TL;DR: Chase Credit Journey is an effective free tool for tracking your credit score. However, it is not as comprehensive as it could be as you only get reports from one agency.
Credit Scores. Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, your credit score is an extremely important part of navigating today’s financial world. Your credit score determines a lot of financial opportunities such as your eligibility for loans or credit cards, so it’s in your best interest to stay on top of it.
Chase Credit Journey is Chase Bank’s free credit monitoring service. Credit Journey will help keep track of your credit score and give you tips on how to build your score and avoid unnecessary losses.
There are a lot of free credit report tools out there but not all of them are all they’re cracked up to be. So today, we are going to take a look at Chase Credit Journey and offer a full accounting. We will cover its features, pros, cons, and any other relevant information. Then we will give our verdict on whether Chase Credit Journey is worth using. This is our Chase Credit Journey Review.
IS IT FREE?
Chase Credit Score does not cost a single cent to use. You don’t have to put in any card info, or even be a Chase bank customer to sign up for the service.
Credit simulator and a resource library.
In addition to your credit score reports, Credit Journey will generate some recommended financial products that mesh well with your current score.
Chase Credit Journey: Overview
Chase Credit Journey is a free credit checking and credit reporting tool. Credit Journey is headed up by Chase Bank, one of the largest banking organizations in the world. Using Credit Journey, you can keep track of your current credit score, monitor your account for changes to your score, and learn more about opportunities and products that will help build credit.
Credit Journey is a credit checking tool in the vein of services like CreditKarma or Equifax. First launched in 2017, the service collects all of your financial data from several credit reporting agencies and puts them into a single comprehensive report with details on each metric.
If you have poor credit and need to start monitoring your financial behavior, the Credit Journey gives you a free and efficient way to check your scores. As is the case with most credit score trackers, checking your score will not impact your credit.
And here is the best part: Credit Journey is 100% free to use and you don’t have to have a Chase bank account to use it. That’s right, even if you are not a Chase Bank customer, you can still use their efficient credit monitoring software for absolutely free. You don’t have to sign up or provide a card, or any nonsense like that.
How Does Chase Credit Journey Work?
Like most credit checking tools, you first need to create an account. Once you create an account, Credit Journey will ask for some identifying information such as your social security number.
Once you provide it, the app will search for all relevant credit reporting data and calculate your score. Chase’s credit calculating tool is extremely quick and efficient. It never took us more than ~30 seconds to pull our credit info.
Once the app has your credit scores, all the info will be displayed on the main dashboard. From here, you can see your score summary and several other data points, such as:
- New credit inquiries
- Currently available credit lines
- Address changes
- Fraud alerts
- Score updates
- Missed payment alerts
- New public records on your credit report
- Recommended programs, loans, and cards to apply for
- And more
In other words, Chase Credit Journey essentially provides a central hub where you can manage and monitor all information related to your finances and credit. Like we said earlier, the service is completely free to use and you do not have to be a Chase Bank customer to use it.
Here is a quick rundown of what criteria Chase Credit Journey uses to calculate your credit score.
- Payment history – Payment history is arguably the most important factor that determines your credit score. The more payments you make on time, the better your score will be.
- Credit history – Credit Journey also takes into account your different credit accounts and how long they have been opened. Having multiple accounts open itself will not hurt your score, as long as those accounts are properly managed.
- Credit usage – Credit usage is probably the second most important factor that goes into calculating your score. Ideally, you want to try to minimize the total percentage usage of your cards that you are using.
- Total balance – Total balance refers to how much money you currently have on your cards. Even if your balance is high, if it is a small portion of your total available credit, then it will not hurt your score too much.
- Available credit – This factor takes into account how much credit you currently have available.
From the main dashboard page, you can navigate to tabs on the left side that let you look at each of these criteria in more detail.
What Kind of Credit Score Do You Get?
Chase Credit Journey uses your VantageScore 3.0 as reported by TransUnion. Your VantageScore is primarily for educational purposes and was designed specifically to help consumers monitor their credit.
