Ready To Shred: Types Of Documents That You Should Shred

16 April 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Identity theft is a big deal these days. People can use your identity to build a life for themselves, to borrow money, or to create an identity for someone else. Shredding documents can help to prevent this from happening, but knowing which documents to shred is important.

Photo IDs

Driver's licenses, old passes for work, college ID badges, or other IDs might not carry much information, but they can give thieves a place to start when gathering information to steal your identity. 

Pay Stubs

Your pay stubs do not have all the information to steal your ID, but they do have some information. A thief approaches stealing an ID like a puzzle, and every piece helps. 

Convenience Checks

Credit card companies will sometimes send checks that you can use to borrow money before you get your actual card. If you throw this check away intact, a thief can use it to borrow money in your name. You are then on the hook for the money they borrow. 

Voided Checks

While a thief won't be able to use a voided check to make a purchase, they can take your bank account and routing number from the check, and then use these numbers to create their own checks or otherwise access the money in your account. 

Bank Statements

Your bank statement will contain even more critical information than a voided check, so if it is important to shred voided checks, it is just as important to destroy bank statements. 

Tax Returns

While you should save tax return documents for three years, you can get rid of them after that. Federal audits will only go back for three years. After three years, your tax documents are just a liability. The information on these documents can be a gold mine for identity thieves. 

Credit Card Offers

If you don't plan on taking a bank up on their offer to lend you money via a credit card, you should dispose of the offer right away so that someone else does take your offer and put you on the hook for their charges. 

Identity thieves will scavenge for any information they can use to make a profit by taking away your money or by taking out money in your name. Your best bet for protecting your identity is to destroy any documents that would give them this information before they have a chance to use it against you. Shredding documents is one of the best ways to do this.