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With a myFICO account, customers can access their credit scores from one credit reporting bureau with a basic plan.
You can also upgrade to three-bureau monitoring with more advanced (and more expensive) plans.
If you’re considering whether or not to sign up for a credit monitoring service such as myFICO, keep reading.
This post discusses everything you need to know about the company, including the various services that they offer, the pros and cons of being a myFICO customer, and more.
What is myFICO?
myFICO is a service that helps you stay on top of your credit score.
If you want to buy a house, finance a car, apply for a credit card, or even sign up for cable, your credit score will ultimately have a significant impact on whether or not you qualify for loans, products, or other services. Your credit score also plays a role in the interest rates you’ll pay to a lender.
If you have a good credit score, you’ll likely be offered a lower interest rate, which could mean saving many thousands of dollars over the course of your loan—whether it be for a home or a car.
Unfortunately, if you have a below-average credit score, you’ll likely be looking at higher interest rates and, as such, more money spent on interest. This is because lenders view borrowers with low credit scores as riskier folks to give money to.
As a result, lenders charge more interest in order to cover the potential costs associated with the defaulted loan (when someone can no longer pay back their loan). With that in mind, having a firm grasp of your credit score should be a part of every investor’s toolkit.
By law, every U.S. citizen can access their credit score for free once per year at AnnualCreditReport.com. This report usually contains your scores from each of the three main credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
If you’d like more frequent access to your score, you’ll have to sign up for a credit score monitoring service. This is where myFICO comes in.
Next, let’s take a look at what’s included in myFICO’s credit monitoring plans. All myFICO accounts come with the following benefits:
- Access to your credit scores (which credit bureau scores you can access will depend on the plan you choose)
- Credit monitoring with alerts for unusual activity
- Credit scoring for auto loans, mortgage loans, and credit card applications
- $1 million in identity theft insurance, offered through a partner
- 24/7 identity theft protection and fraud resolution
- You’ll have access to myFICOS’s Interest Rate Estimator, which helps you determine how your credit score might affect the interest rate lenders offer
myFICO’s Score Simulator
Score Simulator gives you an idea of how your credit score might be affected if you make changes to your borrowing status (e.g., if you take out a new loan).
What’s Helping and Hurting Your Scores
This shows you which areas of your financial history are working in favor of your credit score—like low credit card utilization rates and fantastic payment history.
On the other hand, it will also highlight areas that might negatively affect your score, such as having high credit card debt or opening too many new credit cards at once and getting several hard credit pulls at the same time.
Lost Wallet Protection
Lost Wallet Protection is a service that protects you from being responsible for unauthorized use of your credit and debit cards in the event you lose your wallet.
myFICO will also connect you with specialists who can help you get reissued copies of your lost credit cards.
myFICO offers three levels of credit monitoring plans at three different rates. Here’s a look at each one.
With a FICO Basic plan, you’ll have access to your FICO scores and one-bureau credit monitoring.
You’ll also get monthly FICO and Experian credit reports, which can be delivered to your email address or viewed in your online account.
FICO Advanced offers three-bureau credit score monitoring along with quarterly credit reports from all three major credit bureaus.
In addition to all of the benefits offered in the FICO Basic plan, the Advanced plan also includes round-the-clock dark web monitoring and identity theft monitoring.
FICO Identity Ultimate 3B
The myFICO Identity Ultimate 3B plan offers similar features to the myFICO Advanced plan. One of the main similarities here is that you’ll receive quarterly access to three-bureau credit reports.
However, the Identity Ultimate 3B plan appears to be geared toward customers who are more interested in identity theft protection.
For example, the Identity Ultimate 3B plan includes a one-time identity analysis report, which helps you determine whether you are currently experiencing any identity or fraud issues.
This plan also offers a Social Security monitoring service, so you can be sure that any transactions made with your Social Security number are legit.
With a myFICO Premier plan, you’ll enjoy all of the same benefits as the Basic and Advanced plans. And you’ll also have access to monthly credit reports from all three major credit bureaus.
