- Privacy: Decent
- Mobile App: Available
- Cybersecurity: Decent
- Dark Web Scanning: Supported
- Identity Theft Insurance: $1 million
- Child Identity Monitoring: Supported
- Public Records Monitoring: Supported
- Credit Management Support: Yes
Comprehensive credit management with ID theft protection
- Surveys the Dark Web
- Supports child identity monitoring
- Offers plans with 3-bureau coverage
- Provides access to free financial tools
- Charges not so competitive prices
- Doesn’t offer annual subscriptions
- Provides no free trials and refunds
- Does little for cybersecurity and privacy
FICO Family Advanced
What Is my FICO?
myFICO is the consumer division of Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO®), the company behind the long-standing credit risk scoring standard in the US.
Launched in 2001, this service helps consumers understand what credit risk is, how creditors view them, and how to qualify for financial products with favorable terms.
myFICO subscriptions are designed for credit management at heart, but they all have an ID theft protection component. The service seems to offer identity protection services almost as an afterthought.
What else does it have in store?
What sets myFICO apart from the rest of the industry is its unparalleled suite of credit management tools. The company’s identity theft protection services are not too shabby either.
All members have access to generic and industry-specific FICO scores. Since 9 in 10 lenders consider those when making decisions, familiarizing yourself with them can put you in a good position.
Basic plan subscribers can see their updated Experian FICO scores every month. Advanced and Premier plan users, on the other hand, get to enjoy 3-bureau coverage. In short, they can see their FICO scores based on data from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
The two groups of subscribers have access to different update frequencies, though. Advanced members can receive their latest FICO scores quarterly while Premier ones get fresh updates monthly.
The company can grant access to up to 28 myFICO score versions, including the iterations typically used for mortgage lending, auto lending, and credit card decision-making.
Frankly, you may not need to know so many FICO scores at the same time. But it can give you significant insight into your relative creditworthiness.
It wouldn’t really matter if you didn’t know which credit risk scoring model your prospective mortgage lender, auto loan provider, or credit card issuer likes to use. Chances are that you could set your expectations about your qualifications accordingly because of the wealth of information myFICO provides.
Most importantly, you can learn about your FICO 8 credit scores across the board. No model is as widely adopted as FICO 8, so it’s the ultimate measure of creditworthiness in the US.
What myFICO reviews generally overlook, though, is that there are no FICO Insurance Scores in any plans. Granted, insurance is different from credit, but you could reasonably expect to know how risky you are as a customer in the eyes of insurers.
Since you can’t expect insurance carriers to use generic FICO scores when assessing your likelihood of filing a claim, having access to your insurance credit scores would be extremely helpful.
Depending on your plan, you can see your reports from the nationwide credit bureaus either monthly or quarterly. Needless to say, the FICO scores you can view with your plan dictate the reports you can access.
The recency of these documents let you know how your latest FICO scores come about. Being able to review your reports as frequently as possible lets you spot errors and have them corrected. We read ours thoroughly for this myFICO review and didn’t find anything that needed fixing.
The quarterly report updates are enough for most consumers. But if you have poor or fair credit, you may want to subscribe to the FICO Premier plan to get 3-bureau coverage with monthly report updates in order to watch your progress more closely.
FICO Score Monitoring
If any of your FICO 8 credit scores change, you’d know right away through the myFICO app. The fresher your memory of the negative and positive items on your credit reports, the more you can validate them properly.
Moreover, you can even see the movement of your FICO scores in a graph. This data visualization tool lets you identify trends, patterns, and outliers, which are useful for making sense of credit score spikes and drops over time.
myFICO can give you the lowdown on the weighted factors that make up your FICO scores and show how your numbers stack up against people with exceptional credit.
The company personalizes the insights. You can easily identify which actions help or harm your reputation to creditors.
Speaking of creditors, myFICO shares an overview of the probable loan terms lenders may offer and your chances of approval. In addition, you can view interest rates for mortgages and auto loans based on your credit data and prevailing market trends. You will know the specific myFICO score to target in order to snag a low-interest rate while keeping your monthly payment at a manageable level.
FICO Score Simulator
This tool provides up to 24 simulations that let you see how certain actions impact your FICO scores. From asking for credit card limit increases to taking out a mortgage, myFICO helps you gain a deeper understanding of the short-term and long-term effects of different financial decisions.
If you go with a plan that covers three bureaus, you can get a side-by-side comparison of your simulated FICO 8 scores. This allows you to see how each bureau weighs different actions.
Other than providing regular my FICO credit score updates, the company watches out for credit data changes. This feature helps keep you informed when a credit bureau records an activity that may constitute fraud.
Credit-reporting agencies don’t monitor the same pieces of credit data, though. That’s why you should aim to have as much credit bureau coverage as possible.
For instance, only Equifax pays attention to name changes on listed reports but doesn’t place fraud alerts on file. Experian has the sole initiative to track revolving credit account utilization greater than 75% is another example. When it comes to new employment data monitoring, TransUnion records it.
