myFICO Review in a NutshellmyFICO is one of the only companies in this space that provides users with comprehensive three-bureau credit monitoring, regular access to all three of their credit reports and the same industry-standard FICO credit scores that lenders actually use, in addition to top-tier educational materials and tools.
Although at $29.95 per month, it is slightly more expensive than some competitors, their service has had few, if any, major complaints or scandals over the years and their reputation is quite strong. Our review team feels comfortable recommending them for most users, especially those who are new to credit monitoring or are preparing to make a big purchase in the near future.
Clean Reputation as a Legitimate Company
Before we go any further, let’s talk about trust. The credit monitoring industry has a reputation for being full of shady fly-by-night operations and scams. myFICO is about as far from shady as you can get. It has far fewer complaints than any other company we’ve reviewed, has been around a while, and is completely transparent in how they operate.
Although myFICO itself has been operating since 2001, it’s important (if not unsurprising) to note that it’s currently owned by FICO (formerly known as Fair Isaac Corporation), which is a publicly-traded company that’s been in business since 1956 and introduced the original FICO score back in 1989.
They have a long, consistent track record that is clean of any major scandals or privacy breaches.
Access to True FICO Credit Scores
MyFICO, unsurprisingly, gives customers access to their FICO scores. This is a critical distinction, as FICO is THE industry standard credit score, used by the overwhelming majority of lenders in their consumer credit decisions.
The particular scores provided by myFICO include FICO 8 as well as other versions of the FICO score which are still commonly used by lenders to determine creditworthiness in specific industries, like mortgage lending, credit card approvals, and auto loans. At the time of writing, a standard 3B report from myFICO includes 19 different FICO scores; along with an explanation of who uses which score and what you can do to increase it.
No other company offers such a comprehensive look at so many credit scores used in so many different industries.
Daily Updates to FICO Scores
What’s more, on the 3B Ultimate monitoring subscription, myFICO will provide updates to all of these FICO scores any time a change is detected to a monitored credit report – in other words, while subscribed to their monitoring service, you will know your true FICO scores at any given moment for all three credit bureaus.
Once again, no other company we’ve reviewed so far is able to provide daily FICO scores for all three credit bureaus. Some (like Experian) are able to provide a daily update to one report, but not the other two. Others, like Credit Karma, are able to provide a daily update to two scores, but these aren’t FICO scores, they’re the much less accurate VantageScores.
This is a major point in favor of myFICO.
Comprehensive 3-Bureau Credit Report Access
myFICO offers access to credit reports from all three credit bureaus and provides standard credit monitoring on each of those reports with their Ultimate 3B subscription service. In addition to the reports, they provide specific feedback and advice on how to increase your score based on where you’re currently at, including access to a credit score simulator to help you determine your next move (more on that in a moment).
Daily 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
In addition to providing ongoing access to one’s credit reports, myFICO also provides daily credit monitoring across all three credit bureaus. Basically, each day, myFICO will alert users of any major changes to their credit reports, these alerts arrive by text, email, or through their mobile app (if it’s installed on the client’s phone).
In Depth: myFICO Credit Monitoring
myFICO will alert users if any of the following critical changes occur on any of their reports:
- Newly opened credit account
- New inquiries
- Change in public records or address
- New addresses
- Newly listed collections accounts
- Balance changes
They also provide additional alerts on other activities, depending on the bureau. These alerts are fully configurable in a convenient, easy-to-use dashboard.
As mentioned earlier, these alerts will also reflect in a user’s FICO score. In other words, customers will find all 19 of their FICO scores updated on a daily basis.
Top-Tier Educational Content
As the inventors of the modern-day credit scoring formula that lenders actually use, no other company in the industry can currently speak with as much authority as myFICO on how credit scoring actually works. They provide a comprehensive library of specific, well-written, and most importantly, up-to-date educational articles and content tailored to newcomers and experienced credit aficionados alike.
Excellent Mobile App
myFICO offers a well-designed mobile app for both Apple and Android devices. It’s a bit more robust than some of the apps we’ve seen in that it provides full access to the entire credit report, credit score history, credit score simulator and, as far as we can tell, all of the same functionality as the website. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and provides an effective way to get mobile alerts if you prefer to limit the number of texts or emails you receive.
