Monitoring changes in your credit score is important for everyone. It’s vital for those who are trying to build or improve their credit.
You shouldn’t have to pay for updates or monitoring of your score and credit report. Thankfully WalletHub claims they offer this service for free.
Is WalletHub a trustworthy resource that you should be using? Our WalletHub review will cover the good and bad and give you our take on what WalletHub is really about.
WalletHub offers personal financial tools to users online. Their main product is offering a free daily credit score and report associated with it.
A company called Evolution Finance owns WalletHub. According to Bloomberg, this parent company was founded in 2008. They have been in and out of the media since then.
Their original credit card website was called CardHub. This website compared credit cards.
These days if you try to head over to CardHub you will be redirected to Wallethub. This would lead us to believe that WalletHub is the company’s main focus these days.
With the company being in business and so public for so long, its safe to assume that the company isn’t an outright total scam. This is important since you are asked to hand over some pretty personal and sensitive information to use the site.
WalletHub claims they offer its users daily credit score reporting, 24/7 credit monitoring, and your free credit score.
This service is great if you are concerned about potential changes in your credit. You will know immediately if your score or report changes for the good or bad.
No Hidden Subscription
Many companies that offer free credit scores are operating just inside the lines of legalities. This means that while they claim to offer free credit scores, they technically aren’t.
A common scheme is to offer to provide you with a “free credit score” for just a dollar. When you read the fine print you will find out it’s really a 7-day free trial and then a $29.95 secret monthly subscription.
Thankfully, Wallethub doesn’t ask for your credit card. This means that there is no hidden subscription you are signing up for. The service is free in terms of money coming from you.
They Use a Legitimate Source
There are three major credit reporting bureaus that all reputable financial institutions use. Wallethub will provide your credit report from TransUnion.
This is one of the three major bureaus so you are receiving a legitimate credit report. This is good because you will know what a potential lender will see when they pull your report.
WalletHub claims you will be given unbiased recommendations that are personalized for each user. These recommendations will appear directly in your inbox.
This is useful if you are planning to apply for a credit card or loan in the near future. You will be able to take advantage of these offers knowing that you have been pre-screened and pre-approved by the companies sending you offers.
There are some downsides to using WalletHub. Many of them involve the amount of personal information they want and what they do with it.
Other credit reporting agencies do not require as much as Wallethub. There are also other options that will not sell your information for their own profit.
The Signup Process
To sign up for Wallethub you first have to enter your first and last name and email address. Once you enter this you are forced to agree to the site’s terms and conditions.
Your name and email address are not especially sensitive information and are pretty standard for all credit reporting websites. What is strange is requiring you to agree to the terms and conditions so early on.
Next, you will set up your password. After this, you are required to enter your address.
Unfortunately, there is no getting around submitting your address. All credit reporting agencies will need your address to verify your identity.
The red flag is that WalletHub also requires your cell phone number. They claim it’s to send you important alerts and improve their account security.
There are other online credit reporting sites that do not require your cell phone number. Your cell phone number is not a standard piece of information that is used to verify your identity.
What is common is for the site to ask you some questions where the answer is related to something in your past. This could be to identify a former address, or a car you registered, or a company that you have worked for.
You Are Not Getting a FICO Score
The credit score that is used by all lenders and the industry standard is the FICO score. This score is calculated by a company called Fair Issacs.
When people are talking about the credit score, they are referring to their FICO credit score. THere are other scores though, they just aren’t nearly as popular with lenders.
WalletHub uses one of these other credit scores. This other score is called a VantageScore.
Now, this doesn’t automatically mean the score you are getting is false or a scam. It just means that the score you are receiving every day may not necessarily match your official FICO score.
You will find that credit scores that are not a FICO score are referred to as a FAKO score. What you should understand is that FICO is a brand, just like all of the other credit score agencies.
The problem is that VantageScore applies different weight to the information that is included in the report. No company will share their exact formula, so it is difficult to determine how the scores end up different.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing that the scores are different if all you are doing is monitoring your score to improve it. It is a bad thing if you are depending on a particular score from WalletHub to get approved for a certain interest rate.
Your Information is Sold
This is how Wallethub makes money. All of that information you entered to sign up is sold to lenders and advertisers.
It should be obvious now why they insist on getting your cell phone number. It is less about your security and more about providing their affiliates with a complete lead profile.
Wallethub will also show you advertisements that they will earn a commission on if you sign with the advertised business. You agree to let this happen when you agreed to those terms and conditions upon sign up.
You have agreed to let them share a copy of your consumer credit report and score. This lets lenders see if you pre-qualify for offers.
You also agree to let them use your information for targeting ads to you, providing recommendations, information, and a more custom experience. You also are letting them use your data so they can publish performance results.
It is hard to verify if these recommendations truly are unbiased. WalletHub maintains relationships with financial institutions looking to sell products and services.
Wallethub is making money by driving its site users to the affiliates. This makes their “unbiased recommendations” suspicious.
When looking at their site, you’ll notice that they have featured links that will take you to what they claim are the best products for you. Except this isn’t always the case.
Under their credit card selection tool the top result is a Capital Quicksilver Cash card. They claim this is the best credit card for earning cash back.
Except that it’s not. The Citi Double Cash Visa will earn its users two percent cash back on all purchases.
The Verdict of our WalletHub Review
Wallethub is a legitimate company that is not out to scam you. That doesn’t mean that they are totally innocent in how they act.
You are not getting a FICO credit score. There are other free options out there that will give you a legitimate FICO score.
You are only getting one credit bureau’s report on a daily basis. There are other options that will give you two bureaus on a weekly basis. This would give you better coverage of your credit profile.
They will take full advantage of their terms and conditions. This means they will sell your information to credit card companies and lenders, who will then mail, email, and call you with promotional offers.
If you are looking to monitor changes in your credit score, our WalletHub review has proven there are more private online options available. While this one is free monetarily, you are paying for the service with your information.
If you’re struggling with bad credit check out these credit cards for people with bad credit.