Simple Credit Protection
Hi Money Masters!
With all the scary stories being told this time of year and frightening decorations adorning the neighborhoods, I thought it necessary to talk about how SCARY it could be if your credit or identity was compromised. Many of you may not realize the proper way to get rid of old credit cards.
Usually, when we are finished using something we simply toss it into the trash can, without a second thought. However, sometimes a little bit of strategic thinking is needed when it comes to personal items, specifically credit cards.
Anything with personal information on it should be disposed of with care, like shredding bank and legal documents. But there is a certain way to discard a credit card. With identity theft and fraud as a threat, it is not just in our digital world that we need to take precautions. Some thieves still have no qualms about digging through garbage cans.
Take these simple steps to dispose of a card…
1. Make a call.
If you are closing an account, call the number on the back of the card. Redeem any rewards points first, if applicable. Ensure the balance is paid in full and at $0. Then, cancel any automatic payments. This step is not needed if you are just replacing an expired card.
(Be wary when closing an account, as it may affect your credit negatively. This depends on an individual’s unique financial and credit situation. Use caution!)
2. Make the cut.
Grab a good pair of scissors and get to cutting. Start by cutting through the chip if your card has one. Then make a few more cuts …… spread the pieces out into a couple different trash cans. Some shredders are build to handle plastic cards as well.
3. Double check.
If you did close an account just check back to make sure all is good. In general, it’s always a good idea to check on open account statements too.
Following these simple steps could mean the difference between telling a scary story or living in one!