I'm currently working on rebuilding my credit, and then plan on purchasing my first home. Right now I have the free trial to my Fico Score, but it's about to expire. My question is, what is the best website to use to monitor my credit report and score, it it better to have a subscription, or just purchase my report/score every few months? What is the best route to go, without spending a fortune?
Any recommendation would be based on your goals. Credit monitoring is certainly a YMMV-thing.
First off, know that there are only a finite number of places you can get your FICO score. Other than myFICO.com, you can also get your EQ FICO from Equifax.com (but not from their Credit Complete product) or from your lender. Other than myFICO.com, you can also get your TU FICO from transunioncs.com (note the -cs) and from your lender. Finally, as of last year, Experian no longer allows consumers to pull their own EX FICO score, but you can get it from your lender or on your checking statement if you happen to have a checking account with a CU in PA called PSECU. Any other score from any other source are not FICO scores, but a knock-off we call FAKOs. Ignore any FAKO score and their advice (as it is tailored to that FAKO score).
Personally, and mentally, I seperate in my mind report info and FICO scores (because there's only a couple of places to go for that). For report info, you can go just about anywhere. Obviously, pull your free reports once a year via annualcreditreport.com, or if you pulled sometime back and just now are starting repair, then it is a good practice to pull fresh reports, IMO.
As changes occur to your reports, you'd want to track those changes. A CMS is very helpful in that. Check out the CMS guide stickied on this board. The prices can vary from a few bucks to $30 or so monthly. A CMS will display your report and will alert you to any major changes. Some CMSs allow you to pull one CRA only, and others, like CCT, allow you to pull all 3 reports to display side-by-side. Some CMSs only allow you to pull a new report once per year (avoid those) and some allow you to pull new reports everyday (like CCT). I personally use CCT and pull all 3 reports every single day. Like with the FICO sources above, ignore the scores that come with any given CMS. As changes occur to the reports, I come back here, to myFICO, and pull a new FICO report for EQ or TU to track those score changes. If you don't want to track changes daily, then other CMSs allow for weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports.
If you don't want to know the day-to-day changes, then another option is to pull new reports from myFICO (TU and EQ only) every so often via FICO Standard. MyFICO does offer daily monitoring via EQ on the product called ScoreWatch, as you subscribed to. I also use that. Once you get that first report, if you set your target score (in Settings) to exactly equal your current FICO score, then everytime your EQ FICO changes, then you get alerted. After each score change, you'll have to change your Target score again and again. Downside, though, is that you won't exactly know why your score changes. You'll be hinted to it, but those hints don't always tell the full picture.
In any case, google "myFICO discount code" first or check them out on Twitter.