WalletHub reviews are mostly positive, but let’s take a deeper look into exactly who WalletHub is, and what they do.
WalletHub is an online financial service that offers personal finance tools for users. The main offering is a daily free credit score, and the related free credit report. After taking a close look, here is my WalletHub review.
Is WalletHub Legit, or is WalletHub a scam?
In order for a company to pull and use your credit report, and then calculate a credit score, it will need to collect personal identifying information. This is exactly the kind of information you don’t want to be handing off to a scammer, so the first item of business with a company like this is determining if Wallet Hub is legitimate or not. So, the first step of any WalletHub review needs to be finding out who they are.
WalletHub is an offering by a company called Evolution Finance. The company was founded in 2008, according to Bloomberg, and has been mentioned numerous times in the media. The original product was a credit card comparison website called CardHub. You can still get there if you try, but most clicks on CardHub.com will end up redirecting you to WalletHub, suggesting that WalletHub is the company’s main product going forward.
In other words, if WalletHub is a scam, it’s a very long con, across two websites. In this case, we can probably proceed under the assumption that WalletHub is legit as a company.
Just because it is a real company, however, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a scam. There are plenty of companies out there whose entire business model relies on playing just inside the legal boundaries. The most common free credit score scam, or free credit report scam, is the subscription to something in order to get the “free” stuff. For example, this Credit Check Total review shows how they offer three credit reports and credit scores for just $1, but in the fine print, you are actually enrolling in a 7-day trial that automatically becomes a recurring $29.95 per month subscription.
The good news is that WalletHub does not ask for a credit card. There is no subscription, and no ongoing fee. The service really is free to you. So far, this WalletHub review is going pretty well.
How Does WalletHub Really Work?
Now that we know WalletHub isn’t just an elaborate ruse to steal our Social Security number, it’s time to find out what is really going on.
The big splashy graphics say that you get a credit report daily, along with 24/7 credit monitoring, and, of course, a free credit score. So, how does Wallet Hub really work?
Sign up requires your first and last name, as well as an email address. At the email address stage, clicking “Continue” also agrees you to the terms and conditions for the site. (We’ll get to that in a minute.) Next you setup a password, and then it asks for your address. I hate giving out my address, but they may need it to verify your identity for a credit report.
Next up, is a potential deal-breaker for some. It wants you cell phone number in order to “send important credit alerts and improve account security.” I don’t like the sound of this, but that is up to you. Other free credit score services like Credit Karma don’t require a cell phone number.
Once you are signed up, you do get a free credit report. The credit report itself comes from TransUnion. As you may know, there are three major credit reporting bureaus, and TransUnion is one of the, so the credit report is real enough.
Check out my Acorns review here.
Of course, WalletHub has to make money somehow, and that somehow, is that they sell your information to lenders, as well as advertises offers to you that they would get some sort of kickback or commission on if you signed up. This is the relevant part of the Terms and Conditions.
4.5.1. I understand that I am providing written instructions in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other applicable law for Evolution Finance to obtain and exchange information about me with third parties at any time for so long as I have an active WalletHub account. This includes but is not limited to a copy of my consumer credit report and score from consumer reporting agencies as well as exchanging credit data with lenders to identify offers that you may be prequalified for. You also agree that Evolution Finance may use and analyze your information, including but not limited to: (a) providing you a better experience; (b) providing you with customized recommendations and general information about you; (c) serving you targeted offers and other communication based on your information; (d) running statistical analysis; and (e) aggregating your data with other users data and publishing the results in a way that cannot be linked back to you.
So, basically, they can (and will) tell credit card companies, or other lenders about you and your creditworthiness. Those lenders may then send you mail, email, or maybe even call you, with offers for loans or credit cards.
Is WalletHub Credit Score Real?
The main credit score used by virtually all lenders is a FICO credit score calculated by a company called Fair Issacs. For most people, a FICO is what they mean when they are talking about a real credit score. However, there are others. They are just less commonly used by lenders.
One of the “other credit scores” is called a VantageScore, which is a credit score product jointly created by the three credit bureaus. These scores are often derisively referred to as FAKO scores in the personal finance community because they aren’t used often by lenders. In other words, the credit score you get from WalletHub is unlikely to exactly match the score your lender would pull when deciding whether or not to give you a loan. (See here for more information on credit score differences.)
Here is my recent Digits review.
This does not make WalletHub a scam. In fact, these VantageScores are now offered by numerous financial institutions, as well as online personal finance offerings. For example, Capital One rewards cards offer a credit score screen that shows a VantageScore 3.0.
The important thing to understand is that these credit scores are great for monitoring changes in your score, even if they aren’t necessarily a good way to see what your actual score is. If you sign up for WalletHub, remember that if your score goes up or down, that is likely very real, and will happen on your FICO score as well. However, if you are banking on a 720 score to get a certain loan or rate, showing a 720 at WalletHub may, or may not, correlate with a 720 when your lender pulls a specific FICO score.
If this is the first time you’ve heard of an online company offering free credit scores, this may all be new to you. Otherwise, this WalletHub review probably sounds pretty familiar. There are several companies that use this, free credit report, free VantageScore credit score, offer in exchange for getting commissions or selling mailing lists to lenders.
Most of these services offer the same things like credit monitoring (you’ll get an email if the computer notices a change to your credit report), which is very useful.
WalletHub says it offers “daily” updates, whereas other services offer weekly, or monthly updates. However, creditors don’t update daily, so I’m not completely sure how much of an advantage that is over time. I suppose if you are making a change, and want to see the effect as soon as possible, it may be useful. There are also some useful financial tools and a user community.
In the end, my recommendation is that you find one of these free credit report, free credit monitoring sites, that you like and sign up. That way, you get a way to occasionally look at your credit report beyond the one free credit report per year thing, and you get an email if someone starts opening credit cards in your name. However, I wouldn’t bother signing up for more than one service. They tend to all offer essentially the same services, and signing up for multiple sites just puts your financial information in more places to be hacked, lost, or stolen.
Whether you choose WalletHub, or another service, is mostly a matter of personal preference.
WalletHub Reviews Disclosure
While I’m ready and willing to sell out at anytime for a trip to Vegas or some cool electronic gadgets, I did not receive any compensation, nor any offers of compensation, in exchange for this review. None of the links are affiliate links, and I have no financial or other relationship of any kind with WalletHub. I do not get paid in any way if you sign up for WalletHub. Any ads displayed on this article, or anywhere else on this website were generated automatically by Google’s AdSense program, and are not endorsed or chosen by the author. All information was gathered from publicly available sources.