Monday, May 7, 2007

Personal Finance's Biggest Ally: The Shredder

You really need a good one.

I currently average about 1 average-sized plastic bag full of shredded personally identifiable information a month, and the speed at which the bag is filling up is increasing still.

Why all this craziness? Financial institutions from your local credit union to big names like Chase and Citibank are really increasing their mailings to boost their profits, and to entice people to borrow in what is a relatively low interest rate environment.

The downside? Your personal financial information is flowing to your door faster than ever, and identity thieves are having a ball digging through your trash for all the information they need. Forget the high-tech hacking of government databases, one easy trash diving session later, they could be you.

Make sure you get a shredder that not only shreds at least 5 pages at a time, but can also shred credit cards. Not only will it help you get more financially responsible as you wean yourself off credit cards, but it can help you get rid of unwanted ones.

Yes. I did indeed receive one from Citi Mortgage recently out of the blue. While I appreciate that they could trust me with $13,000 in credit, I don't appreciate having my credit checked and a card issued to me for no reason.

So keep a lookout for those overzealous credit card issuers, and shred everything with your financial data on it that you don't need to save for your recordkeeping.


traineeinvestor said...

Instead of buying a shredder I just bring the stuff into the office and use my employer's.

Finance Guy said...

It's not a bad idea, and you save yourself $25!