I’ve gotten several request lately to review Quizzle. Quizzle is an online financial service that offers, according to the bold face type, a free credit report, free credit score and various financial tools.
Whenever someone points me in the direction of a personal finance company like this the first thing I check is if I can sniff out a scam. Often, you can spot the scam coming before you even see the fine print. Obviously, if something isn’t on the up and up, then there is no reason to waste any time on a review.
So, is Quizzle legitimate, or is this all a big con job?
Quick Quizzle Review
The biggest red flag for the various free credit score or free credit report offers floating around out there is to look for the words “free trial.” Typically, the way the free credit score scam works is that a financial company (including all three major credit bureaus) offer you a free report in big, bold type and in smaller type, lower down on the page, inform you that it isn’t actually free at all. Instead, you are being offered an automatically renewing trial membership in a credit monitoring program that costs $20, $30, or even $50 per month.
This kind of offering is all too common. There are some services that do follow through on the free offer. For example, I checked into whether Credit Karma was a scam and determined it wasn’t. My full Credit Karma review determined that the site offers a non-FICO score, but it is really free.
The way to see the trial offer trap coming, if you don’t see it before, is to watch out for the website to ask for your credit card information. There is no reason for a legitimate free credit offering to require your credit card information. Indeed, the reason you have to enter that information is so that they can automatically charge you the full monthly or annual fee for that trial service without asking when your free period runs up.
For example, Credit Check Total asks for your credit card number. To avoid suspicion, they actually offer free credit reports and scores for $1, so that’s why they need the number. Buried in the fine print, of course, is the information that they’ll use that same number to pay for your monthly subscription once your 7-day trial period is over.
Quizzle does not ask for a credit card number. So far, so good in this review of Quizzle.
Who Owns Quizzle?
While the ownership of a company is never a precise indicator of a scam, there is some comfort in knowing who you are doing business with. In this case, it turns out that Quizzle is owned by Quicken, or more precisely is, “part of the Quicken Loans family of companies.”
That doesn’t mean Quizzle is legit, but it does mean that this isn’t two teenagers sitting in their bedroom concocting an online identity theft scheme.
How Quizzle Makes Money
Finally, in order for something to not be a scam, there has to be a legitimate business strategy for it to exist. In Credit Karma’s case, for example, the company relies on advertising and referral commissions to earn its keep.
Quizzle’s money making strategy appears two-fold. First, the company is a Quicken Loans company. That means it doesn’t necessarily have to make money on its own. It does act as a feeder for business to Quicken Loans. In fact, on the first sign up screen, there is just one question that isn’t just name, address, phone number type stuff, and it’s about whether you plan to buy a house. Guess what sister company is very interested when the answer to that question is yes?
Second, Quizzle offers several additional services that it does charge a fee for. These charges are never automatic and are all advertised clearly as being something you pay for. You can determine whether these Quizzle offerings are worth it or not for you.
I looks like a full Quizzle review is in order. I’ll start looking into that.