Now, Credit Journey does not report your Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) score, which is the score most financial institutions rely on to determine your eligibility for financial products. That means that your Credit Journey score might differ slightly from another reporting agency such as Equifax or Experian.
(Quick note: Chase itself does not accept TransUnion scores for lending, so if you have a Chase account with credit monitoring then you may see a different score than when using Credit Journey.)
Both VantageScore and FICO base their calculations off of the same criteria, but things are weighted slightly differently. For example, FICO scores only track accounts that have been open for at least 6 months and an account that has reported info within the past 6 months. VantageScore will factor in accounts for younger than 6 months.
Additionally, FICO scores count multiple credit applications of the same kind within a 45-day period as a single inquiry. This feature prevents your score from taking unnecessary hits when you are shopping around for credit cards. VantageScore will count multiple inquiries of the same type within 15 days as a single inquiry.
FICO scores take into account actual data that has been reported to credit agencies on the day that the score is generated. VantageScore 3.0, on the other hand, will incorporate past data to analyze financial behavior over time. VantageScores take into account up to two years of your sending and credit information.
One last major difference between the two is scoring: Credit Journey’s VantageScores rate you on a 300-850 credit reporting score while FICO scores range from 250-900. VantageScore has recently updated some of its scoring metrics to make it easier to compare FICO and VantageScore reports.
Chase Credit Journey Features
Let’s take a look at some of the features that customers get when they sign up for Chase Credit Journey.
First off, Credit Journey features real-time updates and alerts to your account. Credit Journey will keep you up to date on any new accounts you open and any hard inquiries. From the same section, you can go to the dispute pages if you think a charge or inquiry was made in error. This page has the phone number and email of the credit reporting agency.
If any of your report data changes, then you will get an automatic update. For example, if you open a new line of credit, an alert will pop up with a new credit line.
As is the case with most credit reporting services like CreditKarma, Chase Credit Journeys will offer you financial products that the algorithm determines that would be best for you. Chase’s algorithm takes into account your current credit score and past financial behavior to generate recommended credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, and more. They also offer a neat card finder tool that lets you compare different cards and offers.
Part of the package is Chase’s large library of educational articles that cover pretty much any topic related to credit scores such as how scores are calculated, common myths about credit, and articles on how to build and manage poor credit. Chase’s library of resources is one of the best we have seen and is written in a way that even someone who has no idea about credit can understand.
The credit score simulation tool is probably the most unique and the most useful feature of Chase Credit Journey. The simulation tool is exactly what it sounds like—it lets you simulate how changes would affect your credit score.
Using the toolset, you can adjust the major reporting metrics to see how the changes would affect your current score. For example, say you wanted to figure out how your score would change if you were using less of your credit balance. Simply adjust the “Credit Usage” metric and your scores will update with the projected new score.
You can tweak any of the reporting criteria to see what strategies can help you get the score you want.
A quick disclaimer on the simulation tool. It is not perfect and you shouldn’t take its word as gospel. Chase is fairly clear that the simulation tool is just an estimation and should not be relied on as official data. However, it is still an incredibly interesting tool to have, even if it is not perfect.
How Do I Sign Up for Chase Credit Journeys?
If you already have a Chase Bank account then starting with Chase Credit Journeys is simple. Go to your bank account dashboard and click on “Open Credit Journey” in the Credit score tab of your account. This method works if you have either a Chase personal or business account.
If you don’t have a Chase account you can still sign up easily. Just head to the Credit Journey main page and hit the Sign-Up button.
Once you do, you will first have to complete an identity verification process for TransUnion. You can verify this information through a special one-time PIN code or through a series of questions. Either way, it takes just a few minutes to sign up and start viewing your credit scores.
Again, Chase Credit Journey is completed free to use. You will not have to enter a card on file and there is no trial period that will run out and auto charge you. 100% free, no strings attached.
