in Credit Monitoring Tools from myFICO
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MyFICO is the credit reporting website of Fair Isaac Corporation, a leading provider of credit scoring and credit account management products. FICO is based in San Rafael, California and was started in 1956 by engineer William Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac: creators of the ubiquitous FICO credit scores. Fair Isaacs has around 1,300 employees and generated $789 million in sales in 2014. The company is a BBB accredited business and has a rating of A+.
What Services Does MyFICO Offer?
MyFICO offers full credit reporting, monitoring and identity theft protection. This includes credit reports and FICO Score 8: the credit score most lenders use, from all three credit reporting bureaus. It also offers additional FICO scores, such as the scores used by insurance companies. In addition, myFICO provides daily monitoring of all credit reporting agencies data, alerts of any credit changes, has a $1 million identity theft insurance, and monitors black market websites, court records and cash loans companies for the misuse of users' personal information.
MyFICO is hard to beat when it comes to credit reporting and monitoring services. However, these services come at a price. The basic program only uses Equifax's credit report. You have to register for the premium programs to view the reports of all three credit bureaus.
How Does MyFICO Work?
MyFICO offers two one-time credit monitoring products and three subscription-based services. The one-time products: FICO Standard and FICO Score 3-Report View include credit reports, scores and analysis of either one bureau or all three credit reporting agencies, depending on whether you go for the basic or premium version. The subscription-based programs: Score Watch, 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring and Identity Ultimate, offer either credit reports and scores for one bureau, all three credit reporting agencies, or all-three bureaus plus a comprehensive identity theft protection program.
As with all identity theft and credit monitoring services, users must first open an account and confirm their identity by providing their full name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number.
How Much Does It Cost?
MyFICO's products offer what is arguably the best value for money, if you're interested in knowing your FICO score as well as your credit reports. The FICO Standard costs $20 per credit bureau, while the Score 3-Report View is $60 for all three. Yes. There's absolutely no discount for getting all three credit reports.
FICO Score Watch costs $15 a month or $150 a year. The 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring subscription is $25 a month, which does provide a significant discount over the single-bureau subscription. FICO's Identity Ultimate is priced at $30 a month or $329 a year. The Identity Ultimate is arguably the best value for money among the credit reporting services that also include identity theft protection available at this moment. It's worth highlighting that although subscription services do renew automatically you can cancel them at any time. So, even if you only want a one-time peek at all three credit reports and FICO scores you are better off subscribing to 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring and cancelling before the month ends.
How is MyFICO Better/Worse Than Other Credit Reporting Companies?
MyFICO is probably the leader in coverage when it comes to credit monitoring and credit scores. It is one of the few companies that offers credit reports and FICO credit scores for all three credit bureaus without charging ridiculous prices. This is one the perk of being the company with the patents for the credit scores the overwhelming majority of lenders use. The company has 50 years' experience in the business, is accredited by the BBB and has an A+ rating.
The only two real drawbacks with myFICO is you have to purchase the premium products to get all three credit reports and scores, but the premium products are still competitively priced. The other one is it doesn't help users fix credit report errors, They have to do that directly with the credit reporting companies. The main complaint users have is they didn't realize they were registering for a monthly subscription service. This is particularly an issue when myFICO throws a 30-day trial period offer, which is usually priced at $5 but comes with an automatic renewal for one of their subscription services hidden in the small print.