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  #1  
Old 09-23-2003, 02:01 PM
Moe Moe is online now
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Best way to dispose of old bank statements and the like?

I've been diligently saving bank (and other account) statements for probably over 3 years now, you know, just in case.

It's come time to let go though. I just confirmed with my bank that, should that unlikely emergency event come where I need to check something, my records will still be obtainable, even if for a few bucks.

So I'll keep about a year's worth, and destroy the rest. But I don't have a shredder. My dad does, but still, it's a lot of paper, and I believe his shredder couldn't handle too many pages at a time. (I could be wrong about that).

Does anyone have any suggestions for alternatives. Burning seems much more difficult than it'd be worth. Unless I had a charcoal grill or something like that, I'd probably have to dig a hole.

Maybe there's an incinerator somewhere open to the public? Or a mass shredder?
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2003, 02:18 PM
Zenster Zenster is offline
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Soak the documents in water after tearing them up. Burning is best though, followed by shredding.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2003, 02:26 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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Singularly work your way through each one with a hole punch. It'll take you years but you'll sleep better afterwards.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2003, 03:03 PM
Moe Moe is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by lieu
Singularly work your way through each one with a hole punch. It'll take you years but you'll sleep better afterwards.
Unfortunately I don't own one. I believe I have a safety pin floating around here somewhere, if I can find it. (I hope it's in it's "safe" position).
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2003, 03:40 PM
Giraffe Giraffe is online now
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Unless you have an active volcano nearby, I would burn them in an old metal trash can, crush the can into a cube and then shoot the cube into the center of the sun.

You really can't be too careful, you know.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2003, 03:41 PM
Triss Triss is offline
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Don't forget your gloves, goggles and respirator when operating your safety pin! *shudders at the potential carnage*

Seriously, you can buy shredders extremely cheaply these days. I think I paid around 40 bucks CDN for my little one. It just sits on the lip of the garbage bin. The one I have can take up to twently pages at a time, or ten folded in half. I use it for everything with any financial/personal info printed on it.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2003, 03:48 PM
troub troub is offline
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Re: Best way to dispose of old bank statements and the like?

Quote:
Originally posted by Moe
Burning seems much more difficult than it'd be worth. Unless I had a charcoal grill or something like that, I'd probably have to dig a hole.
So Moe, you must be married or something right? Living with someone who won't let you properly burn stuff in the kitchen sink like a regular person?

I've been slowly collecting stuff like that for several years too. I've bought a shredder, and one of these days I'll start slowly shredding the offending waste. I'd be satisfied with a good shredding (crosscut yada yada etc.), and making sure that the shreds are good and mixed up with other shredded stuff (so maybe any one document would be spread between different bags of shreds) before I dispose of them in the garbage (or recycling).
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2003, 04:56 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Take your shredded papers and use them as bedding for your dog, or for your cat's litter box. (If anybody wants your info bad enough to try to reassemble the used shreds from your cat's litter box, good luck to them!) Or donate the shreds to your local humane shelter.

I'd suggest avoiding burning, because this material is readily recycleable, and we don't need to pollute the air any more.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2003, 05:07 PM
SpazCat SpazCat is online now
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Get a pair of gerbils. Tear the bank statements into hand-sized pieces. Give the pieces to the gerbils. Watch as your statements turn into a nest.
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  #10  
Old 09-23-2003, 05:33 PM
LordVor LordVor is offline
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Get a shredder. They're dirt cheap these days, and provide hours and hours of entertainment.

-lv
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2003, 05:38 PM
Moe Moe is online now
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Re: Re: Best way to dispose of old bank statements and the like?

Quote:
Originally posted by troub
So Moe, you must be married or something right? Living with someone who won't let you properly burn stuff in the kitchen sink like a regular person?

Actually, I share a house with 3 other single guys, so the problem with your idea is more about doing the dishes then anything else.

I may invest in one of those shredders, or just wait till I have some time to head over to the folks house. I'm sure my dad's is one of those 20-pages-at-a-time ones, so that's not too bad. I was just kinda motivated to take care of it today.

