img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-6769″ alt=”review your credit score” src=”http://www.moneycrashers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/myFICO.png” width=”144″ height=”46″ />I was recently able to spend a good bit of time going through the myFICO site. Here you can get your most up to date FICO score for only $15.95. But the site offers much more than just your score. They have several other “tabs” on their home page that provide you with everything from a variety of products related to monitoring and protecting your FICO score to the latest in low interest credit cards.
FICO Score Defined
First, let’s define what we’re talking about. In today’s “credit-focused” world, all of the different scores and reports can get confusing. Your FICO score is determined by the Fair Isaac Corporation (thus the name FICO) and is a way of measuring an individual’s creditworthiness. It is a score that can range from 350 up to 850.There are a lot of things that go into determining your score (the entire process is complex and very well-guarded). Among other things, it includes your default history, the current amount of debt that you have, and the length of your credit history.
This number is used to determine everything from your mortgage rates to terms on your credit cards to interest rates on car loans and is used by about 90% of the banks in this country. And for the most part, your FICO score is the only thing that matters when it comes to determining these rates in your financial life. Any other so-called “scores” out there are really just fakes.
The Site Itself
myFICO offers you instant access to your FICO score for only $15.95. As I dug through the history of myFICO, I found that quite some time ago, access to this score used to be free, but not anymore. I read in many places now that it is considered “not free, but the only score that matters.” As an example that they give, a mere 100 point swing in your FICO score could mean a difference of $40,000 in additional interest over the life of a 30-year mortgage.
myFICO is a simple and easy-to-navigate site. There are four tabs on their home page, all offering differing products related to your FICO score. FICO Scores and Credit Reports lists all of the products that they offer, all giving you a variety of benefits relating to your score. The Financial Help Center tab gives you a breakdown of why your score is so important, and relates this information to the different products they offer.
One of the Most Important Pages on the Internet
The Education tab to me is one of the most comprehensive pages regarding your credit score that I have yet to see on the Internet. Here you can get an in-depth explanation of what your score is, what your credit report is, and what affects and does not affect them. They give you tips and advice on improving your score, fixing errors on your report, how to prepare for large purchases, along with forums, videos, and a Q&A section on just about everything financial. They also offer several interactive “calculators” which can help you determine everything from how much it would take to pay off a credit card to how much money you can afford to borrow for a home mortgage.
And Much More
The site has a tab called Credit Card Center which gives you a pretty comprehensive list of just about any kind of credit card you may need. Here they list offers for balance transfer credit cards, credit cards with the best reward programs, cards to help you build your credit, business credit cards, and an advice section to help you decide which card is right for you.
Finally, they have a Community tab which has forums on topics regarding just about everything financial.
The Bottom Line
myFICO is basically your one-stop-shop for everything related to your credit score. I really can’t think of anything that they have left out. There are many places on the Internet that offer you different types of scores and reports and so forth, but your FICO score is the only one that really matters. Most other sites are simply out there to sell you products that you may or may not necessarily need, whereas myFICO, in addition to offering you your most updated credit score, gives you relevant, pertinent information on everything that goes into the determination of that score.
If nothing else, the page on Education should be in everyone’s list of favorites. The information provided there is straightforward and is not geared towards trying to get you to purchase any one particular product or credit card. It offers unbiased and objective advice on everything both positive and negative regarding your credit score.
Would I Buy It?
Not often do I ever recommend spending any extra money when it comes to managing your debt or your credit. However, I think I would definitely give myFICO a try if I ever had any questions or concerns regarding my FICO score. It is a great tool to have at your disposal if you are trying to dig your way out of debt, if you are trying to understand your score, or if you are getting ready to make a large purchase of any sort.
But, let me quantify this a little. Your FICO score is based largely on information that is contained in your credit report. I would NEVER pay for my credit report, because you can get this report for free once per year from any of the three major reporting agencies. However, I have not yet found any sites out there that can give you your score for free. Any sites out there claiming to do so more than likely are not providing you with your true, actual FICO score.
The world of credit reports and scores and managing your credit can be an overwhelming and intimidating one. One of the best ways to navigate through all of the information that you need to make informed decisions regarding your credit can be found at myFICO.
If you’ve tried myFICO and have a comment or suggestion about it, feel free to comment below.