Chase Credit Journey provides you with a free VantageScore 3.0 credit check. You can also get email updates and alerts and a credit score simulator that will show how your choices will impact your credit. This tool might be great for you, but it depends on several factors.
Your credit score is pretty important. It’s a number that tries to measure your creditworthiness, which is how banks, car dealers, and credit card companies decide how high-risk you are when it comes to lending money. Knowing this number and improving it will allow you to get larger loans, qualify for competitive interest rates (which saves you cash!), and even get into rental units easier.
How Does Credit Journey Work?
Multiple companies offer credit monitoring. Some are stand-alone services, while others, like Chase Credit Journey, are linked to a particular credit card or banking service.
Chase Credit Journey works with Transunion, one of the three Credit tracking companies, to update your VantageScore 3.0 every week.
Can Anybody Sign Up?
You do not need to have a Chase bank account or Chase credit card to use this service.
To access your score, create a free profile, and fill out the information for a unique username and password. You will then be able to set any alerts that you want regarding your score.
Chase Credit Journey will score the following six credit factors:
- Payment history
- Age and type of credit
- Percentage of credit used
- Total balances
- Recent credit behavior
- Available credit
These are the same categories that impact your FICO score, but they are weighted differently.
Checking your score will not affect your number in any way. In fact, Chase will even give recommendations for improving your score, so checking back regularly should help you maximize your credit!
Is Chase Credit Journey Free?
Yes! Like many credit score services offered by banks, this service is free. They offer it as a small bonus in the hopes that you will sign up for a bank or credit account.
How Do I Access my Chase Credit Journey?
This is easy. Head over to Chase Credit Journey
- Sign up on their secure site using your social security number. Social Security is how all credit scores are tracked.
- Set up a username and password
- Check your score
From this point, it’s using the app or website to check your score as frequently or infrequently as you like.
Does it Impact my Credit Score?
Using Chase Credit Journey will not impact your credit score – positively or negatively. It will tell you what could improve your score and what has negatively decreased your score, but using it does nothing for or against you.
Is Chase Credit Journey Accurate?
Yes, but it may be different than the number your lender uses. Some lenders use VantageScore 2.0, introduced in 2010, instead of the 3.0, introduced in 2013, and others use 4.0, introduced in 2017. On top of this, some lenders prefer to use the FICO scores and their different versions.
You may check your score and see a number higher or lower than you anticipate. This is because long-term trends will always be more important than short-term.
Suppose you have a history of being great with credit but have to declare bankruptcy due to an emergency. In that case, VantageScore may score you higher than if you were historically terrible with money but recently received a large inheritance. Again, long-term trends will always out-weigh short-term wins or losses.
Four features make this an excellent tool for you.
|Credit Alerts||You can receive real-time alerts when your score changes. This includes having a watchful eye for identity theft with credit monitoring.|
|Credit Score Simulator||This allows you to estimate how your behavior – missing a payment, transferring a balance, getting a loan, or closing an account – can help or hurt your score.|
|Prequalified Offers||It will look at the six factors and recommend credit cards that you are qualified for through Chase. You can also prequalify for home loans, refinancing, and auto loans.|
|Credit Resources||If you need to get items removed from your credit report, Chase can point you in the right direction. Whether it’s car repossessions, bankruptcy, identity theft, or disputed claims, they have the resources to help.|
How to Maximize Credit Journey
Making the most of this free credit monitoring will come down to a few things:
- Use the score simulator – It is an excellent tool to see how choices can improve or hurt your credit. It will allow you to see the impact on your credit score before you commit to doing anything.
- Opt-in for the email alerts – Get notified about any new activity, good or bad. If your identity is ever stolen, finding out sooner rather than later can save you a lot of time and headache.
- Check-in regularly – Keeping a close eye on your score every week will help you notice how your behavior impacts your credit, allowing you to make better long-term decisions.
FICO vs. VantageScore
There are two different industry standards when it comes to your credit – FICO and VantageScore. They both seek to put a “trustworthiness” number on your ability to repay a loan. Let’s dive into each one of them briefly.
What Makes Up Your FICO Score?
Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) first introduced the credit score risk in 1981. They give lenders a number ranging from 300 to 850, the higher, the better. This number is calculated using credit reports from Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. Five categories make up your FICO score:
- Payment history – timeliness of payments and bankruptcy
- Amounts owed – the total debt you have, primarily your amount owed vs. income
- Length of credit history – the older your oldest line of credit, the better
- New credit – new accounts opened
- Credit mix – the types of accounts you have: car loan, credit card, mortgage, etc.
What Makes Up Your VantageScore?
VantageScore was also created as a way to measure trustworthiness to repay a loan. In fact, they use the same model and percentages as FICO! So how are they different?
- It looks at behavior over time rather than just that month. For example, if you apply for a loan during a month that you use your credit card more than usual, increasing your amount owed, you won’t get a lower score. VantageScore will see that as an anomaly instead of a warning light that you’ve suddenly grown irresponsible.
- it is advantageous to those with little credit history. They can predict customers with less than six months of credit who cannot obtain scores from other methods.
- It doesn’t account for some factors that can negatively impact your credit score (tax liens, civil judgments, and certain medical collections information, etc). This helps your “amounts owed” appear lower and can give a stronger score!
Alternatives to Chase Credit Journey
If Chase Credit doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, have no fear, there are other choices. Below are a few of our favorites:
This is one of the leaders in free credit reports. Credit Karma offers monitoring for changes to your accounts, advice for what you can do to improve your score, and personalized recommendations for ways to use your credit more wisely. They will send you a weekly report and immediately alert you to anything that looks fishy!
Credit Sesame, like Credit Karma, offers monitoring, ways to improve your score, and better credit use recommendations. But they offer quite a bit more as well.
In addition, Sesame gives you the option to bank with them through Credit Sesame Cash. You can open a bank account with a debit card, with Sesame Cash as a way to help build credit. If you open an account with them and improve your score, you can get up to $100 as a bonus!
Credit Builder Loans
A credit builder loan differs from traditional loans (like a personal loan) in that you don’t get the loan until you’ve finished making every payment.
Sites like Self Credit Builder believe this is a win-win. It’s a win for them because they don’t lose money on the loan and a win for lenders. After all, it helps you build credit. It’s almost like a gift to yourself – a loan that you’ve funded and then get back, but only when you hit the goal!
Credit Builder Loan companies get some small fees and interest from your account, and you get to build or rebuild your credit score.
Overall, Chase Credit Journey is an excellent service. The real-time alerts are helpful, but the game-changer is the credit simulator. Take advantage of that to see how your decisions will impact your score.
If you want credit information from more than just Transunion, are looking to get your FICO score, want extra features (identity theft insurance or advanced credit monitoring), or want a paid subscription plan for robust credit management, look to one of the paid services we mentioned above.