Q:  We are working on applying for a home loan, but need to get our scores up. How accurate is the Identity Guard TOTAL PROTECTION credit score compared to the ones the bank uses? 

A:  Identity Guard TOTAL PROTECTION® credit scores were very, very close to FICO credit scores in our (non-formal) testing among 8 different people.  Identity Guard uses the CreditXpert brand of credit scores which we believe is a good approximation of what your FICO score might be.  Banks typically use FICO brand credit scores, but this is not always the case.  It is impossible to predict which credit scores your particular bank uses, but a good way to find out is to call and ask them.

If you’re working on improving your credit scores, Identity Guard includes a useful credit analyzer tool that lets you try out different financial actions to see how they might affect your credit score.  For example, you can experiment with making loan payments, transferring balances and opening or closing credit accounts.  The credit analyzer tool will take your existing credit score, factor in the change and simulate what your new credit score would be. This is a pretty nifty way to help determine which actions may help your credit score the most.

Right now Identity Guard is offering a free 30-day trial, during which you’ll get free 3-bureau credit scores,  a free public records report and free Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite.  Even if you cancel during the trial period, you’ll get to keep all these goodies free of charge, so it’s a great time to try Identity Guard out and see if you like it.