Credit monitoring is an important part of your money management process, and there are several platforms that can help you track and improve your credit score. One service that you may consider signing up for is Chase Credit Journey. Regardless of whether you bank with Chase, you can benefit from VantageScore's 3.0 credit checks, offers and recommendations. This Chase Credit Journey review provides an overview of the platform’s features and looks at how it compares to competitors.
Table of contents
- What is Chase Credit Journey?
- How to sign up
- How it works
- How much does it cost?
- Chase Credit Journey features
- Advantages of Chase Credit Journey
- Disadvantages of Chase Credit Journey
What is Chase Credit Journey?
Chase Credit Journey is an online credit monitoring service that's free to anyone. It provides weekly score updates, tailored credit offers and educational tools to help you see how different financial decisions will impact your score. Experian provides credit scores and reports for Chase Credit Journey, which means you’ll only see its score in the Chase app. Another difference between Chase Credit Journey and other banks and credit monitoring services is that it tracks your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, which can differ from your FICO score.
VantageScore 3.0 is gaining popularity and allows individuals with limited or recovering credit histories to get loan approvals. However, most lenders still use the FICO score in their decision-making process, which can differ significantly from a score calculated using the VantageScore 3.0 scale. While Chase doesn’t provide your FICO score, it’s still a solid indicator of how healthy your credit is and how likely you are to get approval for various loans or credit cards.
How to sign up
Signing up and using the Chase app is easy. Prospects may sign up via http://chase.com/creditjourney or in the Chase Mobile App under Open Account. The simple and secure sign-up process requires you to follow a few prompts and enter basic information, including:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Contact information
Once you are verified and matched to your credit report, you will complete your enrollment by creating a log-in if you are not already a Chase customer.
How it works
After you have signed up for Credit Journey, you log into chase.com or the Chase Mobile app and then you are brought to your Accounts Overview screen where you will find a section for Credit Journey. Once you click on that you will be brought to your Credit Journey dashboard and your score will be updated weekly.
Chase will routinely check your report and VantageScore 3.0 score, which won’t impact your score in any way. Whenever you log into the app on a desktop or mobile device, it’ll direct you to your dashboard. The dashboard features your most recent score, the date of the next update and your previous scores. It also features a breakdown of the six factors that affect your credit score and how you rate in each, which can help you pinpoint ways to boost your score.
How much does it cost?
The platform offers many services, which may make you wonder if the Chase Credit Journey is free of charge. The answer is yes.
While some credit monitoring services are subscription-based and offer limited functionality in their free versions, Chase offers one comprehensive service free of charge. You don’t even need to have a Chase bank account or credit card to get it. Anyone with a free Chase Credit Journey account can access all the features mentioned below.
Chase Credit Journey features
It comes with a range of helpful features that track your credit score and help you to improve it so you can borrow money in the future.
Chase provides you with a weekly update of your Experian credit score. The Experian model uses the following six factors to calculate your score, ranging from most impactful to the least:
- Late payments: Your payment history is the biggest determining factor, and negative entries hurt your score. The number of accounts you have open can also affect this component of your score.
- Old accounts: The age of your credit is another important factor, and this model considers the age of your oldest credit card account.
- Credit use: Your credit utilization rate is simply the amount of available credit that you use monthly.
- Total balance: This is the total amount of money you owe all lenders across every account.
- Hard inquiries: Your score factors in the number of hard credit checks run on your report, which can happen when you apply for a loan, credit card, job or new apartment, for example.
- Available credit: Similar to credit utilization, available credit is the amount of credit that’s available to you that you don’t use.
You can select any of these six factors from your Chase dashboard, and you can see the impact it has, your score on that factor and an overview of your credit usage in that category. For instance, you can see the number of late payments on your report, the number of hard inquiries, the percentage of credit you’re using and the age of your oldest account.
If your credit report changes in any way, Chase Credit Journey will send you an email alert. This includes:
- Hard or soft inquiries
- New accounts
- Late payments
- Updates to your credit limit
- Significant changes to your credit utilization or balance
- Public records, such as bankruptcy or foreclosure
- Changes to your address
Chase also sends alerts for positive changes, such as reductions in your balances or improvements in your credit score. Chase automatically updates you on changes like these, but you can tweak your alert settings if you prefer Chase to send fewer updates. These real-time alerts can be a lifesaver if you’re a victim of identity theft or subject to a reporting error. The app even sends links to the appropriate places for you to file a dispute.
