Your credit score is a significant number that can affect your chances to qualify for loans, credit cards, and more. Because this is such a critical tool, you should know and understand your number. Luckily, generally trustworthy and free services exist that will monitor your credit score and credit report for you.
WalletHub is one of the popular players when it comes to credit monitoring. This service, which operates as a website and mobile app, will give you access to your credit score and report — all without you needing to pay a dime. With its focused set of features, WalletHub is certainly a potential option if you need to check your score, regardless of if you’re trying to bolster your credit or if you want to keep it from dipping.
Is it WalletHub worth your time? Read on through to find out!
What Is WalletHub?
WalletHub is a website focused on providing users with personal finance tools. These tools include daily credit score monitoring, credit analysis, credit card comparisons, finance calculators, and a question-and-answer forum. The site also includes targeted offers for credit cards, loans, and banking accounts.
The company was founded in 2013 by Washington, D.C.-based Evolution Finance, which formerly owned CardHub, a credit card comparison website that went defunct several years ago.
Is WalletHub Free?
WalletHub won’t charge you money to use its features. Naturally, this begs the question: How does WalletHub bring in money? Instead of offering paid plans, WalletHub makes its Benjamins by showing users advertisements. When users click on these advertisements and sign up for offers, WalletHub gets paid.
Because WalletHub utilizes the personal and financial information you give them, the site can provide hyper-personalized advertisements. On one side, this means that WalletHub can provide advertisements that are very relevant and potentially useful to you. However, it also means that you’ll need to give up personal info to a company that may or may not have your best interests at heart.
So WalletHub is ultimately free, but it doesn’t come without a cost. You’ll need to decide if sharing your personal information to receive details about your credit history is a valuable exchange. (For what it’s worth, though, most major credit-checking websites operate on a similar system.)
Is WalletHub Safe?
Because WalletHub handles sensitive information, it’s reasonable to question the safety of such a service. Before we get into how WalletHub protects your data, it’s worth mentioning that the site is not a scam nor a front to steal your data. WalletHub is one of the major credit-checking players these days. You can rest assured the company itself won’t be taking credit cards out in your name without approval or stealing cash from your bank account.
While WalletHub does store important personal and financial data, this data is housed securely in the company’s servers. WalletHub features 128-bit encryption and SSL, which is the same level of protection offered by FDIC-insured financial institutions. Besides this, the company claims that any personalized data you enter at signup will be stored anonymously, and you only need to share the final four digits of your social security number — not all seven numbers.
All told, using WalletHub will be just as safe as using any of the other major credit-checking websites. As with sharing personal data on any other site, you must use a safe and secure password for your account. This way you’ll limit the chances that a fraudster might be able to hack directly into your account. Otherwise, WalletHub should do a decent job of protecting your information from their end.
Credit Scores & Reports Offered By WalletHub
The main reason to use WalletHub is to access their credit score and report features. Because your credit score is the primary function of WalletHub, a score will be front-and-center when you log into your account’s dashboard.
WalletHub derives this score, based on the VantageScore 3.0 model, from TransUnion. In the world of credit scores, there are two models (VantageScore and FICO) and three primary credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). For most free credit score websites, users will have access to a number from VantageScore. However, some sites offer VantageScores from multiple agencies (such as Credit Karma, where you can see VantageScores from Equifax and TransUnion). WalletHub is not one such site and only offers a single score from a single source.
Note that your scores shouldn’t vary too much from source to source and from model to model. However, the more sources you look at, the better understanding you’ll have of your current credit situation. So if you want a more holistic look at available credit scores and only want to sign up for a single service, you’ll need to look beyond WalletHub. Otherwise, signing up on multiple websites may be the best course of action.
You should keep in mind that the scores you see (from WalletHub or anywhere else) may be different than what a lender looks at when you apply for a loan or credit card. This is because most lenders look at FICO scores. On top of this, FICO offers some scoring models that aren’t available to general consumers. Regardless, your score still shouldn’t vary too drastically.
WalletHub likes to market that it is the “first-ever website” to offer free daily updates of credit scores. Compare this to Credit Karma’s, Credit Sesame’s, and Credit Journey from Chase’s weekly updates, and Discover Credit Scorecard’s monthly updates. It’s unlikely that daily updates will make much of a practical difference to your life. However, it’s still a card for WalletHub to have up its sleeve.
On top of daily-updated scores, you can get daily-updated credit reports, too. WalletHub’s report lists information about your loans, lines of credit, and collection accounts. You’ll also be able to see biographical data, such as your name and address, as well as public records, such as bankruptcy or child support.
As a quick mention, checking your credit score or report through WalletHub (or any other free credit-checking website) won’t hurt your credit score because WalletHub only does a soft pull on your credit history. Hard pulls — which are used by lenders — can negatively impact your score.
Other Services Offered By WalletHub
WalletHub doesn’t only do credit scores and reports. Here a few more highlighted features on tap from the site (all of these tools are also free):
WalletHub offers credit monitoring as an offshoot of its other credit services. WalletHub claims to be able to monitor your TransUnion credit report 24/7. Should something go amiss, you’ll receive an alert via email.
As something of a rarity in the world of credit monitoring, you have the option to be alerted via SMS texts. You can also receive notifications by downloading the WalletHub mobile app on iOS or Android.
Like with WalletHub’s other credit services, if you activate credit monitoring, it won’t hurt your credit score.
WalletHub offers an array of financial calculators that can help you in your financial journey. Available calculators include:
- Mortgage payoff
- True-cost of homeownership
- Credit card payoff
- Credit card balance transfer
- Credit card interest rate
- Car payment
- Student loan
- Cell phone savings
- Charity volunteer hours
- Telework savings
- Internet modem
If you don’t want to register an account with WalletHub, you’re still able to take advantage of the above calculators.
WalletHub’s Answers section is a community-driven question-and-answers board. If you have a finance-related question, you can either search for a response to a previously-asked question or, if you can’t find a relevant answer, post your question to the forum. WalletHub calls those who answer questions “experts”; however, it isn’t immediately clear how the “expert” moniker is doled out. Regardless, the community does feature a “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” system that’s supposed to help separate the wheat from the chaff.
Your WalletLiteracy Score, generated by taking a test, measures your financial literacy. WalletHub defines being financially literate as understanding “the core concepts of money management” and being able to apply those concepts “in a manner beneficial to your familyâs long-term financial comfort and security.” To develop the test, WalletHub worked with several college professors from a range of universities, including American, Cornell, Kansas State, Minnesota, and Ohio State.
WalletHub provides a nifty service that matches up well against other websites in the credit score-checking scene. Signup is easy and fast, and its daily updating of credit scores and reports is a unique feature. While it only offers a single source and model for credit details, WalletHub is still worth checking out if you’re in the process of nailing down your credit score.
Should you use WalletHubâs credit score services?
This service might be a good option if:
- You’d like a free service that provides daily updates to credit scores and reports
- You’re checking your credit score on a range of free websites
- You would like to receive hyper-targeted credit card, loan, and banking offers
You might want to use a different service if:
- You want to look at credit scores and reports from multiple sources and models but don’t want to sign up for multiple services
- You don’t want to provide information that can then be used for advertising purposes
- You’d prefer a service with more robust finance-tracking tools
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