The main difference here is that you’ll have access to monthly credit reports from all three bureaus as opposed to the quarterly reports that come with the Advanced plan.
myFICO Family Advanced Plan
As the name suggests, the myFICO Family Advanced plan is designed for the whole family. Two adults and up to 10 children can be covered for a monthly fee of $49.95.
Included in the Family Advanced plan are three-bureau credit reports provided each quarter for the two adults (who must be 18 or older to qualify). Children under the age of 18 qualify for 24/7 identity theft monitoring and fraud resolution.
So, the extra money you’re paying primarily covers the additional adult and the identity and fraud monitoring for your kids.
Signing Up and Getting Started
Signing up for a myFICO account is super easy. Simply visit their website and select the plan that makes sense for your unique circumstances.
Once you’re there, create an account by entering an email address and password.
You’re well on your way to keeping your fingers on the pulse of your credit score.
Next, you’ll have to enter your personal information. The final step is filling out your credit card information, as shown below.
myFICO uses 128-bit encryption when transmitting your data to FICO. This technique is one of the highest levels of data encryption and is used by most financial institutions.
Many people will also find it reassuring to know that in the unlikely event of fraud or identity theft, you’ll be protected by the services in your myFICO account.
Customer Service and Support
myFICO has both U.S.-based phone support and self-service support via email. At the time of this writing, their phone number is 1-800-319-4433.
Phone support hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Unfortunately, phone support isn’t available on Sundays. But you should probably use that day to relax, anyway.
Pros and Cons of myFICO
- Convenient access to your credit scores
- 24/7 fraud and identity theft protection
- Secure, trusted company
- U.S.-based customer support via phone or email
- Family plan available
- No free plans
- Automatic monthly billing might lead to unwanted charges
Next, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions I hear about myFICO.
Is myFICO com legit?
Yes. myFICO is legit. It’s owned by the Fair Isaac Corporation, which has been around for longer than most of us have been alive (since 1956).
How can I get my free FICO score?
You can get your free FICO score from some credit card companies, some credit score monitoring companies (e.g., Credit Karma), or on AnnualCreditReport.com. To be clear, myFICO is a paid service.
How much does it cost to get your FICO score?
To get your FICO score with myFICO, you’ll have to pay for one of their plans. The costs are summarized in the table below:
|myFICO Identity Ultimate 3B||$29.95/month|
|myFICO Family Advanced||$49.95/month|
There’s no such thing as a “true” FICO score because you have three different credit scores (one from each credit bureau). Further, your credit score is always changing, and the score you can see as a consumer might be slightly higher or lower than what your lender might see.
With that in mind, to get the best understanding of your “true” score, it helps to pay attention to how your score changes month by month. It also helps to see what your score looks like across the three different bureaus.
Does myFICO have a free trial?
No. At the time of this writing, myFICO does not offer a free trial. If you’re looking for a free credit score monitoring program, check out Credit Karma or Credit Sesame.
What is a FICO score 8?
The FICO score 8 is the most commonly used credit score in America. By and large, your FICO score 8 is what lenders will use to determine your creditworthiness.
Alternatives to myFICO
There are several alternatives to myFICO on the market these days that offer free credit score reports and free credit monitoring services. Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are two of the main companies that come to mind.
Many credit card companies such as American Express, Chase, Discover Card, and Capital One also give you access to your credit score for free. These credit card companies already have access to your credit score, so why not give you the details as well?
Check with your credit card company to see if you qualify for this free service.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, everyone has access to their credit scores on AnnualCreditReport.com. Remember, you can check out your scores for free, once per year.
Is myFICO Legit?
If you’re the type of person that needs to know your credit score at all times, myFICO is worth looking into.
On the other hand, if you’re the type who likes to save as much money as possible (like me!) you might want to look into some of the free alternatives to myFICO, such as Credit Karma or Credit Sesame.
I hope this post has helped you determine whether myFICO is right for you. In the meantime, here’s to making responsible spending and borrowing decisions so that your credit score will always be toward the top of the charts.
With a strong credit score in tow, life becomes somewhat easier. Take my word for it.