The Basic plan is solid, but you won’t receive notifications about the credit data changes on your iOS or Android myFICO app.
myFICO’s identity protection services can alert you when your personally identifiable information is likely in the wrong hands. Although this feature isn’t available in the Basic plan yet, paying an additional $10 a month to sign up for the Advanced subscription can be a small price for peace of mind. You can also consider using a background or people search site to monitor your publicly available data.
Dark Web Surveillance
If you subscribe to the Advanced or Premier plan, you can use myFICO to have eyes on the Dark Web. You’ll be alerted when your personal or financial information has become a commodity on the black market.
The Dark Web is a hotbed of criminal ecommerce. The presence of any data linked to your identity on shady sites or clandestine chat rooms is rarely benign. And you can bet that your sensitive information is there for sale to fraudsters—who would illegally use your name for personal gain.
Being able to quickly detect when any of your credentials are up for grabs is critical to stop ID theft before it actually happens.
Social Security Number (SSN) Alias Watch
Integral to myFICO’s ID theft protection strategy is monitoring public records. That’s why it keeps an eye on the SSN Alias Watch list. This database contains alternate names or aliases associated with your SSN that appeared on publicly available documents.
If you go by a nickname, you may receive alerts from myFICO. It could just be about the things that you do like changing addresses or opening a new credit account. So if you don’t recognize the details in the notification, you can get in touch with myFICO to get to the bottom of the matter.
Child Identity Monitoring
With myFICO, you can enjoy identity theft protection for your family. If you sign up for the Family Advanced plan, the company will use its ID monitoring capability to cover up to 10 children (and 2 other adults).
Not all providers of best identity monitoring services offer ID theft protection for kids. So, we’re pleasantly surprised that myFICO, a credit management solution, is willing to go the extra mile to help curb child identity theft.
However, the price difference between the Advanced and Family Advanced plans is more than the cost of the Basic subscription. Protecting your children’s credentials doesn’t come cheap, but it’s fast becoming a necessary expense.
A 2018 study found out that child ID theft had been on the rise. In 2017 alone, over a million identities of kids were stolen. These cost families more than $500 million in losses. Sixty-six percent of victims were below 8 years old, and 60% of perpetrators were no strangers to the victim.
Falling victim to ID fraud at such a young age can have lifelong implications. That’s why a child-inclusive ID theft protection plan is necessary.
The company uses multiple channels to notify you if and when your identity might be in danger. Other than the mobile myFICO app, you can receive updates through email or SMS.
24/7 Identity Restoration
In case you learn that your ID data has been used to commit fraud in any way, myFICO’s identity protection services can help restore your damaged reputation immediately.
The company has a team of US-based identity theft experts working around the clock to swiftly assist you. They will explain the steps you need to take to minimize the impact of your stolen personally identifiable information and get your life back on track.
Lost Wallet Protection
With myFICO’s Lost Wallet Services, you can receive excellent assistance if your physical wallet goes missing. The company can help process the cancellation and replacement of the following documents:
- Credit, debit, and ATM cards
- Traveler’s checks
- Social Security cards
- Insurance cards
- Medicare and Medicaid identification documents
- Driver’s licenses, passports, and military ID cards
In addition, myFICO provides restoration support for identity documents compromised due to the incident.
ID Theft Insurance
Underwritten and administered by the American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, this insurance’s Aggregate Limit of Liability is worth $1 million. According to most myFICO reviews, this makes the service a serious player in the ID theft protection business.
The first benefit of this financial product is Expense Reimbursement. This coverage entitles you to reimbursement for the legal costs and other expenses you may incur when you dispute any of the incidents below:
- Fraud or Embezzlement
- Data Breach
- Stolen Identity Event
Cash Recovery is the second benefit. Although it may only be available in select myFICO subscriptions, this coverage provides you funds to compensate for your financial loss as a result of ID theft and fraud.
Cash Recovery payouts are part of the policy’s Aggregate Limit of Liability. At most, you’ll receive $1 million when you claim both benefits.
myFICO’s identity theft protection for family plan covers all persons added to the subscription. Cash Recovery payment is limited to 1 occurrence every 12 months.
Similar to the insurance parameters found in other identity theft protection services, this financial product has periodic coverage limits.
The user interface of the myFICO app has all the desirable qualities.
This app uses abundant whitespace, familiar visuals, well-defined sections, like Scores, Insights, or Alerts. You won’t have any issues navigating it.
Said winning design elements are consistent anywhere you go. So if you hate bad design as much as the next mobile user, you’ll love the myFICO app.
Non-subscribers can reach myFICO through its 800 number for general inquiries. For subscribers in need of lost wallet protection and ID theft resolution assistance, the company provides an 888 hotline.
The 888 hotline is open 24/7. The 800 number is available only from 6 am to 6 p, PST Monday through Friday and 7 am to 4 pm on Saturdays.
Email support if your concern isn’t urgent. myFICO promises to answer emails within 24 hours.
If you don’t mind reading numerous articles, do explore myFICO.com’s trio of expansive knowledge bases.
First is Education, which includes the FAQ, Glossary, and Blog sections. Second is Community, which is home to the site’s forum with helpful 750,000 members. Third is the Support Center, which features bite-sized articles meant to answer product-related questions in less than a minute.
