Although FICO is mainly known for their FICO score, which measures credit risk for consumer lending, but they also offer myFICO, an identity monitoring service that makes it easy to keep track of your credit. Not only will it check your credit score from up to three credit-reporting bureaus, but if you identity is stolen, you can also receive compensation and restoration services. But is it the right identity monitoring service to protect you and your family?
This myFICO review will go over myFICO’s features, including how they store your sensitive data, what it’s like signing up for and using myFICO, and what their pricing, customer support and mobile application are like. Time is of the essence so let’s get started!
In a nutshell, myFICO can send you credit reports and scores periodically from the three credit-reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. By monitoring your credit score on a regular basis, you can catch identity theft as soon as possible, seeing if there were any major changes that came as a surprise. You’ll get reports and scores from one to three of these bureaus, depending on which plan you choose, and the frequency will be either monthly or every three months, again depending on your plan. You’ll be alerted via email and SMS notifications, which make staying on top of your credit a breeze.
On the three top-tier plans, you’ll also receive identity monitoring in addition to credit monitoring. This means that myFICO will scan the Internet for your personal information, alerting you if it’s discovered. They’ll also make sure your Social Security Number isn’t being tied to any new addresses or names. However, unlike some other services, myFICO doesn’t monitor your bank or financial accounts or cards, so if you’re looking for more monitoring of your finances, I’d look elsewhere. Along with credit and identity monitoring, myFICO will also give you your FICO scores along with scores for mortgages, auto loans, and more. While this isn’t central to monitoring your identity, it could be helpful if you’re looking to receive a loan.
Now, myFICO can’t actually prevent your identity from being stolen (and other identity monitoring companies like LifeLock have actually gotten in legal trouble for making this claim). That’s why they provide identity theft insurance that could get you up to a million dollars in compensation, no matter which plan you’re on. You’ll also get 24/7 identity restoration help, which can be a godsend in this situation. With their family plan, myFICO even offers lost wallet protection, which can be ideal if you have a lot of kids. And that’s the entirety of what you get when you buy myFICO!
FICO Privacy and Security
Whenever you’re handing a company your personal information, you want to make sure they’re protecting it the same way a bank protects your money. Whether you’re using the myFICO website or app, you should be the only person able to see sensitive data, like your Social Security Number, address and name. Fortunately, the myFICO— Official FICO Scores app has multi-factor authentication, meaning you’ll have to use your fingerprint to sign in. But what information does FICO keep and how exactly do they store it?
- Identifiers: This is your personal information like your name, address, email, Social Security Number, driver’s license number, passport number and more.
- Physical and personal characteristics: On a more intimate note, FICO also keeps your biometrics like your fingerprint scan, facial scan, DNA, geolocation data, information about your educational and employment history, plus financial information.
- Commercial information: From your bank account and card numbers to the records of your personal property and demographic data, this is part of how your FICO score is determined.
- Browsing and shopping activity: Finally, FICO logs what products or services you’ve bought or even considered buying, your web activity including browsing and search history, as well as how you’ve interacted with websites, ads and apps.
“We will not sell consumers’ personal information to third parties for their own marketing, advertising, or other purposes. We have not sold consumers’ personal information to such third parties in the preceding 12 months.”
So sure, FICO may hold a ton of information about you that may seem creepy, from your fingerprint information to the last websites you were surfing. But it’s good to know that they’re not selling your data to third parties for marketing purposes, unlike some companies I might mention (cough, Google, cough, Facebook, cough).
myFICO User Experience
Signing up for myFICO is very straightforward. Once you pick a plan, you’ll make up a username and password and then enter in some personal information like your address, Social Security Number and birthday. Then, you’ll take a quick multiple choice test to prove your identity before entering the main dashboard.
Once you’re in the dashboard, it’s really easy to see your credit scores, recent alerts, and reports. You can also see mortgage and auto loan rates, and there are areas for identity restoration and support. Even the least tech-savvy person should be able to easily navigate this website.
myFICO Subscription Options
Fortunately, myFICO is also pretty straightforward when it comes to subscriptions. For individuals, you can choose between the Basic, Advanced and Premier plans, and for families, there’s the Family Advanced plan, which covers two adults and up to ten kids.
Unfortunately, myFICO is actually among the most expensive identity monitoring service I’ve ever reviewed, which is a bit disappointing considering the lack of financial monitoring. You’ll pay at least $19.95 a month with any myFICO plan, while I’ve seen similar services that start at under $7 a month. So if you’re looking to save money, myFICO may not be your best bet. However, I am pleased that plans are monthly, as I’ve seen services that make you pay for a whole year. Plus, cancelling is super simple and you can do it online, which isn’t always the case.
myFICO Customer Support
If you need help with myFICO in any form, you can check out their online help center, call their phone line from Monday through Friday six to six or on Saturday from seven AM until four PM, PT, or email them whenever.
The myFICO— Official FICO Scores App
If you want to access myFICO on the go, I recommend downloading the myFICO— Official FICO Scores app. With a 4.8 on the Apple store and a 4.3 on the Google Play store, the app makes it easy to check your credit scores and data, receive notifications, and learn more about how your credit history affects your FICO scores. Android-user Michael Previti agreed, writing in a recent five-star review,
“Although expensive…this is a fairly comprehensive way with a good user interface to keep track of something so vital to your financial health. I pay approximately $360 a year, but I know immediately someone has taken my credentials from a black market website so that I can take action immediately.”
To be honest, myFICO isn’t exactly my top choice of an identity monitoring service, mainly due to it’s expensive price and relatively minimal monitoring services. While it’s good for monitoring your credit and credentials online, many criminal activities and financial accounts are left unmonitored. But if you are okay with having only credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and restoration, myFICO is certainly a dependable bet.
I’d go with myFICO if you’d like…
- Credit monitoring from three bureaus: With any of the three top-tier plans, you’ll have credit scores and reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
- Monthly subscriptions: I like that myFICO offers flexible monthly subscriptions, which is often not the case for it’s competitors.
- User-friendly app: The myFICO— Official FICO Scores app works well whether you have an iPhone or Android.
But avoid it if the following are dealbreakers…
- Expensive: If you’re on a budget, myFICO certainly shouldn’t be your identity monitoring service.
- No financial account monitoring: While myFICO monitors your credit and credentials online, it won’t monitor your bank accounts, investment accounts or credit cards.
- Lots of data collected: From your browsing history to your biometrics, if you’re concerned about privacy, run in the other direction.
That’s all I have! Check out the questions below or, if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you soon.
Is FICO a credit monitoring service?
Yes, FICO is a credit monitoring service as well as an identity monitoring service, depending on which plan you choose.
Does myFICO have a free trial?
Unfortunately, myFICO doesn’t offer a free trial. You’ll need to sign up for at least a month.
Does myFICO affect your credit?
Using myFICO to check your credit scores and reports won’t affect your credit.