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Protect Your Credit Scores By Shredding

Many documents carry your private information and when they are disposed of should be burned or shredded.  Most people are not in a position to burn their papers and it is much easier and safer to just use a shredder.

Here are some items that you should sure to shred when it is time to dispose of them:

  • Bank Statements - really anything that has your bank account number on it should be shredded when no longer needed.  This includes, not only your bank statement but checks, deposit slips and any letters from the bank that have your account number printed on it.
  • Pay Stubs - Often times a bank or credit union will ask for the amount of your last deposit in order to verify you are the owner of the account.  With your pay stub someone else can provide that information.  Some companies also print your address and social security number on your pay stub as well.  So shred, shred, shred.
  • Tax Returns - when it is time to dispose of these documents then by all means shred them.  They not only carry the social security for yourself but your dependents as well.
  • Old IDs - When you have photo ids driver's license, employer ids or school photo ids you should shred those also when it comes time to dispose of them.  They often carry your social security number, height, weight, hair color and eye color.  All this is information that can be used against you by someone up to identity theft.
  • Canceled Checks - Checks carry your routing number and bank account number and usually your address and for many people their phone number.  If you have voided a check then shred it as soon as you don't need it anymore.  Another tip is to never write your entire credit card number on your check in the "For" field when you send in your credit card payment.  Just include the last four digits. 
  • Convenience Checks - Many credit card companies send you checks that you can use to obtain a cash advance.  If you do not use these checks then shred them.  Don't just throw them in the garbage.  If you never use these type checks then call your credit card company and request that they quit sending them to you.
  • Credit Card Offers - Shred these type documents quickly and don't leave them laying around the house.  Many occurrences of identity theft are performed by someone that actually knows the person from which they are stealing.
  • Copy of Your Credit Report - Your credit report has important personal information on it like your social security number, credit card account numbers, your address, dob, etc. Don't leave this document just lying around anywhere.

The documents listed here are some of the more common documents that people just mindlessly toss into the garbage each day.  Invest in a shredder.  They don't cost that much and can save you months and years of headaches.

The key is to pay attention and be conscience of the information that you are either tossing to the garbage or just leaving laying around in your home, in your car or in your office.









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