Identity Guard vs MyFico

Comparing these two services is a bit difficult, largely because they have very different focuses. They are both very nearly hyper-specialized in one specific aspect of identity theft protection. Identity Guard focuses primarily on the identity monitoring side of things, helping to keep a lock on your identity elements. MyFico, on the other hand, is about 80% credit monitoring, with a little nod toward other identity theft protection aspects.

So, it should be interesting to see how these two stack up in each of their respective arenas.

Why Should You Trust Us?

identity theft protection

Our method helps ensure we get information that is not only accurate, but relevant to the average user. We approach every service as if we were anyone else, finding the best deals we can, inputting our extensive test information, and then using it for a while as a standard user. Then, we gauge the service’s usefulness with our expert experience, and rank them based on a number of key categories. In order of importance, these are:

  1. Monitoring and alerts
  2. Threat resolution
  3. Insurance
  4. Ease of use 
  5. Cost
  6. Additional services

The categories are weighted and judged on their own merits, and then used to derive the final score. Much of the final score comes from  the top three categories, as these determine the largest portion of a service’s utility. Scoring highly in the realms of monitoring, threat resolution, and to a lesser extent insurance, are more important than scoring highly in all three of the bottom categories combined.

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Is Identity Theft Protection Worth it?

identity theft protection

Identity theft protection should be as important to you as any other precaution you take to protect yourself and your family. In many cases, it is actually more important than a home security system, as identity fraud is fast becoming one of the most common crimes around the world. Even worse, it’s a crime that affects all ages, including children, who are about 13 times more likely to be victims of identity theft than adults.

Buying identity theft protection is just the responsible thing to do for yourself and your family, and well worth investing in, if only for the peace of mind. It’s like buying health or auto insurance, but more broadly encompassing…and usually a fair bit cheaper.

Ease of Use: Winner – Identity Guard

MyFico instantly got off on the wrong foot with me, honestly. I really dislike the overall layout. Mind you, this is more of a personal preference thing. I think the  site is relatively easy to navigate, but I don’t think it prioritizes the right information in the right places for identity theft protection.

Taking up most of the screen when you first log on is your credit scores. You have to scroll down to see anything else, save the navigation bar at the top.

myFICO credit scores

Everything else on the front page? It’s all just credit scores and discussion of credit scores (sorted by type, credit impact, etc.).

You do get a quick look at how many pending alerts there are, but it’s all very vague stuff unless you actually open the tab. I had other problems with this format which we’ll discuss later as well.

Alerts

Identity Guard, meanwhile, has pretty much my ideal layout.

Identity Guard dashboard

There’s a lot of relevant info available here with minimal scrolling. Pending alerts, your credit score(s), fast access to a variety of useful tools – all available from the dashboard, not even counting the navigation bar at the top. The latter is also well organized and easy to navigate.

Identity Guard usually wins out in this category compared to everyone else, but there’s not even a contest here.

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Winner: Identity Guard

It has a lot of relevant info available here with minimal scrolling. Pending alerts, your credit score(s), fast access to a variety of useful tools – all available from the dashboard, not even counting the navigation bar at the top. It is also well organized and easy to navigate.

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Monitoring and Alerts: Winner – Identity Guard

This is another no contest category. Identity Guard is one of, if not the best monitoring services on the market when it comes to their monitoring. It is what the service lives and breathes to do.

MyFico, on the other hand…treats it pretty much as an afterthought.

Identity Guard’s highest service tier plan offers a number of monitoring tools, both basic and advanced:

  • Bank account and credit card monitoring
  • Data breach and dark web monitoring
  • Sex offender and criminal monitoring
  • USPS address change monitoring
  • Payday loan monitoring
  • Investment account alerts
  • Home title monitoring
  • 401(k) and investment monitoring

MyFico, meanwhile, has…data breach and dark web monitoring. Plus credit monitoring, of course, though Identity Guard offers this as well. This is incredibly basic monitoring, though to its credit, the dark web monitoring appears to be both fast and accurate. So the quality is there…but the quantity is too far lacking to be worthwhile.

Their credit monitoring, on the other hand, is amazing. We’ll discuss that further in a moment.

