Not Sure How to Keep Tabs on Your Credit? This Free App Can Help

Man using his credit card
Plamen Resseleshki/Getty Images


When’s the last time you checked your credit report?

Checking your credit regularly is important for a number of reasons:

  • You might catch an error. In fact, 26% of people find an error in one of their credit reports, according to a 2012 Federal Trade Commission report. Disputing the error could give you a chance to improve your credit score.
  • You might be able to sniff out fraud or identity theft. If someone attempts to open a credit card in your name, for example, it’ll appear on your credit report.
  • You might be able to identify ways to increase your credit score and, as a result, increase your borrowing power and get you better interest rates. Your credit report can even affect your ability to rent or secure a new job.

Now… let’s tap into your credit report. (And by us, we mean you. Because that’s personal.)

With so many credit-monitoring tools on the market, it’s difficult to know which one will be helpful. For this review, we’re going to focus in on just one: CreditWise® from Capital One®.

Our Comprehensive Capital One CreditWise App Review

First of all: Nope! You don’t need to be a Capital One customer to tap into this powerful tool.

Simply download the CreditWise app for free, and gain access to your free credit report and credit score, plus some unique features.

Our Favorite Capital One CreditWise App Features

The CreditWise app doesn’t only deliver you your credit report and credit score. There’s a little more to it.

Get Personalized Tips and Tricks to Help Improve Your Credit Score

If you’re not loving that three-digit number staring back at you, don’t panic. The CreditWise app doesn’t just dangle it in front of your face and say, “Too bad.”

Instead, it offers personalized tips to help you improve your score. The tips are prioritized by impact so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.

Tap Into Your Complete Credit Report

Some credit-monitoring apps don’t let you access your actual credit report — just a variation of it. But CreditWise gives you your full TransUnion® credit report.

It’s nice to be able to tap around to see exactly what’s included on your report, including your accounts and balances, the number of inquiries and your personal information.

Enable Notifications for Key Changes

If you’re bad at regularly keeping tabs on… well, anything, you can opt in for push notifications. CreditWise will alert you if there have been any major changes on your credit report or new uses of your Social Security number so you can stay on top of it.

CreditWise even scans the dark web for your info and alerts you if it finds anything there.

Play With the Credit Simulator

This part is pretty fun.

If you want to see how something like applying for a loan could affect your credit score, use CreditWise’s credit simulator.

Play out various scenarios to see how your credit score might react — anything from closing your oldest credit card to increasing your credit limit on a card.

It’ll show you your current score, your simulated score and the potential change, for better or for worse.

Frequently Asked Questions — Answered

So we’re impressed with these features. Now, let’s dive into more of the logistics of the CreditWise app.

Is CreditWise Free?

Yep, you can download the CreditWise app for free. Then, each week, you’ll get a free updated VantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion.

Is CreditWise Accurate?

The credit score and credit report you receive from CreditWise is accurate.

But do note the score you see in the app is your VantageScore — and that lenders might determine your borrowing power based on your FICO score or a different credit-scoring model altogether.

Think of your credit score like a grade. It’s going to vary from professor to professor because they’re each weighing parts of the rubric differently. In one class, you might receive a 98, but in another, you might receive a 94 — even though you submitted the exact same report.

It’s the same with your credit score. Your credit report reflects the same information; it’s just that your VantageScore and FICO score are calculated differently.

So the CreditWise app is a smart way to monitor your credit — whether you want to check for errors, fraud or ways to bump up your score — but your score could vary slightly from what lenders see.

Is CreditWise Safe?

Safety first, especially when it comes to your credit.

With any credit-monitoring app, you have to provide some personal information, including your Social Security number. That’s because that information is required to tap into your credit.

Thankfully, CreditWise is a safe option.

First, when you sign up, you’ll go through a two-step verification process, meaning you’ll need to enter your email address or phone number to receive a unique code. This is just an extra step to ensure you’re, well, you.

Second, you can opt in to Touch ID, meaning you can log in with your fingerprint.

Internally, Capital One has sophisticated fraud detection and security systems in place that actively monitor CreditWise profiles.

How to Sign up for CreditWise

Signing up for CreditWise is super simple.

You download the app — via iTunes or Google Play — then create an account. It takes about five minutes.

Remember this app is free, so it can be a great way to keep tabs on your credit or even make moves to improve it.

Advertiser Disclosure: Capital One compensates us when you enroll in CreditWise using the link we provided above.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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