Lastly, the site has a vast array of financial calculators to play with. We tried a few for our myFICO review and found them incredibly useful. If you want to do a better job at managing credit cards, comparing mortgages and home equity loans, etc., the calculators can help a lot.
myFICO offers four plans, three for individuals and one for families. None being extremely feature-rich. However, all of them include the essentials in credit management and ID theft protection.
The good news is that practically all features are standard across the plans.
MyFICO subscriptions tend to be on the pricey side:
- FICO Basic: $19.95/month
- FICO Advanced: $29.95/month
- FICO Premier: $39.95/month
- FICO Family Advanced: $49.95/month
We already mentioned the tricky part about upgrading from Basic to Advanced. And as you can tell, only one plan has a version for groups. So if you want the identity theft protection for family subscription, you can’t receive monthly FICO score updates.
You can also buy onetime reports:
- 1-Bureau Report (Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax): $19.95
- 3-Bureau Report: $59.85
These onetime reports include FICO mortgage, auto loan, and credit card scores as well as the tools and personalized insights.
Accessible for 30 days from the time of activation, you have to make use of your onetime report within 12 months from the date when you purchased it.
The pricing of these onetime reports can be a disincentive, though. Despite having inherently fewer features, they aren’t cheaper.
Identity Guard® vs. myFICO
ID theft protection is the only category where Identity Guard and myFICO cancel each other out. Both survey the Dark Web for stolen credentials, monitor public records for signs of identity fraud, and send timely alerts well.
The ID theft victim assistance is the equivalent of myFICO’s 24/7 identity restoration service. Each delivers lost wallet protection, uses US-based experts, and provides ID theft insurance worth $1 million.
Although Identity Guard’s risk management score has no myFICO counterpart, the credit management company is oddly the one offering child identity monitoring at the moment.
Also, both brands use 128-bit encryption. It isn’t the most secure technology available today, but it’s still satisfying.
In terms of cybersecurity and privacy, ID Guard is miles away from myFICO. The former has a safe browser tool, a secure password manager, keyboard encryption software, and a PC antivirus app.
Both ID theft protection providers deliver credit management functionalities, but myFICO is unbeatable in this department.
What makes myFICO special comes at a price, though. To deliver regularly updated 3-bureau credit reports, it charges more while offering practically no cybersecurity and privacy tools.
As a result, ID Guard’s most expensive subscription for individuals is 25% more affordable than myFICO’s Premier plan. In addition, myFICO’s Basic subscription cost more or less $5 more than Identity Guard’s cheapest family plan.
Another reason why myFICO can’t match ID Guard’s pricing is a lack of annual subscription options. Identity Guard is able to offer discounted rates because it lets customers sign up for longer deals. ID Guard also has a more forgiving refund policy.
Verdict – Is myFICO Worth It?
Excellent identity protection services may not be the first idea that pops into your head when you hear myFICO, but it’s a reliable one.
Just don’t expect too much. The company offers no extra tools to boost your internet security and privacy outside the 128-bit encryption.
Nevertheless, myFICO is a logical choice if you intend to rebuild your credit more quickly. It will help you develop healthy habits to handle your finances while safeguarding the credentials of your family from fraudsters.
Frankly, myFICO’s pricing can be prohibitive. This myFICO review even argued that the company’s onetime reports are practically token options.
If you’re on a budget, feel free to explore all other ID theft providers on the market. After all, you may struggle to handle debt if your disposable income doesn’t permit such a subscription.
But if you can afford a myFICO plan, especially a higher-tier one, give it a try. It’s great for ample ID theft protection and comprehensive credit management services.
Using myFICO won’t affect your credit scores. You can perform credit checks all you want with no repercussions. Although each instance triggers a soft inquiry or a soft pull and will appear on your credit reports, this is visible only to you.
Creditors can’t see and use soft inquiries against you, so such information couldn’t influence the judgment of loan lenders and credit card issuers.
Any credit report of yours could become inaccurate a day later. That’s because bureaus continuously update reports since new items can appear on your file every 24 hours.
Therefore, the accuracy of your reports depends on how frequent and consistent information furnishers submit your data to credit bureaus.
However, myFICO provides monthly or quarterly updates only. This means your credit reports will be 30 days old at the very least before you can view the latest contents.
It would be nice if myFICO could provide you access to updated reports daily, but doing so isn’t commercially viable. On the upside, the company offers constant FICO score and credit monitoring, so you can keep tabs on changes to your creditworthiness.
myFICO costs are that high because of the prices the credit bureaus want for their updated reports.
The company isn’t the only source of these documents. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find another that conveniently provides all three with one subscription or one transaction.
myFICO offers no free trials and no refunds. So by definition, its plans have no money-back guarantee.
You can’t test a plan out and demand your cash back if you’re not satisfied, so read as many myFICO reviews as you can to get all the information you need before signing up.
Yes, it is. Without context, myFICO subscriptions do seem pricey. But if you purchase Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax reports individually or collectively, you stand to spend the same amount or so much more. For more information, read our myFico review above.