Old financial papers
Question: After cleaning out a closet, I now have old bank statements and other financial information, even old checks that I didn’t use because of a change of address. It fills a trash bag, but is it safe to put it out in the trash? If not, what do I do with it? My little shredder would overheat if I tried to shred all of it. Claudia, Baltimore, MD
Answer: I definitely would not put any old financial information like that in the garbage. Odds are that your Social Security number is in the papers, as well as other valuable financial data that a dumpster-diving thief could use to steal your identity.
So, although it’s a pain and it means an extra trip I would take the paper to a professional paper shredding site. It’s safer, and the paper will get recycled to boot. (I know it’s a pain because I was just staring at an old computer and television that need to be recycled. I’ve been meaning to do it for some time, now. This weekend I’ll get it done.) Some neighborhoods hold paper shredding “events” where a truck with a shredder stops by. It’s another option if it is happening in your area.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.