As far as pets, birds are all we got here(I'm allergic to dogs and cats, maybe gerbils, I dunno). I'm not sure that sticking over 2 years of bank statements into their cage will promote that homey, living room feel I'm going for.

Since it'll probably be some time till I can get to my parent's house, other suggestions are still welcome. (extra points for those not involving allergy-provoking animals, land formations not typically found in suburban Long Island, or breaking through the Earth's gravitational field)
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2003, 06:02 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Another option is to give them to a trusted friend who works in an office that has locked shredder bins.

Every week, the Instashred truck comes by and the bins' contents are shredded on-site.
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  #13  
Old 09-23-2003, 06:28 PM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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From a poster named gotpasswords, I think that is a scam.
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2003, 11:15 AM
handy handy is offline
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I use a fireplace that way my whole neighborhood gets to bask in the odor of my financial life.

BTW, I agree with the others, shredders are pretty cheap these days.
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  #15  
Old 09-24-2003, 11:59 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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I've saved every. fucking. statement. from the last 16 years. And I have no intention of getting rid of them for a looooong time. They don't take up much room and I MIGHT NEED THEM SOME DAY!
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2003, 12:18 PM
teather4 teather4 is offline
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Smart idea saving statements for 16 years. Better save them forever. Makes it easy on the divorce lawyers.
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  #17  
Old 09-24-2003, 02:54 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by UncleBill
From a poster named gotpasswords, I think that is a scam.
What's a scam? The on-site shredding? Or that I deal with restricted "eyes only" level classified documents every day and that they do get shredded every Friday?
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2003, 03:22 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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I once cooked a cheeseburger with 6 months of rejection letters after a job search came to an end. It's the one time I was glad the meat wasn't better done.
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2003, 03:37 PM
metroshane metroshane is offline
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I'll need your ATM PIN to answer your question accurately.
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  #20  
Old 09-24-2003, 05:00 PM
sycorob sycorob is offline
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Shred!

I had the same sort of problem. I was on travel for a long time, did all my banking/credit card/reservation stuff online, and just let all of the paper statements pile up in boxes, bags, backpacks - you get the idea. A mess. There was no way I was going to just throw them in the dumpster, so I finally invested in a shredder. It's a pretty good one, shreds fine and cross-cuts, there's no way anybody's going to want to put that stuff together when there are easier ways to get the information.

Don't take it to your dad's, just buy one if you can afford it. Shredding is actually fun for me, allows me to completely destroy something without hurting anyone. When you finally get through your backlog (took me a few days, I think), you now have a way to immediately get rid of stuff (unsolicited credit card applications, for instance).

I really believe if you get one, you'll love it.
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2003, 10:33 PM
amarone amarone is online now
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This may shock the previous posters, but... I just throw mine in the trash. I don't think the minuscule risk of anything happening is worth the (low) cost, space used or time taken to use a shredder.
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2003, 10:42 PM
Moe Moe is online now
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Re: Shred!

Quote:
Originally posted by sycorob

I really believe if you get one, you'll love it.
I must admit, shredding does sound like fun. But I'm a bit surprised that shredding and burning seem to be the only 2 practical ways to dispose of this stuff, and burning really isn't all that practical.

Well, the motivation has faded. I'll just have to wait till my piss and punk reserve replenishes itself (probably by early Spring) when I get a new inspiration to clean up my life. ::sigh::
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  #23  
Old 09-24-2003, 11:13 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by amarone
This may shock the previous posters, but... I just throw mine in the trash. I don't think the minuscule risk of anything happening is worth the (low) cost, space used or time taken to use a shredder.
Good for you!

For the third consecutive year the FTC reports identity theft tops the list of top ten consumer complaints.