Identity Theft Monitoring & Restoration
As part of their Ultimate 3B subscription, in addition to monitoring a user’s credit myFICO regularly scans the internet, black market sites, and other databases for illicit use of a customer’s personal information that might not be included on a credit report, including email addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, up to 10 credit card numbers, up to five bank accounts, medical ID numbers, and so forth.
Whenever personal information is discovered, an alert is sent immediately via email, SMS, or through the app (if installed).
Additionally, myFICO provides identity restoration services, $1 million in identity theft insurance and lost wallet protection. Although our review team doesn’t necessarily find that identity monitoring is a critical part of credit report monitoring, it is still a useful feature that some customers will find appealing.
Credit Score Simulator
myFICO provides the most accurate score simulator in the industry, allowing users to experiment and see the potential credit impact of different hypothetical decisions, from paying off half their credit card debt to taking out a car loan. Because the projected scores are based on the actual FICO scoring formula, myFICO’s simulator is, pound-for-pound, more accurate, and, therefore, more useful, than those offered for free by other companies, such as CreditKarma.
The myFICO forums have, for years, been one of the most active communities and best resources for those seeking to answers to specific questions as they learn more about their credit reports and scores. For example, while writing this review on a Friday morning, there were over 200 people logged in and posting to the forums, with another 1,400 guests browsing the posts; a fairly high level of activity for a message board geared solely towards personal credit reports.
Security & Privacy
FICO has zero known data or privacy breaches, standing in stark contrast to much of the rest of the industry. Although their terms and conditions permit them to market third-party products to you, they opt their users out by default and one must specifically opt-in to have their information shared. We prefer this approach.
Both the website and the mobile app provided by myFICO deserve high marks for being both easy to use and navigate, making it easy to dive into as much or as little detail in one’s credit report as desired. The core product is ad-free and features a clean interface.
Credit Reports Refresh Quarterly
Although customers can always purchase their reports à la carte to get the most updated credit report, myFICO’s Ultimate 3B credit monitoring service only refreshes these credit reports quarterly, rather than monthly. This is less often than we like to see in this industry when other companies are able to provide monthly or even weekly updates. That said, like most companies, they do monitor all three credit reports and alert you to changes. Unlike most companies, they also provide users with an updated FICO score for each report whenever a change is detected, which is quite valuable.
Purchased Reports Expire after 30 Days
Purchasing a one-time 1B or 3B credit report through MyFICO does not guarantee lifetime access to that report; it expires after 30 days. Unless the user has either saved it to their hard drive or printed it, they will lose access to it after that timeframe.
Slightly more Expensive
Although its security, scores, and features are impressive, myFICO’s monthly cost is slightly higher than some of its competitors, such as Experian, and obviously free alternatives like CreditKarma or Credit Sesame.
Call to Cancel
In order to cancel their 3B or 1B credit monitoring service, customers are required to call in by phone. Although this is fairly standard in the industry, the few complaints that myFICO has seemed to be based on cancelation or billing issues which customers would prefer to handle through a website rather than waiting to talk to someone over the phone.
- FICO Ultimate 3B – $29.95/month or $329/year
- FICO Score 3B Report – One-time fee of $59.85 (to view all three reports and FICO Score 8) for 30 days. Does not include credit monitoring or identity theft protection.
myFICO does not offer a free or discounted trial period.
Scores & Reports Provided
myFICO offers their customers an option to see each of their credit reports (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) for a one-time fee of $59.85.
For those wanting monthly credit monitoring or identity protection, a monthly or annual subscription is available for $29.95/mnth, wherein all three credit reports are provided on a quarterly basis, with ongoing credit monitoring for critical changes to any of those reports, including alerts and updated FICO scores.
myFICO’s site is secured and verified by Norton and VeriSign. There have been no reports of data or privacy breaches that we could find.
Identity Theft Protection
When subscribing to the FICO Ultimate 3B plan, subscribers receive credit monitoring as well as identity theft protection which includes identity monitoring and full-service identity restoration assistance, lost wallet protection, SSN alias watch, black market web surveillance, and $1 million identity theft insurance.
Subscribers may opt for text or email alerts in the event that potentially fraudulent activity is detected on their credit report or if their identity appears to have been compromised.
Time in Business
myFICO began doing business in 2001. Its parent company, FICO, was founded in 1956.
Fair Isaac Corporation Headquarters
200 Smith Ranch Rd.
San Rafael, CA 94903-5551
Customer Service – (800) 319-4433 (Mon. – Fri. 6 am to 6 pm and Sat. 7 am to 4 pm Pacific Time)