How Do Free Credit Monitoring Sites React to New Credit Inquiries?

Over on Dyer News, I end up doing a lot of personal finance app reviews. This includes a variety of free credit monitoring services that allow you to view your educational credit scores and give you tips for improving them. The thing is that, while I explore each of these services in-depth to review them, it’s always interesting when I learn more through everyday happenstance. Sure enough, this week include one such incident.

Earlier this week, at long last, I received my invitation to sign-up for Apple Card. After much consternation about whether or not I really needed another credit card, I ended up applying — mostly just so I could review (because no one else is doing that, right?). Of course, applying not only necessitated unfreezing my credit report but also meant adding a new inquiry to said report.

The good news is that I had four services alert me to the hard pull: Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, WalletHub, and Mint. Funny enough, each of these alerts arrived within a few minutes of each other. Also encouraging is that it was only an hour or two after my application was submitted that the notifications rolled in.

At the same time, despite these alerts making their way to me so rapidly, the damage would have already been done had the one applying been anyone other than me. That’s why I’d recommend freezing your credit reports with all three bureaus — especially now that it’s free to do so. Speaking of freezes, I should note that WalletHub was the only one of the sites that also sent me notifications when my freeze was lifted and when it was reinstated, so bonus points for them.

As helpful as free credit monitoring sites are for learning about your credit and how to improve it, it’s nice to know that these services work as advertised and notify you of changes as well. When these developments are legitimate, such alerts are a relief. Unfortunately, they still may arrive too late if trouble is afoot. P.S. — watch for my Apple Card review over on Dyer News. 😉


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site and the founder of

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