myFICO is one of the only companies in this space that provides users with comprehensive triple-bureau credit monitoring and the same industry-standard FICO credit scores that lenders actually use, in addition to top-tier educational materials and tools. Although at $19.95 to 29.95 per month, it is slightly more expensive than some competitors, its service has had few, if any, major complaints or scandals over the years and its reputation is quite strong.
- Access to true FICO credit scores
- Triple-bureau reports
- Credit monitoring
- Mobile app
- Identity theft protection
- Credit score simulator
- Easy-to-use interface
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 it operates.
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.
The company has 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 that is 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 triple-bureau 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.
myFICO offers access to credit reports from all three credit bureaus and provides standard credit monitoring on each of those reports with its Ultimate 3B subscription service. In addition to the reports, the company provides 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.
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 the company’s mobile app (if it’s installed on the client’s phone).
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
The company also provide additional alerts on other activities, depending on the bureau. These alerts are fully configurable in a convenient, easy-to-use dashboard.
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.
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 Protection
As part of its Ultimate 3B subscription, 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.
myFICO has zero known data or privacy breaches, standing in stark contrast to much of the rest of the industry. Although its terms and conditions permit it to market third-party products to you, the company opts its users out by default and one must specifically opt-in to have their information shared.
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.
- Monthly refresh rate
- Purchased reports expire after 30 days
Monthly Refresh Rate
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 monthly. This is less often than we like to see in this industry when other companies are able to provide weekly or even daily updates. That said, like most companies, myFICO does monitor all three credit reports and alert you of changes. Unlike most companies, myFICO also provides 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 single-bureau or triple-bureau credit report through myFICO does not guarantee lifetime access to that report. In fact, reports expire after 30 days. Unless the user has either saved it to their hard drive or printed it, they will lose access to their report after that timeframe.
Although its security, scores, and features are impressive, myFICO’s monthly cost is slightly higher than some of its competitors, such as Experian, CreditKarma, and Credit Sesame.
In order to cancel myFICO credit monitoring services, customers are required to call in by phone. Although this is fairly standard in the industry, many consumers would prefer to cancel online rather than over the phone.