Free Personal Finance and Credit Score Tools
Many of my real estate clients are trying to improve their credit scores, save money, plan a budget, pay their bills on time, and more closely monitor/analyze their personal finances. I signed up for Nerd Wallet, Credit.com, Credit Karma, and Credit Sesame, but I must report that the best overall personal finance website by far is Mint. I recommend it completely for anyone trying to improve their personal finances and build wealth to achieve their personal goals.
All of these personal finance and credit score websites are free, but they’re definitely not equal. I wanted to give my clients the tools they needed to succeed on their personal finances, but I didn’t know who or what to recommend. signed up for each credit score and personal finance website I will give you my complete reviews of free personal finance and credit score tools here.
Most Difficult Conversation in Real Estate
Perhaps the most difficult conversation I have with my clients concerns their personal financial situation. I know that “life happens”, and despite all of our best intentions, it is easy to miss deadlines for paying bills or borrow more money than we can later afford to pay back. People take it personally. They feel like they have failed. They feel upset. But my real estate clients do not need to feel this way. Buying a home is the single greatest source of wealth creation for most Americans. It can work for you, too.
As a professional Realtor®, I’m a problem solver first and foremost. Forget about placing blame. We need to work together to get back on track so that you can buy the best house that meets your needs. The more information I know about you, the better I can help you. That’s the way I see it, and I hope that you’ll help me to help you.
I do not recommend paid credit repair companies, and I do not receive any commission or direct benefit from making recommendations on this website. I did the research on free personal finance and credit score tools myself so that I could help my clients buy more houses.
Review of Personal Finance and Credit Score Tools
Pros: The best free personal finance and credit score tools were found on Mint. Mint was the only personal finance website and phone app among these five that allowed me to track my credit score, bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, and real estate property values all on one screen. It alerted me when bills were due, if my stocks were up or down, or if anything had changed in my credit score and other personal finances. It helped me analyze my spending habits and create a monthly budget. It helped me set financial goals and told me what I needed to do to achieve them. Mint also automatically calculates your net worth and monthly spending. Mint is made by Intuit. That was convenient for me because I already use Intuit’s Turbotax for my income taxes and Quickbooks to track my real estate expenses and business mileage on my car. All three use the same login and password. Overall, I would say Mint almost makes saving money and building wealth feel like a video game – in a fun way.
Cons: It was a bit of work to add all my various accounts to the website, but that time investment has definitely paid off. It’s an amazing time-saver and very useful to see everything on one page. Like any free website, it is collecting your data and trying to sell you credit cards and loans, but Mint was much less annoying and more appropriate with a very soft touch. It doesn’t feel “salesy”.
Pros: Nerd Wallet.com definitely had the best articles, blog posts, and calculators for personal financial advice and tools. Nerd Wallet had a similar function as Mint to track my credit score, bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, and real estate property values, but it was not as easy to see all on one screen. It has alerts similar to Mint, but it also sent me unwanted advertising alerts and made inappropriate recommendations. I do recommend reading their reviews and articles, just don’t give them your email.
Cons: Nerd Wallet had a lot of the same functionality as Mint, but it didn’t have the same integration with TurboTax and QuickBooks. I felt like I was getting bombarded by unwanted email advertising credit cards and loans I really didn’t need and wouldn’t help my situation. Like all these websites, Nerd Wallet collected data. I would feel uncomfortable recommending a client to register their email address and personal information because Nerd Wallet’s approach was focused on sales for their lender sponsors, not on helping us, the people registered.
Pros: The best overall credit score information and education was available on Credit Karma. The website’s credit score dashboard, resources, tools, and financial recommendations are excellent. No other website offers the Financial Relief page to help people struggling with hardships. Most of the other websites only offer one score, but Credit Karma offers 2.
Cons: While Credit Karma is perhaps the best free credit score website available, it doesn’t offer any financial tracking on bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, and real estate property values.
Pros: Credit.com offered an easy to understand credit score report card. It also compared my score to other people like me so I could see how they differ. The website has some informative articles on how to improve your credit score.
Cons: This website did not track my bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, and real estate property values. Credit.com advertised credit repair companies which I do not recommend. It also had a heavy emphasis on advertising credit cards, loans, and other services.
Pros: Credit Sesame offered a free credit score.
Cons: Credit Sesame is just not as useful as any of the other free personal finance and credit score tools. This website did not track my bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, and real estate property values. It didn’t have any particularly useful education or resources.