MyFICO Credit Report
MyFICO Score Watch keeps tabs on financial identity so you can quickly and accurately determine where you stand.
What is FICO?
FICO is short for the Fair Isaac Company. Although not a credit reporting itself, FICO provides credit scores through analyzing credit information and predicting what's likely to happen through different metrics. It is used to help financial institutions figure out how likely someone is to pay back their loans or if they are financially stable. Through the use of their systems, they can see which companies will be most likely to profit and which ones are more like to default.
When calculating your FICO score, some things to consider are the different types of accounts and credit you have in your name, the amount of debt you owe, how old your credit history is, different types of credit inquiries, as well as, your payment history and whether your payments have been made on time.
The FICO Score is the most widely used scoring model by lenders to determine someone's creditworthiness. In fact, 90 of the top 100 lenders use this score. Since many of the same factors to measure FICO scores are also measured by credit reporting agencies, you can feel assured that the information you receive is in line with larger financial instructions and lending agencies.
FICO 8 and Other Versions
MyFICO provides FICO 8, the latest version of their FICO score. But why are there so many different versions and how to they differ? For one thing, different versions offer better analysis and updated results. FICO 8, for example, offers a more detailed look into things like high credit card usage. If someone is close to their monthly limit, FICO 8 will probably be more greatly affected than a previous version. Let's say you lost your job and don't have money to pay your student loans this month. Let's also say that you have been paying your loans on time since you started repaying them, so this is an isolated incident. FICO 8 is more forgiving of one-time missed payments than the previous versions, so you don't have to stress over one bad month. These updated features are the reason why there are different versions of FICO scores.
MyFICO's Score Simulator is one of the many tools available on the site. The feature illustrates how certain decisions will affect your overall credit score. Examples may include applying for a credit line, a loan or paying off a portion of your debt. It's essentially like a financial crystal ball!
So what if you receive your report and notice an error? You can file a dispute directly on the site using the dispute tool. No need to contact the credit agency firsthand or go through the hassle of ordering additional reports.
There are a few significant drawbacks with this provider. In order to see where you stand with all three reporting agencies you have to purchase an additional 3-in-1 report, which doesn't come included when you enroll. Since that's the case, you also don't get regular updates from all three credit bureaus unless you purchase the separate report summaries.
MyFico offers four different plans to choose from. With many different features included in each, there is a lot to consider.
FICO Score 1B Report – With this feature you get the score from only one credit bureau that you can choose. You are also provided with a FICO score analysis of factors that can impact your score and a score simulator that can show you how the credit score from your selected bureau might be affected. Another feature is the Interest rate tracker. This plan only provides you with the very basic tools and costs $19.95 per bureau.
FICO Score 3B Report – This plan is basically the same as the 1B Report. The only difference is that is gives you information from all three bureaus and gives you a side-by-side credit report comparison from all three. This plan costs $59.85, which is the same as selecting all three bureaus while purchasing the 1B Report.
FICO Essentials 1B – The FICO Essentials 1B gives you a credit score only from Equifax. You're also entitled to 6 monthly FICO scores and an Equifax credit report. In addition, you get the score analysis feature and a score simulator based on your Equifax score. You can track your interest rate and get a 20% discount on more FICO Score and credit report purchases. Not only that, you get monitoring of your credit reports with alerts when changes are made, historical tracking of your FICO score updates, and alerts delivered via email or text. If you're looking for identity theft options you will be given $1 million identity theft insurance, 24/7 identity restoration, and lost wallet protection. You can get all these tools for $19.95 / month or a discounted rate of $219 / year. FICO Essentials 1B really does give you the essentials.
FICO Ultimate 3B – With this option you get all of the above mentioned from all three credit bureaus, as well as 19 quarterly FICO Scores and a three-bureau credit report. You can also get a side by side credit report comparison not featured within both of 1B plans and new features like Identity analysis report, alerts of potential identity threats via text or email, black market website surveillance to keep you safe from scams, and social security number alias watch to keep your social security number safe. Access to all these features is offered at $29.95 / month or a discounted rate of $329 / year. If you want to be a credit pro, then this is the way to go.
Verdict - Great
MyFICO Score Watch definitely has quite a lot to offer the average consumer. Their scoring model is in line with larger lending institutions; they deliver reports and alerts of changes, plus have a qualified staff on hand to answer your concerns. What Score Watch is missing, however, is consistent reports from all three credit bureaus.