myFICO sets itself apart with a unique spin on identity theft production, but leaves some critical features on the table in the process. That said, if you're looking to monitor your credit, it could be the right service for you.
If you’ve ever borrowed money in the United States — be it for a car loan, mortgage or credit line — you’re undoubtedly familiar with FICO scores. This number is used by credit reporting agencies, such as TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, to summarize your risk to lenders, ultimately determining if you’ll be eligible for a loan and what your interest rate will be.
myFICO, a subsidiary of the FICO analytics corporation, provides identity theft protection, real-time FICO scores and identity theft insurance. In this myFICO review, we’re going to see if it has the chops to go toe-to-toe with our best identity theft protection services.
On the protection end, myFICO falls flat, especially at the asking price. However, it comes with a wealth of credit insights and education that no other identity theft protection service can match. If that’s what you’re after, myFICO may be the identity theft protection service for you.
myFICO is light on features compared to most identity theft protection services. As the product of the institution that reports your FICO score, a myFICO subscription is mainly useful to see the score that lenders do. Furthermore, you’ll see the most widely used base FICO score — at the time of writing, FICO Score 8 — as well as the most recent version.
You’ll get an overall score from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, but also scores for auto lending, mortgage lending and credit card decisioning. Between the numbers, you can easily determine if you’ll be approved for a loan or line of credit, as well as how applying for loans or lines of credit will impact your score.
myFICO Credit Reports
myFICO is primarily a credit reporting service, and the level of reporting you receive will change depending on the tier you purchase (more on that in the next section).
The most inexpensive plan, “basic,” comes with monthly reports, scores for loans and score recommendations from Experian. It also comes with constant credit monitoring and a score simulator, as well as an ongoing FICO score.
If you want reports from Equifax and TransUnion, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the higher tiers of service. “Advanced” offers quarterly reports, scores for loans, a score simulator and score recommendations from all three buearues, while “premier” offers the same but monthly.
The real draw is your FICO score, though, which is available across all tiers. Although you can estimate your FICO score for free, the score lenders see may be different. With myFICO, you can view the actual score that will, in most cases, be used to determine loans and lines of credit so you can more accurately estimate if you’ll be approved.
myFICO Identity Theft Protection
In addition to providing credit monitoring and your FICO score, myFICO comes with identity theft protection, though not across all tiers. The inexpensive “basic” package lacks monitoring for social security, identity theft and the dark web, though it still comes with single-bureau credit monitoring and $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance.
The more expensive “advanced” and “premier” tiers come with monitoring for social security, identity theft and the dark web, as well as tri-bureau monitoring and $1,000,000 in insurance.
Although that’s standard for most identity theft protection services, myFICO stops there, lacking many of the social and privacy features of a service like Identity Guard (read our Identity Guard review).
Because of that, myFICO is less of an identity theft protection service and more of a credit monitoring service. Although credit monitoring is a critical aspect of protecting against identity theft, it’s only one part. Social media and cybercrime protection are also critical, and myFICO doesn’t offer any protection on that front, even on its most expensive tier.
myFICO Features Overview
myFICO is the most expensive identity theft protection service we’ve reviewed, rivaling the likes of the vastly overpriced LifeLock (read our LifeLock review). It carries a similar three-plan lineup as most identity theft services do, but starts the range at nearly $20. Add on top of that a strange distribution of features, and myFICO doesn’t look all too enticing.
The differences between the tiers comes down to credit reporting. The most inexpensive plan comes with single-bureau monitoring, with a monthly credit report and scores for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. Further up the line, “advanced” and “premier” come with tri-bureau monitoring but lack in other areas.
“Advanced” drops the reporting down to a quarterly rate, despite the fact that “basic” provides monthly reports. The $10 extra buys additional reports but drops the frequency of when you receive them. In the context of the entire range, it seems that myFICO tried to force a mid-tier option, improving the basic plan in some ways, but making it worse in others.
The only upside to the mid-tier option is that it comes with identity theft protection. Although all tiers come with $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance, only the top two tiers come with any sort of monitoring, which doesn’t make much sense.
After all, if myFICO is going to offer insurance on “basic” but not monitor for any potential identity theft, it’s more likely that insurance will have to pay out.
myFICO Free Trial
myFICO’s demanding price tag is one thing, but it’s made worse by the lack of a free trial. It seems myFICO took some notes from ADT, offering neither a free trial nor a money-back guarantee (read our ADT Identity Theft Protection review). You pay per month, every month, until you want to cancel, and that money is gone forever.
If myFICO was similar to ADT — offering a single plan at a much lower cost than the going rate — the lack of a refund period wouldn’t sting. However, having prices much higher than the rest of the market makes a money-back guarantee or free trial necessary, and myFICO doesn’t offer anything on that front.
myFICO makes it easy to get started, displaying the three tiers of service on the site’s homepage. The listings show the monthly price and the differences between tiers, so it’s easy to compare plans to choose the one that’s right for you. In addition to ongoing monitoring, myFICO offers one-time credit reports, which you can purchase in the “products” tab.