Chase’s score simulator is a handy tool that lets you play around with your credit usage to see how different financial choices will affect your score. For instance, you can simulate the following scenarios:
- Adding a new credit card, installment loan or mortgage
- Increasing your credit limit or utilization
- Getting a loan application rejection
- Missing a payment
- Paying off credit cards
- Transferring your balance to a new credit card
- Maxing out a card
- Declaring bankruptcy
- Making timely payments for a set number of months
While it’s not an entirely accurate indicator, and your FICO score will look different to your Vantage Score 3.0. score, the simulator can give you a general idea of how different scenarios could affect your credit.
In addition to tracking your score and keeping you in the loop, Chase gives you credit card, mortgage and loan offers. It provides your approval odds for each card according to your score and credit factors. You can choose between business and personal credit cards, and Chase will present you with a list of the best cards for you, with reviews, approval odds and links to apply for each.
The only potential drawback is that Chase only promotes its own cards. So, you won’t see any offers from competitors. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur recovering from bankruptcy or a college student with no credit history and you’re looking for a secured credit card, Chase may have an option. However, if you are in this type of situation with poor credit, you would be wise to do some research and see if other providers offer more rewarding options.
Chase has a wealth of knowledge about building and utilizing credit to meet your goals, which it shares on the Chase Credit Journey platform. Its education center has helpful resources for:
- Learning how to build your credit
- Understanding the basics of credit reporting
- Learning about credit myths
- Finding out how to calculate your score
- Understanding how credit inquiries work
- Discovering how to increase your score
Advantages of Chase Credit Journey
There’s a lot to love about Chase’s free credit monitoring platform, including the following features:
- Free service: Your credit score and all Chase’s great features are completely free, regardless of whether you bank with Chase.
- Frequent credit checks: It updates your score weekly, ensuring you stay on top of any changes that occur.
- Score simulator: The simple simulator tool allows you to change different variables to see how you can improve your score.
- User experience: Credit Journey is a breeze to use. You can navigate through the interactive content on the mobile and desktop versions easily.
Disadvantages of Chase Credit Journey
Like all services, Chase Credit Journey does come with a few drawbacks:
- VantageScore: While VantageScore 3.0 is a useful scoring model, most lenders use your FICO score.
- One score: Chase only provides you with your Experian score, so you’ll have to subscribe to another service to track your TransUnion and Equifax scores.
- Limited offers: Chase only offers you its own credit cards, while other credit monitoring services give you offers from multiple creditors.
Chase Credit Journey is a good credit monitoring service, but it’s far from your only choice. Whether you’re looking for an app that tracks your FICO score or one that gives you more expansive card offers, take a look at the top free alternatives to Chase:
- Experian: With free access to your Experian score and alerts, you may consider adding it to your toolbox. You can also upgrade to see all your scores for a low monthly fee of $24.99 a month.
- Credit Sesame: Another free service, Credit Sesame gives you your Experian score and loads of credit card offers from various lenders and creditors.
- Credit Karma: Credit Karma offers the best of both worlds, showing you your Equifax and TransUnion scores, along with alerts, card offers and tools.
Should you sign up for Chase Credit Journey?
If you’re looking for weekly monitoring of your Experian score, access to free resources to help you build your credit and a well-designed and easy-to-use app, Chase Credit Journey is a good call. It’s completely free to use and accessible to Chase customers and non-customers, so there’s no harm in signing up. For Chase bankers, the service is a no-brainer, as the bank provides it with your account, but it’s also a useful tool for everyone else.
Whether you should choose Chase, a competitor or a combination of credit monitoring services will depend on the features you’re looking for. Sign up for a free account today to see if Chase Credit Journey can help you.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Experian, not TransUnion, provides Chase’s score and credit report. The “how to sign up” and “how it works” sections have also been changed to clarify details about Credit Journey's enrollment process, dashboard and product offers.
Disclaimer: This story was originally published on November 24, 2020, on BetterCreditBlog.org. To find the most relevant information concerning Chase Credit Journey, please visit their website: https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/free-credit-score