How Does Chase Credit Journey Compare to other Credit Reporting Services?
Let’s take a look at some other popular credit reporting services and see how Chase Journey compares. The two most popular competitor services to Credit Journey are CreditKarma and Experian.
Like Chase Journey, CreditKarma has a main dashboard that shows all your info which you can further peruse by clicking on the links. Like Chase Journey, CreditKarma also uses VantageScore reporting instead of FICO and it also has a list of recommended financial products based on your scores.
CreditKarma also has a credit score simulator, but we found the tools to be less comprehensive than the Credit Journey tool. This is because the Credit Journey tool has more parameters that you can tweak. That being said, CreditKarma’s simulation tool does a better job of updating and giving consistent results. Comparatively, we found that Credit Journey’s simulation tool would sometimes not update its scores when you change the parameters.
Experian is another credit reporting service. Unlike most other services, Experian actually measures and reports your FICO score instead of your VantageScore report. Experian, along with Equifax and TransUnion are the “big three” credit reporting bureaus and probably has the most in-depth credit services of any reporting agency out there. Like Credit Journey, Experian updates your scores and has a huge library of articles with topics related to credit scores.
Experian also has a very powerful credit simulation checker. The main downside is that you have to pay for access to your credit reports and simulator. Experian costs $14.95 to use. You can also create an Experian account with a $24.99/mo plan. So, while Experian has some powerful tools and actually reports your FICO score, Credit Journey is completely free to use and has most of the same features.
Who Is Chase Credit Journey Right For?
To be completely honest, Chase Credit Journey will be right for most people that want to keep track of their credit score and credit history. However, the tool does seem to be tailored to those who may not know much about finances. Explanation and figures on the service are explained in layman’s terms so you don’t have to already know the terminology.
More specifically, Chase Credit Journey seems to be an excellent tool for those who want to improve their credit score. The monitoring, alerts, recommended products, and educational library all seem to be geared towards improving your credit score.
Chase Credit Journey Pros & Cons
- It’s completely free to use. Chase Credit Score does not cost a single cent to use. You don’t have to put in any card info, and you don’t even have to be a Chase bank customer to sign up for the service.
- Credit simulator tool. The simulation tool is one of the best features of the service and can help you figure out what changes can maximize your score. You can change different parameters to see what effects they have on your score.
- Resource library. Chase credit Journey also features a large, comprehensive library of useful educational resources. They have articles on pretty much every aspect of credit, including tips to increase your score, common credit myths, and in-depth explanations of how, exactly, credit reporting works.
- Recommended offers. In addition to your credit score reports, Credit Journey will generate some recommended financial products that mesh well with your current score. To be completely honest, most people who use the service probably won’t even actually apply for these offers, but they are still nice to have nonetheless.
- Does not report FICO scores. This point is not that much of a con, but it is still something you should be aware of. Credit Journey reports your VantageScore rating. Most lending institutions use FICO scores for approving customers. As such, your credit score on Credit Journey and another service might differ.
- Simulation tool is somewhat choppy. While it generally works fairly well, we noticed that the simulation tool seems to have some bugs. Specifically, it seems to have trouble updating your projected score when you change around the parameters. Most times, if you log out then log back in it should fix the issue.
- Interface could be smoother. Again, this is not a huge issue but the interface on Credit Journey is not as smooth or fluid as other services. Specifically, CreditKarma beats out Credit Journey for having a more intuitive and user-friendly interface.
Conclusions: Is Chase Credit Journey Worth It?
So is Chase Credit Journey worth using? We say yes. Aside from the fact that it is completely free to use, Chase Credit Journey has a lot of useful information for people who want to track and improve their credit score. It will keep track of your scores, notify you when there are changes, and provide you with recommended services to help boost your rating. The included simulation tools are a very nice touch and would be useful for most people. The main criticism we have is the slightly rough interface and some bugs with the simulation tool. But again, considering you get access to everything for free, a few bugs in the service is not a huge pill to swallow.