Winner: Identity Guard

Identity Guard is one of, if not the best monitoring services on the market when it comes to their monitoring. It is what the service lives and breathes to do.

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Threat Resolution Services: Winner – MyFico

While Identity Guard offers much better monitoring, credit where it’s due, MyFico’s threat resolution is pretty darn good.

For both services, their primary means of identity restoration is through their customer support teams. The difference here? Availability.

Identity Guard is available from 8 AM to 11 PM (EST) on weekdays, and from 9 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays; they’re closed Sundays. This is not the best on the market by any stretch, but it’s quite good on the whole. 

However, it’s hard to beat 24/7 identity restoration chats with their experts, which is what MyFico offers.

Winner: MyFico

It’s hard to beat 24/7 identity restoration chats with their experts, which is what MyFico offers.

Additional Services – Winner: MyFico

This is a place where Identity Guard is quite weak. It would be fair to say they have no “additional services” at all, as what little they have falls more under niche threat resolution services (like wallet restoration), and none of it is unique to Identity Guard specifically.

This is, on the other hand, where the meat and potatoes of MyFico’s service lies. They are very clearly a service specialized in credit monitoring. That’s why the credit monitoring is up front and in your face on the dashboard, and why half their service is specialized in providing better and better credit score information. They remind me a lot of Experian’s IdentityWorks in that regard, though I like MyFico’s approach a little better.

In particular, I love their Credit Simulator feature. This allows you to run through different scenarios on paying down however much debt, or making any number of different credit choices, and getting a simulation of how that would affect your credit scores.

In this case, our test information’s scores have been trending downwards a bit for a while. The simulation shows what might happen if much of their debt was paid off over the course of about a year, lowering their debt to credit ratio significantly.

credit ratio

This is a very nice tool to have, and also helps to visualize the difference between different credit unions and what their scores might care about compared to others.

The simulator might be worth checking out MyFico on its own.

Winner: MyFico

This isthe meat and potatoes of MyFico’s service lies. They are very clearly a service specialized in credit monitoring. That’s why the credit monitoring is up front and in your face on the dashboard, and why half their service is specialized in providing better and better credit score information.

Cost: Winner – Identity Guard

This is another no-brainer category, and there’s not much to say. Identity Guard is both cheaper and more effective.

Quick Price Comparison:

Value
Total
Ultra
Price
Individual Monthly
Value
$7.20 /month
$86.40/year
Total
$15.99 /month
$191.88/year
Ultra
$23.99 /month
Individual Annual
Value
$6.67 /month
$80.04/year
Total
$15.99 /month
$159.96/year
Ultra
$20.00 /month
Family Monthly
Value
$11.99 /month
$143.88/year
Total
$23.99 /month
$287.88/year
Ultra
$31.99 /month
Family Annual
Value
$10.00 /month
$120.00/year
Total
$20.00 /month
$240.00/year
Ultra
$26.67 /month
Basic
Advanced
Premier
Price
Individual
Basic
$19.95 /month
Advanced
$29.95 /month
Premier
$39.95 /month

The MyFico Basic plan is also, notably, laughably under-baked. It offers precisely zero identity monitoring, putting it even below Identity Guard’s Value plan (which I do not like at all; I think it is a very bad value).

Winner: Identity Guard

At every tier of service Identity Guard both outperforms and under-prices MyFico, making it difficult to justify signing up for the service. Especially when the only difference between the Advanced and Premier plans is getting credit reports more frequently.

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Insurance: Winner – Identity Guard

Not much to say here. Both offer $1 million in insurance, but Identity Guard’s is more comprehensive, offering a separate pool of $1 million each for both restoration of stolen funds and expenses. MyFico merely offers a single pool to cover both.

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Final Verdict: Winner – Identity Guard

identity guard

This was a rough comparison, largely because I really wanted to like MyFico. It has some really interesting and useful features, particularly that credit simulator tool. Unfortunately its pricing is a real turnoff to me, and should be to anyone else as well. Paying so much for so little is absurd, and I really don’t know what MyFico was thinking when they cooked up that pay scale. This might be the single worst value of any identity theft protection service I’ve ever reviewed. A real shame, as if it had a true budget option, it might be an interesting choice for people looking primarily for advanced credit monitoring features not offered by free alternatives.

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