Then, take a look at your own score and get some personalized recommendations from Credit Sesame. It takes less than two minutes to sign up, and who knows? Your story just might end up in this article six months from now.

He had $9,000 in unpaid bills — then raised his score 437 points

Guy crouching

Before he found Credit Sesame, 34-year-old Ohio resident Brian McMartin had $9,000 in bills piling up. He was afraid he’d be turned down for a credit card because his credit score was 286.

He tried hiring a credit repair service to improve his score, but it didn’t make a difference – and they charged him a hefty fee for his trouble.

Since Credit Sesame is a free service, he decided to give it a shot. In just minutes, Brian was able to access his credit score, the amount of debt he owed, and personalized advice on how to improve his score.

“Credit Sesame [sent] me emails to let me know what [was] happening with my credit score, usage and debt,” says Brian.

Within 30 days he was approved for a credit card, which boosted his score. He continued to follow Credit Sesame’s advice, and his score just kept rising.

In only nine months, Brian saw his score shoot up by 437 points. Now, thanks to Credit Sesame, Brian has multiple credit cards, and he hasn’t missed a single payment since signing up.

This mom of 9 didn’t know she had an error on her credit report

Mom and kid hugging.

After Salome Buitureria got laid off, she struggled to find work and was forced to use credit cards. The bills stacked up, and her credit score dropped — to 524, which is considered “very poor.”

Once she got back on stable ground, she started focusing on improving her credit. Her dream has always been to buy a home, and she knew the important role her credit score would play.

She got on Credit Sesame and assessed her debt, and that’s when she found a major error — a supposed unpaid medical bill from when her daughter had been sick that’s definitely been covered by Medicaid.

But here’s an unfortunate fact: One in five credit reports have errors, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Yup — you can do everything right, but an error could be holding you back.

Credit Sesame showed Buitureria how to fix the mistake, then she took additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.

Now? She’s focused on buying a home. “We want a place where the kids can come home,” she says, “where they don’t have to worry, a year or two down the road, ‘Oh, Mom’s got a new house.’”

This guy fell on hard times and couldn’t stomach checking his score

Man and wife smiling at each other

When the housing market crashed in 2008, Leo’s home went into foreclosure. Then just a few months later, he lost his job.

“I had no credit card [and] was poor,” Leo says. “My credit history was never something I thought could be helped.”

He spent more than a decade bouncing around between part-time gigs and struggling to make ends meet. Then in 2019 Leo managed landed his dream job, and he decided it was finally time to check out his credit score... It wasn’t good.

He heard about Credit Sesame from a friend and figured he’d give it a shot. He was grateful that the site gave him tips on how to improve his credit score, and showed him which credit cards to apply for.

He found a card that he qualified for and got approved, which came as a shock. Slowly he applied for more credit cards that Credit Sesame recommended, and he was approved for all of them.

In just seven months, Leo’s score went up by 100 points. He learned how to manage his cards and increase his score — and for the first time in years, he feels financially stable.

Her divorce left her credit score in shambles

Divorced woman smiling

In 2017 Andrea and her husband split up, and it left her feeling drained – both emotionally and financially. She racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees, and soon her credit cards were all maxed out.

“My credit took a nosedive due to my divorce,” she says. “I needed some way to work on [it] and be able to see exactly what was going on.”

Then she discovered Credit Sesame . It helped make her grim situation a lot more manageable.

“Credit Sesame allowed me to get organized,” she says. “I reviewed ALL of my financial information so I could gain an understanding of how I got to where I was, then I made changes to my behaviors, credit card choices, and payments.”

Andrea gave her credit score the TLC it needed, and slowly but surely she started to see results. In a little over a year, her score improved by almost 200 points. Now she’s got a fresh start – and a credit score that won’t hold her back.

Inspired? If you want to see how you can improve your credit score, signing up for Credit Sesame is totally free — and it only takes about 90 seconds to get started.

60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.

Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.

About the Author

Shane Murphy

Shane Murphy


Shane is a reporter for MoneyWise. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from Western University and is a graduate of the Algonquin College Scriptwriting program.