Wondering About Your Mint Credit Score?
Understanding your credit is an essential part of your financial life, as credit can affect your ability to secure loans, rates, and terms available to you, take out lines of credit, and much more. There are several ways to keep track of your credit, including several free options. Mint from Intuit offers users a free way to monitor their credit. But what’s included in that? How often can you use Mint for free? What does Mint have to offer? We’ll explore this in more depth.
What is Mint?
Mint is a free-to-use finance tool made by Intuit–who you might also recognize as the maker of Turbotax. So, what does it do? Mint offers users several features, even at the free-to-use tier. It’s marketed as a budgeting app designed to help you create and maintain budgets, so these features make budgeting and finding out where you stand financially more accessible. These features include:
- The ability to link up all your accounts: This includes cash accounts, credit cards, investments, and bills–meaning you can easily see your current finances at a glance.
- The ability to track your cash flow: You can easily track your expense and income in one place and get a better picture of your cash flow quickly.
- Bill negotiation: Mint includes a tool to help you negotiate unexpectedly large bills.
- Free Access To Your Credit Score: Mint also allows you to monitor your credit score around the clock–and since it’s considered a “soft inquiry,” this won’t affect your credit score negatively.
How Good is Mint’s Credit Score?
You might be wondering about that credit score–which reporting agency does it come from? If you aren’t aware, your credit score is tracked by three major credit bureaus–Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Each one provides its own report, and your FICO score is made up using information from all three. Now you might be wondering, if you weren’t already–how does Mint generate credit scores? Do they use data from all three of the major credit bureaus? The short answer is no.
Where does the data come from?
Mint uses the TransUnion Vantage 3.0 credit score, so you see only a credit score based on data from one of the three major credit bureaus. Does that mean it’s worthless? Absolutely not.
How Useful is Mint’s Credit Score?
Mint’s credit score will still give you more information about your creditworthiness than you would have without looking at any credit report. Moreover, you’re allowed around-the-clock access to Mint’s credit score. Typically, you’re entitled to one free credit score from all three major credit bureaus each year. With Mint, you can access at least one credit score any time you’d like–which can be a big plus for specific users. So, while it’s never a bad idea to check your annual free credit report, if you’re a user who’s interested in finding at least some way to monitor your credit all year round without spending any money or affecting your credit score–Mint might be excellent for you!
Who Might Use Mint?
Since Mint offers a lot of free tools to anyone who signs up and downloads the app, there are a lot of people who might use Mint. The app offers free-to-use budgeting tools, including a credit score you can access at any time, the ability to link up all your accounts and see them in one place, create budgets, and other financial tools to help you budget. Mint might be particularly interesting to those who are new to budgeting.
Beginners at budgeting
If you’ve been budgeting for years and have a robust system that works well for you, you might have little need for a tool like Mint. Still, if you’re beginning to learn about finances, starting a new leaf and want to improve your budgeting skills, and you’re a beginner budgeter, Mint might be a great fit. Since it doesn’t cost anything to sign up, you don’t stand to lose anything if you don’t like using it.
People working on their credit
If you have poor credit and are making lifestyle changes and financial changes to address your credit, you also might be particularly interested in Mint. With free budgeting tools, you might be able to use Mint to help adhere to a debt repayment plan, and with around-the-clock access to your credit score, you might see changes in your credit score over time for free. You’ll also be able to link up all your credit accounts, so if you’re trying to work off credit card debt, you can track your progress easily.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Mint isn’t for everyone. Many people might already have a budgeting tool in place that they prefer or a planned budget that they have no problem remembering and adhering to, it can be pretty helpful for those who are new to budgeting or looking for a novel way to organize their budget easier and see updates over time.
What About The Credit Score?
While Mint’s credit score isn’t as robust as something like your FICO score might be, it will still serve as an asset to those who want a free and easy way to monitor their credit regularly. Even if Mint’s credit score doesn’t include data from all three major credit bureaus, you’ll likely be able to get a clearer picture of your creditworthiness from Mint’s credit score than from no credit score. As an added bonus, you can check it all the time, and it automatically updates weekly, so if you’re looking for short-term trends in your credit, it can be pretty helpful. The truth is, Mint might be an excellent tool for some people and less useful for others. But, if you’re working on your debt, new to budgeting, or want to take advantage of free budgeting tools, Mint might be a great fit.