Once you choose your plan, myFICO will ask you to sign up for an account and enter some basic information, including your social security number and address.
It’s strange that they ask for this information before you confirm payment. We abandoned our cart mid-checkout, and when we returned, the information entered was still logged, suggesting that myFICO stores your social security number, address and more before you actually sign up for a subscription.
That said, getting through checkout is simple, with myFICO allowing you to pay with a credit card or PayPal and keeping the process concise. The only thing you’ll have to do outside of entering your billing information is confirm your identity by answering a short list of questions based on your credit report.
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After going through the signup process, you’ll be directed straight to your dashboard without the need to log in or wait for your dashboard to be prepared. From the get-go, the dashboard is impressive. You’re greeted by your scores from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, as well as your recent reports and alerts.
A report is generated for you right after you sign up, so no matter if you have monthly or quarterly reports, you can view the initial one right away. Your credit report is more than just a PDF to download, too. On it, you can view scores for different types of lending, the risk to a lender based on your score and ways to better your score in the future.
Many of the interesting areas in your report can be visualized elsewhere, too. For instance, from your dashboard, you can view theoretical rates for mortgages and auto loans based on your FICO score. You can even simulate changes to your score based on the current debt you have.
For the most part, the dashboard is an educational tool. Outside of viewing alerts, it functions as a way to inform you about where you stand in the eyes of lenders, which is useful. That said, there isn’t much to add in terms of identity protection. As we’ll get into in the next section, myFICO is focused on your risk in the eyes of a lender, not on the risk to yourself.
As mentioned in the “features” section above, myFICO is more of a credit monitoring service than an identity theft protection service. Protection features are present, starting with ongoing credit monitoring and building in dark web and social security monitoring as you move up the range. At the asking price, though, the protection is mediocre.
There isn’t any way to visualize your potential risk for identity theft like there is with, say, ID Watchdog (read our ID Watchdog review). Rather, myFICO operates in the background, notifying you about any strange activity on your credit report or personal information that shows up on the dark web, but not telling you how to protect against it.
That doesn’t inherently make myFICO a bad service, just a bad identity theft protection service. It’s irreplaceable for understanding your credit, but for protecting against identity theft, it’s just okay. The dark web monitoring is nice to see, as is the $1,000,000 in coverage, but myFICO has forgotten about some other areas.
There isn’t any passport monitoring, insurance monitoring or general fraud monitoring. Although myFICO can find if your name, address or social security number show up on the dark web or elsewhere, it can’t inform you if other pieces of personal information do. Furthermore, it doesn’t offer any social media monitoring, which is a common tool used to steal someone’s identity.
A big aspect of a myFICO subscription is education, so there are a lot of support resources available. From the dashboard, you can find multiple support routes in the “need help” sidebar, which holds links to the myFICO forums, knowledgebase and contact page.
The knowledgebase reads like a FAQ, clarifying how FICO scores are calculated, what aspects influence them and how they’re reported to lenders. For the amount of information covered, the knowledgebase doesn’t feel overwhelming. myFICO is always to the point, offering enough detail so questions are fully answered without devolving into technical nonsense.
If you have further questions, you can head to the contact page, which serves as a sort of second knowledgebase. It holds separate articles for common questions, including how often your FICO changes and how to cancel your membership. Contact options are available on the page, too, including a phone number and contact form.
myFICO is slow to get back about questions, though. Email inquiry responses require a lead time of two business days, and phone support is restricted to business hours (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday). Although we appreciate two contact routes, 24/7 support is critical for an identity theft protection service.
The only way to receive around-the-clock support is through the myFICO forum, which is, thankfully, very active. At the time of writing, there are nearly 280,000 members and more than 4 million posts. Nearly every post has a response, too, with some threads receiving more than a million views.
Although we’re disappointed by the lack of 24/7 direct support, the forum is a nice alternative. With how active the community is, you should expect a response to most questions within minutes of posting, which is about as good as it gets for identity theft protection services.
myFICO is an excellent service for monitoring your credit, but not so much for protecting your identity. Although it provides surface-level protection by monitoring your credit report and social security number, it lacks social media, passport and insurance monitoring. Even so, the industry-standard $1,000,000 in insurance is present.
The larger issue is the price, though. myFICO provides fewer features than other leading identity theft protection services while charging a higher rate. It doesn’t have a free trial or refund policy, either, so you’ll have to fully commit if you’re interested. Unless myFICO has you sold, we recommend reading our other identity theft protection reviews.
What do you think of myFICO? Are the credit monitoring features enough for you? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.
How to Cancel myFICO?
You can cancel your myFICO subscription by calling 800-319-4433 or by managing your subscription in your account dashboard.
How Accurate Is myFICO?
myFICO is offered by FICO, so the score you see in your report is 100-percent accurate as long as you’re paying for the service. The free score estimator is based only on a short series of questions, not your full credit report, so the results can vary.
How Often Does myFICO Update Scores?
myFICO updates your score monthly or quarterly, depending on your subscription. Even though your score is only updated occasionally, myFICO monitors and displays your score on an ongoing basis.