Quote:
Stealing wallets used to be the best way identity thieves obtained SSNs, driverís licenses, credit card numbers and other pieces of identification. While still employed, identity thieves now use more sophisticated means:

* "Dumpster diving" in trash bins for unshredded credit card and loan applications and documents containing SSNs.
* Stealing mail from unlocked mailboxes to obtain newly issued credit cards, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, investment reports, insurance statements, benefits documents, or tax information. Unfortunately, even locked mailboxes may not stop the most determined thief.
* Accessing your credit report fraudulently, for example, by posing as an employer, loan officer, or landlord.
* Obtaining names and SSNs from personnel or customer files in the workplace.
* "Shoulder surfing" at ATM machines and phone booths in order to capture PIN numbers.
* Finding identifying information on Internet sources, via public records sites and fee-based information broker sites.
Source: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17-it.htm

Quote:
A recent report on identity theft warned that there is likely to be "mass victimization" of consumers within the next two years. The report said consumers should be extra careful to monitor all their financial transactions for unexplained account activity, withdrawals, or fund transfers.

-The Gartner Group, a technology research group

It cost the average victim more than $1,000 to cope with the damage from identity theft, according to the FTC.
Source: http://www.identity-theft-protection.com/stats.html

Even the credit reporting agencies say to shred documents before disposing in the trash.


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  #24  
Old 09-25-2003, 07:33 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Put into garbage can. Add contents of a bottle of chlorine bleach.
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  #25  
Old 10-30-2003, 09:50 AM
Moe Moe is online now
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Well, I'm finally at the folk's home, and I'm shreddin' like the wind. This is fun. (Or at least it was until I managed to get a nice big fat jam going. The shredder is a 5 page capacity one, but I got a little over ambitious.)
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  #26  
Old 10-30-2003, 10:19 AM
Moe Moe is online now
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OK, this is bad. I think I broke it. I followed the instructions printed on it (put it in reverse) and then I conitinued to do a FORWARD-REVERSE-FORWARD-REVERSE thing.

After a minute or 2 it stopped working. I hit reset, tried, then waited, tried, and I'm getting nothing. Did I break it?
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  #27  
Old 10-30-2003, 11:32 AM
sunfish sunfish is offline
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It might be a combination of paper jam and overheating. You'll need to carefully pull the bits of paper out by hand, and make sure that you have room for newly-shredded material in the bin underneath. Once you have the paper jam cleared, let it rest for 15-20 minutes before you try again (says the Voice of Experience ).
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  #28  
Old 10-30-2003, 11:49 AM
hyperjes hyperjes is offline
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Cut them into strips with scissors or tear them into little pieces. Then just throw them out. I dump our coffee grounds, spoiled leftovers or used cat litter on top. Then the trash goes directly into the apartment complex's compactor. If someone wants our pathetic financial info. badly enough to dig through that...Well, I admire their determination.
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  #29  
Old 10-30-2003, 04:31 PM
amarone amarone is online now
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As we have been bumped, I'll respond to an old comment:

Quote:
Originally posted by Duckster
Good for you!

For the third consecutive year the FTC reports identity theft tops the list of top ten consumer complaints.

Source: http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17-it.htm

Source: http://www.identity-theft-protection.com/stats.html

Even the credit reporting agencies say to shred documents before disposing in the trash.


So the statistics say that something like one in 50 - 70 people suffers from identity theft per year and the average cost is "over $1,000". That means if you are spending more than about $20 per year on your security measures (and I would include a value of your personal time in that), then you are spending more than is financially justified. That is why I haven't bought a shredder and don't shred my documents.
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  #30  
Old 10-30-2003, 07:20 PM
Kat Kat is offline
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I bought a shredder to shred my stuff, but mainly because I like to play with the shredder. Before I bought it, I just ripped it up and put it in the bag with the used cat litter. But shredding it is more fun.
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  #31  
Old 10-30-2003, 07:53 PM
buttonjockey308 buttonjockey308 is offline
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I shred, then bleach, with a 5% solution or better, then pulp.
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  #32  
Old 10-30-2003, 09:56 PM
3.885AM 3.885AM is offline
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After we got married we changed checking accounts, this left us with a large supply of surplus checks, and no convenient way of disposing of them. We also raised gerbils, one of the few pets we could have in our apartment. So on the way out to work one morning I dropped the entire stack of checks into one of the cages, when I got home that evening the largest piece remaining was about 1/16 by ľ inch. And the little rats were having a ball! The ink and other chemicals in the paper may not be the best thing for them but they never showed any signs of ill effect.
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  #33  
Old 10-30-2003, 10:03 PM
DreadCthulhu DreadCthulhu is offline
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I suggest simply eating them. They don't taste that bad, and most people need more fiber in their diet anyways.
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  #34  
Old 10-30-2003, 10:09 PM
artemis artemis is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by amarone
As we have been bumped, I'll respond to an old comment:

