As you know, you will find countless sites which promise free scores or free credit reports… but very few actually deliver on that promise and some are just outright scams.
What is Quizzle.com?
Quizzle is a website that was launched in 2008 and the company is owned by Dan Gilbert (who also owns Quicken Loans). They’re based in the same state I grew up, Michigan. I have talked with employees of Quizzle before and they were all very nice to me.
August 2014 Quick Overview: You need be aware that they do NOT offer you an true FICO score. Instead Quizzle offers their own score, which is really just for educational (entertainment maybe?) purposes only and is not actually used by lenders or creditors. For that reason, it’s of somewhat limited value. My recommendation would be to get this new card from Barclays that now includes an actual FICO score each month on your statement for free:
So what exactly is the Quizzle website? Well if you’re familiar with Credit Karma or Credit Sesame, it’s similar to those but there are some key differences.
When you signup at Quizzle (which really is free) you get to:
- Access your Experian credit report – You get full access to your Experian credit report (see below). I really like this because they don’t strip out any of the information… you get to see everything on there (unlike Credit Sesame who does not show your report). Now, it’s of course possible to get your credit report for free once a year from annualcreditreport.com, too, it’s worth pointing out.
- Access to your CE score – This is not to be confused with a FICO score that all types of banks and other lenders rely on to make credit decisions. Rather, this scoring formula was created by a company called CE Analytics. Outside of Quizzle I haven’t heard of it being used. It’s scale is on a 350 to 850 scale, but keep in mind the formula is different than FICO, so the CE score has to be taken with a grain of salt.
Part One: The Credit Report
Now if you were to check your Experian credit report directly from Experian.com, they would charge you $1 (for a trial enrollment in “Credit Tracker”) and if you didn’t cancel within 7 days, you would then be charged $17.95/month after the trial.
However contrast that to the Quizzle credit report. Is it really free? Yep. There are no strings attached. You don’t even have to enter a credit card number to see it.
Signing up consists of entering your basic information and answering a few questions to confirm your identity. After that, you will be taken to this screen…
The two “special offer” boxes at the bottom are for paid products, but if click on the area I circled in blue, that will take you to your 100% free Experian credit report.
This is a full-fledged credit report and you can click on any of these tabs and dive into what they contain.
How often can you get your free credit report on Quizzle? Every 6 months it can be updated for free. If you want it updated more frequently, then you will have to enroll in one of the paid plans.
Combine that with AnnualCreditReport.com’s 3 reports per year and that means you can pull a total of 5 times per year for free (3x from Experian, 1x from Equifax, and 1x from TransUnion).
Here are the credit inquiries as an example. They show you all the information, including which banks are pulling your credit and when. And yes, I’m on a credit inquiry diet right now, which is the reason why I haven’t had any in a while.
Individual credit cards and loan accounts are fully visible on Quizzle, including a breakdown of payment history, credit limits, and all that good stuff.
As mentioned, this information is identical to that availalbe through AnnualCreditReport.com when you review your accounts. On Quizzle.com you can also access a printer-friendly version of your entire credit report, so that’s a nice touch.
The negative accounts tab is also useful to quickly check and make sure there is nothing nasty showing up. If there are any negative accounts on your report, Quizzle will organize them by category for you: (1) real estate accounts (2) credit cards/revolving accounts (3) installment loans (4) student loans (5) medical loans (6) uncategorized accounts.
As someone who recently fell victim to having their report sabotaged by a collections scam, double-checking the negative accounts tab was what I was most interested in!
Part Two: The Credit Score
Remember this number is not a FICO credit score, so keep that in mind. Even though the number scale is similar (350-850) the parts of it are weighed in a different manner.
For example, “Cash Flow” is not something you will see listed in the FICO breakdown. To see how Quizzle’s free credit score compares to the two leading models, review my FICO versus VantageScore showdown.
So is Quizzle’s score accurate? Well it’s 100% accurate for what it is – a CE Score model – but if you are asking about accuracy relative to FICO, then the answer would be no… because it’s a different formula being used.
Quizzle reports my CE Score as being 726. My FICO score is 790, so a 64 point difference if you want to compare Quizzle vs FICO head-to-head (but like I said, you can’t do that).
On this model, 726 is within the highest bracket. But if I were to have a 726 FICO, that would put me the luke-warm category… it wouldn’t be good enough for the best credit cards, nor would it qualify for the best interest rates.
So don’t try and compare your Quizzle score with your FICO because there won’t be any accuracy in doing so. What Quizzle.com’s credit score could be useful for is showing perhaps the general category you fit in (Excellent, Good, Fair, etc).
Is Quizzle a scam? Absolutely not! You neither have to provide any payment details nor is there trial offer involved in accessing this data.
If you simply want the Cliffs Notes version of this review, I’ll reiterate my point that this is a good website to check your Experian credit report for free. However, you can also get the same information from AnnualCreditReport.com once per year.