feature: Great explanation of your credit report details
- Biggest Downside: Upsells financial products
Credit Karma offers free credit reports from the Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus and is available on Android and iOS. Users receive notifications of any major changes to their credit scores. You can even file a dispute using the Credit Karma app if you notice any errors.
- Best Feature: Regular updates
- Biggest Downside: Provides TransUnion report only
The CreditWise app is offered by Capital One, often rated as one of the best finance companies, but you can use it whether or not you’re a Capital One account holder. The CreditWise simulator shows you how financial decisions can affect your credit score. Unfortunately, it only provides your TransUnion credit report and isn’t connected to any of the other major credit bureaus.
Discover Credit Scorecard
- Best Feature: Monitors for Social Security fraud and identity theft
- Biggest Downside: FICO score only, no reporting from TransUnion or Equifax
Another offering from a credit card company, Discover Credit Scorecard provides a FICO score based on your credit file with Experian. It also protects your identity by monitoring your social security number to minimize the risk of fraud. You do not have to be a Discover account holder to use the app.
- Best Feature: Comprehensive budgeting app
- Biggest Downside: Contains many ads
Mint not only tracks your credit score but also promotes healthy savings habits and helps you budget by sorting your expenses into spending categories. It includes a full suite of account alerts and offers personalized advice on how to improve your credit score.
- Best Feature: Amazing credit score simulator
- Biggest Downside: Too many ads
Created by American Express, MyCredit Guide updates users about events affecting their TransUnion credit report. You do not have to be an Amex cardholder to use the service, and it is completely free. The MyCredit Guide score simulator shows how financial decisions may affect your credit score.
Which of the Best Credit Apps Should I Choose?
The Credit Karma credit app is our first choice thanks to its outstanding feature set and usability. It is completely free and provides credit reports from two major credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion. It also offers accessible explanations of the factors affecting your credit score.
Other apps that impressed us include the Discover Credit Scorecard, Mint, Credit Sesame, and myFICO. With these credit apps, you get constant updates and various alerts to ensure you have the best credit score possible and have access to all the benefits that this entails, including qualifying for the best private student loans.
Best Credit Apps FAQ
No, a soft inquiry—such as merely viewing your credit report on your own—will not affect your FICO Score. However, if the data on your credit report shows that you have applied for credit multiple times in a short period of time, it may negatively affect your FICO Score.
The best credit monitoring apps are Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, Mint, CreditWise, and myFICO.
No, using the Credit Karma app will not affect your credit score. The score checks made by Credit Karma are considered soft inquiries and are harmless. By contrast, hard inquiries are those made by lenders on your credit score while reviewing your application for a loan or another form of financial support.
According to US News & World Report, the best apps for free credit scores are CreditWise, the Discover Credit Scorecard, Mint, and MyCredit Guide.