The Basics: Requesting Your (For Real!) Free Credit Reports

I’ll say it again: this is not a financial literacy or a repair-your-credit website. But since I was checking my Credit Reports, I figured I’d write about it.

You should really be checking your Credit Reports and Credit Scores, too. Say, once a year, at least. And, because of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) passed in 2003,  you can get your FREE Credit Reports from the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at the site: AnnualCreditReport.com. This is not a gimmick; this is not a come on (although each agency will try to up-sell you in order to get your Credit Scores).

I check my Credit Reports and Credit Scores obsessively (at least once a week or more), but I still visit this site annually because I know these Credit Reports should represent the exact information that each agency  provides to lenders and other interested parties. Continue reading “The Basics: Requesting Your (For Real!) Free Credit Reports”

The Basics: Points and Miles Beyond Hawaii

 

This information is overkill. But, especially when figuring out your travel hacking, you never know when you’re going to need it. Pay attention to the Loyalty Programs you belong to, or should belong to, in order to facilitate free travel around the world.

Note: this site will concentrate on airlines that directly impact Hawaii travelers. So even though Southwest Airlines or JetBlue might be great, we probably won’t be talking much about them.

The map below shows every destination flying out of Honolulu International Airport.

Points and Miles Beyond Hawaii. Image Credit: courtesy of flightconnections.com and Google Maps.

Continue reading “The Basics: Points and Miles Beyond Hawaii”

The Basics: Tracking your Credit Scores and Points and Miles

There are a number of ways to keep track of your FICO/FACO Scores and your points and miles. But first, let’s dispel some credit score myths: 1) Checking your credit score will not lower it; and, 2) You do not (necessarily) have to pay money to access your credit score.

First off, access annualcreditreport.com to receive a free copy of your credit reports once every 12 months, from each of the major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This access was enabled by a 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you aren’t already checking this, you really should be. Review your credit reports for any errors, omissions or suspicious items. Note that you will not receive your FICO/FACO scores with these reports.  Continue reading “The Basics: Tracking your Credit Scores and Points and Miles”