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Budgeting and Fico ($$) Reports

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Budgeting and Fico ($$) Reports


I'm new to the community forum, but have been getting a Fico report on and off for the past several years.

I've been getting the monthly Fico 1B Experian report for $19.95. It pricey, especially considering I'm trying to stick to a budget and pay down debt. For those of you who receive the Fico 3B report for more money, is the price worth the info you receive? I curious to know my score across the board, but cannot justify the price. 




My Specs:

Debt: Student loan $17,000

Current Fico Experian Score: 732

Nov 2018 Fico Experian Score: 724

May 2016 Fico Experian Score: 682

2000 to 2016: unknown, way to afraid to look

Message 1 of 6
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Budgeting and Fico ($$) Reports

Honestly if all you're looking for is Experian access, just sign up with them directly for their lower plan: daily Experian access for $10 per month and the only thing you lose is FICO 9 access and that's not exactly relevant.  That's what I'm doing currently FWIW, plus a once a year full 3B pull here to just see how I did over the year, but admittedly I know my files with a level of intimacy that is rationally disturbing.  Also there's some CCT trial for $1 which you can cancel and re-signup repeatedly for FICO 8 much like what appears to be breaking Blue Apron on the meal service side so I'm guessing lots of people may be doing this too FWIW.


3B isn't a bad product, but it isn't for everyone; put simply, anyone who spends some amount of time reading through this forum can probably pretty easily figure out that credit scoring algorithms aren't magic, and that really the important thing is just check the data the bureaus have every so often.  If I weren't a hardcore geek when it came to scoring algorithms, I'd probably just get free report access from Credit Karma for EQ/TU and probably the free and/or free Experian monthly products and then just check them every so often for unexpected surprises.


So much more data access now and tools for tracking accounts and expenses and everything else these days, that I think the heyday of paid Credit Monitoring Solutions is already past.

Message 2 of 6

Re: Budgeting and Fico ($$) Reports

I thought the Fico scores were more accurate, though. 

Message 3 of 6
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Budgeting and Fico ($$) Reports

@moneynerd wrote:

I thought the Fico scores were more accurate, though. 

FICO scores are FICO scores, regardless of where you got them from.


The problem is there's a slew of different FICO scores, and the ones you have access to might not match with what your lender pulls (which is arguably the only score that matters).


If you want the most complete picture of your credit scores than you cannot do better than the FICO 3B product, literally nobody else in the industry offers anything close to matching that... but when it comes to one's financial life, about the only time I think you *have* to have that clarity is when chasing a mortgage because you know with 99.999% certainty exactly what the lender is going to pull.


But I'm not doing that every month, or every year even, and I can get that for $60 on a one time event if I do need it (which I might shortly, this year is not going how I expected it to), and that picture is further complicated by the rise of internal lending scores that Chase and others are already using, though that might not make it down to the mid-sized banks / credit unions anytime soon, everyone already has the data to do it today.


Ultimately the advice I'd give anyone is since we cannot predict what credit score will be used, just make your file pretty so that whatever algorithm is chosen a pretty score is the result... and I don't need any CMS to know my EX file is just fine, and my EQ less so, and my TU even less than that.

Message 4 of 6
Super Contributor

Re: Budgeting and Fico ($$) Reports

As Revelate observes, there are many zero-cost or ultralow cost options for pulling credit reports and FICO scores.


A simple choice is to utilize the $1 trial offer at Credit Check Total, which gives you your three FICO 8 scores and a 3-bureau report.  Just cancel after you get the report and scores.  You can easily do that once per month.  Many people just do it once a quarter.


Credit Karma gives you your EQ and TU reports (ignore the scores) and gives you your EX report (as well as a FICO 8 score).  Those are both free.


Many credit cards give you free FICO 8 scores.



Message 5 of 6

Re: Budgeting and Fico ($$) Reports

Thanks, CreditGuyinDixie. :cathappy:  I'll check out Credit check total. 

Message 6 of 6
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