As we are seeing on the other thread regarding “Overall utilization of 6%, is it a Thing?” you do not have a complete picture of how FICO 8 works, because you have not invested the subscription fee to get at-the-moment updates from scoring events on your own file such as significant changes in individual card utilization. That is what a MF subscription gets you, which you do not realize.
That's all fine and well and doesn't change the fact that many people on this site have reported receiving alerts from free CMS sources quicker than the one from their paid MF service. How dare all of these people that are paying for a monthly service state that their free services at times provide faster alerts!
I'm not very knowledgeable about free or inexpensive services, but as for expensive services I can say the following:
1. EQ provides daily real time access to the report + a non-FICO score.
2. TU provides daily real time access to the report + a non-FICO score.
3. EX provides daily real time access to the report + 4 FICO scores (FICO 2, 8, Auto 8, Bankcard 8).
4. MyFICO's most expensive monitoring service (the monthly one) provides monthly real time access to the report + approximately 15 scores, while the quarterly version provides quarterly access to the same content.
5. MyFICO's 2 most expensive monitoring services (the monthly one and the quarterly one) also provide sporadic time-delayed updates of FICO 8 scores + time-delayed alerts of certain events, unrelated to each other.
Anyone who relies on MyFICO's alerts as being in real time, or as demonstrating a causal relationship between the score update and the content of the alert, is operating under a misconception.
My experience pretty much mirrored that of SJ. When I first started paying attention to my credit score/profile in April/May 2017, other than free sites like CK and Nerdwallet...etc., I signed up to myFICO (quarterly), Experian CreditWorks, TU and EQ Premium, to see which (if any) was worth keeping. After a month of evaluation, I ended up keeping Experian (they offered 50% off for the first year to keep me) and TU (also 50% off) mainly for credit lock feature for all 3 CRAs (TU allows locking of EQ).
I didn't know much back then and was frustrated with myFICO because it was often late and inconsistent alerting events that others picked up, including free services. I remember being on the phone with a myFICO CSR asking why an HP from Experian was never picked up by myFICO 2 weeks after others picked up instantly, she had no answers for me other than apologies. Needless to say, I didn't renew myFICO subscription.
Thanks for the post above, OM. Clearly I wasn't qualified to convey that info since I've never been a MF member, but you certainly are! I'd be frustrated as well if I were in your shoes and seemingly not getting as much as I should from a paid CMS subscription.
I've been a subscriber to MyFICO monitoring for probably 4 years or so.
Its value to me is in (a) the detailed monthly report of a raft of FICO scores
and (b) the frequent, albeit time-delayed, updates of FICO 8.
The alerts are to me a bit of fun fluff, quite similar to the free stuff I get from Wallet Hub
and the like, and never really telling me anything I didn't already know. I opt for as many of the
alerts as I can get, on the offchance that they provide a quicker update on the FICO 8 score.
I appreciate the honest feedback. Very good to know. I definitely see value in the periodic obtaining of all the FICO scores possible from MF. As for a monthly membership, it's simply not for me.
Interesting conversation folks. I have mentioned what I am about to say on other threads, but it may be helpful to say again.
As far as I can tell, BBS and I are the most vocal advocates of ultralow to zero-cost strategies for monitoring one's credit reports and FICO scores (I gather there are quite a few others, but he and I are the most vocal). But as you can see from BBS' last post, he also sees great value in using the myFICO Ultimate service occasionally: i.e. signing up to grab all two dozen scores once ever 18 months, 12 months, 24 months, whatever. We also think that the Ultimate service can be very good for anyone preparing for a mortgage.
Moreover, BBS and I are on record as believing that the much more costly solutions are fine as long as the person has fully looked at the ULC (ultra low cost) strategies and has made an informed decision that he wants to pay for the more costly services (e.g. our friend SouthJ).
The reason BBS and I chime in on this is often many people (e.g. silent lurkers) are unaware of the ULC options or are mistaken about them (e.g. they believe that they don't provide "genuine" or "real" reports and scores).
So in short: (1) BBS and I think that the myFICO Ultimate (and its cousins) have a place even in our hyperfrugal strategies and (2) We always affirm the decision of anyone who has all the info at his disposal and has made the informed choice to go with a more costly solution.
Great summary above, CGID and one I co-sign 100%. The biggest thing for me (and I believe you as well) is providing lurkers or those brand new to the forum with the knowledge to make informed decisions. I know when I first found this forum, I was not aware of the free services out there or ultra low cost options. I assumed like many the classic "you get what you pay for" saying held true and that paying for a monthly membership was probably required to meet my needs. After a little bit of research, I realized that was not necessary and that my needs could be met for little to no money. I do believe that a large number of people when provided with this information as I was once would make the decision to save money. And, as you stated, those that do decide to go ahead with a monthly subscription somewhere are at least doing it coming from an informed place. Win-win all around, regardless, IMO.