PROS / This service gives you educational information that helps you better understand how to improve your credit.
CONS / MyFICO provides regular credit reports and credit scores from Equifax, but you cannot get reports and scores from the other two credit reporting bureaus.
VERDICT / MyFICO uses the most well-known scoring model available, plus you get a wealth of educational materials that can help you handle your credit better.
The FICO scoring model is the most widely used credit score calculator available. The MyFICO credit report service offers updates regarding your credit report and credit score using that model with its Score Watch product – but only for Equifax data.
To get a full look at everything that is reported to all three reporting credit agencies, MyFICO offers a separate, three-in-one report, which you must purchase separately. This means that you do not have regular updates on your overall financial health. In addition, the one-time three-bureau credit report purchase does not come with monitoring services.
MyFICO does offer another credit monitoring product, FICO Quarterly Monitoring, that gives you information from TransUnion only, but once again, it is not a complete look at your credit standing.
Although it is helpful to buy an annual credit report that includes reports and scores from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, many people would like to see what is going on with their entire credit history on a more regular basis and would like that to come with systematic monitoring services.
One of the things MyFICO does quite well is arm you with useful educational information so you can manage money and credit better as well as better handle a host of other financial issues.
Besides getting a regular credit check, it is wise to prepare yourself with as much information as possible about how lenders think, how scores are calculated and how you can position yourself to be in a better financial situation.
The MyFICO reports you receive contain detailed information about what aspects of your credit report factor into your credit score. You can also see how maxing out your credit cards, missing payments or paying down a debt will affect your score when you use the FICO Score Simulator.
MyFICO is part of the Fair Isaac Corporation, which developed the FICO score. This scoring model is popular among lenders because with it, they can accurately determine your credit rating and the level of risk they would be taking on by lending you money based on your previous financial-management choices.
The FICO score takes into consideration whether you have been late on payments in the past, the ratio of how much credit you have compared with how much credit you use, how long you have had a credit history, what type of credit you use and how many times you've tried to get credit in the past. The higher your score, the better interest rates you will receive. The FICO model places scores between 300 and 850.
The credit-monitoring services through MyFICO provide easy-to-understand graphs of how your credit is changing. The graphs show the data in quarterly intervals. Additionally, this service helps you identify questionable information on your credit report. MyFICO walks you through investigating the information, which can assist you if you have to dispute a mistake on your credit record. If someone tries to steal your identity or if changes to your credit are reported to Equifax, MyFICO will immediately notify you via email or text. There also is a handy app you can download.
Through MyFICO, you can get up to $25,000 of identity theft insurance coverage. You also have one-on-one dispute assistance and fraud support. If you lose your wallet or if someone steals it, MyFICO provides lost-wallet protection.
The MyFICO website includes a financial help center that clearly explains what your FICO score means, along with possible APR and mortgage rates for your FICO score ranges. This help center also includes basic information about mortgages, credit cards, debt management, auto loans, student loans and identity theft. MyFICO's education section provides numerous helpful articles, Q&A discussions, links to hot forum topics, handy calculators and educational videos.
MyFICO is a helpful service for monitoring your FICO credit score, but the information is not as complete as it could be because it does not include data from the other two credit reporting agencies. You can use the FICO Score Simulator to easily create a plan to increase your credit score and lower your debt. You will have access to a number of useful and educational materials to help you become more knowledgeable about credit in general and retain a good credit rating or improve a poor one.