One of the best thing about the current trend on the web is the increasing abundance of free financial web services.  You’ll find one such service provided by Quicken Loans at Quizzle.com. This is a review of Quizzle.com, where you can get free credit score, report, and home value. Super sweet!

Like many new “Web 2.0 ish” websites, Quizzle has a clear emphasis on simplicity and ease of use. Slap in your zip code, fill out the personal information, answer a few credit-related questions to verify your identity (soft credit inquiry) — and within minutes you’ll have access to the free credit score, report, and home value (or if you rent, value of home you can afford). No need to fork over any credit card, the service as promised, is free.

Upon initial login, you’ll be greeted with a Quizzle score, which is formulated base on your overall home and money performances: credit, rainy day fund, budget, mortgage, and home affordability.  If you rent like me, you may not have a mortgage factored into your Quizzle score. [Click image above for larger screenshot]

Free Credit Report and Credit Score

Quizzle’s free credit report and score offering is actually pretty decent.  The credit report, although not as in-depth as a specific report from Experian, has all the necessary information you need to have a proper understanding of your credit history.  At the summary tab, you’ll find details of your personal information along with a list of financial accounts on your credit report.

Navigating through each tab in the Credit page will reveal a list of open accounts, closed accounts, negative accounts, and whatever public records that may or may not be on your credit report.  You’ll also be able to see the recent hard inquiries on your Experian credit report (soft inquiries were not listed).

The free credit score is straightforward: Quizzle provides you with a score from the ranges of 360 to 840 while giving you a grade rating from A to F (just like back in school, yay!).  The score isn’t a FICO score, but its free and gives you a general guideline of where your creditworthiness may stand.

Estimated Home Value and Home Affordability Value

If you own a home, Quizzle will provide you with an estimated home value and an appreciation grade using the automated valuation model.  Like Zillow.com, Quizzle will provide you with data about your home, giving some brief info on living area in sq ft., bedrooms, lot area in sq ft., and the year the house was built.  You’ll also see the home purchase history, estimated available home equity, and comparable home sales in the area. Although I don’t have a screenshot of this function, you can visit Quizzle’s tour page and click on “more info about your home” to see an example.

If you don’t own a home and you rent, Quizzle will spit out a simple affordable home caulation, based on your household gross, debt, and estimated down payment.  Thanks to Quizzle, I now know home ownership in my area is never within reach! Yay. (Slightly kidding, as Quizzle didn’t factor in assets that aren’t being calculated).

Budget Calculators

The budget section at Quizzle is fairly simplistic (in a good way). Quizzle will give you a brief look at your available cash by subtracting your living expenses and debt from your household income.  This is based on your initial input, but you can further refine the income, living expenses, and debt section by heading into each of the tabs — add, edit, and remove necessary information.

For example, in the debt section, Quizzle will automatically input all the balances from your credit card accounts based on your credit report — but since the credit report may be outdated or inaccurate, you can adjust and fine tune the amounts to your actual debt responsibilities.

Mortgage, Refinance, and Home Equity Loans

The mortgage section of the site will depend again on if you already have a mortgage or you’re looking for one.  If you’re looking for a mortgage, Quizzle will calculate a few different mortgage recommendations based on numbers you input.  Utilizing offers they have from the Quicken Loan program, Quizzle will provide the usual recommendations of fixed loan, ARM, and variance of interest-only loans.

If you already have a mortgage, Quizzle will provide you with some recommendations on refinance loans and home equity loans.  They give you a general guideline if you need to take out a home equity loan to pay off other higher interest debt, but you definitely shouldn’t rely solely on Quizzle’s recommendations to acquire a mortgage, refinance, or apply for a home equity loan.

You should be aware that the mortgage section of Quizzle is where the site generates potential revenue in return for providing the free service.  Just something to be aware of if you choose to use the “contact an expert” option when you check out the mortgage recommendations. Even with refined and accurate recommendations from Quizzle, you’ll be well served if you do additional research by trying other comparison services.

Rainy Day Fund

The last section of Quizzle is the Rainy Day Fund (emergency fund).  It is calculated based on 4 months net income and Quizzle will either give you a pat on the back for already hitting the 4 months net income goal for the rainy day fund, or give you other recommendations on what you need to do to build the emergency fund.  Not a mind-blowing feature, but a nice touch and good reminder on the importance of a well funded emergency fund.

Overall Quizzle.com Impression

Try as you might, you’ll find little to complain about at Quizzle.com.  They offer exactly what they say they will: a free credit report and score, along with free estimation of your home value, and a free budget tool.  The site is easy to use and navigate, and has enough information for you to dissect your current financial situation, especially if you carefully edit and input all your financial information.

Quizzle’s free report and score can be a nice supplement to the three free annual credit report you’re already entitled to from the credit reporting bureaus. Of course, if you’re not comfortable with giving out your personal information to a third party site, you won’t be using Quizzle.com to get the free credit report and score; never mind their mortgage recommendation services.

Quizzle’s overall revenue model appears to be referring potential customer to their Quicken Loan offerings in mortgages, refinance, and home equity loans — which makes perfect sense as Quizzle should be able to acquire more targeted customers that converts better. In short, if Quizzle continues to provide valuable free analytic, tools, and estimation along with refining their loan recommendations, this should be a clear win-win situation for both the mortgage-related consumers and Quizzle.

Pros:

  • Free credit report and score. No strings attached.
  • Free estimated home value via AVM method.
  • Decent and free budget calculators.

Cons:

  • Mortgage, refinance, and home equity recommendations can be more refined.