So the statistics say that something like one in 50 - 70 people suffers from identity theft per year and the average cost is "over $1,000". That means if you are spending more than about $20 per year on your security measures (and I would include a value of your personal time in that), then you are spending more than is financially justified. That is why I haven't bought a shredder and don't shred my documents.
Uh, that's just the monetary costs. If someone steals your identity, it can literally take YEARS to get all the damage undone; you're pretty much on your own when it comes to proving that the person who's been withdrawing money from your bank accounts, ruining your credit history, and accessing your personal documents (such as your medical records) is not in fact you! Law enforcement is only just beginning to take identity theft seriously. Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish - spend the $40 for a decent shredder and use it. Or you may wake up one day to discover that you owe $50,000 dollars in unpaid credit card purchases billed to cards you never signed up for. If that happens, have fun convincing the credit card companies you didn't open those accounts!
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  #35  
Old 10-30-2003, 10:55 PM
Palewriter Palewriter is offline
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I think the problem is that shredders are so utilitarian and boring. Can't anybody invent a LION'S MAW shredder, or a BLACK JAWS OF HELL shredder? And why just a "cross" shredder? Why not a "psychotic, anger-management flunkee" shredder, who mauls your statements before devouring them completely and with lots of delicious sound effects? Perhaps a belch to show when he's done?

We need more stuff, folks.

- PW
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  #36  
Old 10-31-2003, 06:16 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by artemis
Uh, that's just the monetary costs. If someone steals your identity, it can literally take YEARS to get all the damage undone; you're pretty much on your own when it comes to proving that the person who's been withdrawing money from your bank accounts, ruining your credit history,
I pay little attention to my credit history - I have no debt and do not intend to take on any.

Quote:
and accessing your personal documents (such as your medical records) is not in fact you!
From what they can find out from a bank statement? Hardly. I protect my SSN fervently. I do not enter it on any forms except tax-related and refuse to deal with businesses, merchants or even doctors that ask for it. And what's the big deal anyway? I'll put them on the Internet for all to see - in my 7 years in the US I've been treated for conjunctivitis and back pain.

Quote:
Or you may wake up one day to discover that you owe $50,000 dollars in unpaid credit card purchases billed to cards you never signed up for. If that happens, have fun convincing the credit card companies you didn't open those accounts!
I don't get unsolicited credit cards. I called the opt-out number and it actually works. And they won't be able to open an account without my SSN, which I do protect. When it comes to destroying a card of my own, I cut it into pieces and put them in separate trash bags. I can handle doing that once every year or so. I've never had a problem persuading credit card companies that incorrect charges are not my responsibility. Anyway, all they have is a "claim" that I owe. I will still have the money. It will be incumbent upon them to prove that I do owe them.
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  #37  
Old 10-31-2003, 09:26 AM
dodyskin dodyskin is offline
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shred statements, add to worm farm ( not too many at once though)
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  #38  
Old 10-31-2003, 10:15 AM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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What can they get from your bank statement? How about your account number and how much money you have? They only have to walk into your bank, fill out one of those blank withdrawal forms and clean you out.

My shredder was $6 at Office Max, is that cheap enough for you?

Re: the 16 years worth of bank statements -- my husband has you beat, I think. He still has every document going back to his first bank book in the mid-60's (when the tellers used to hand write your deposits in for you!)
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2003, 10:35 AM
amarone amarone is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by voguevixen
What can they get from your bank statement? How about your account number and how much money you have? They only have to walk into your bank, fill out one of those blank withdrawal forms and clean you out.

My shredder was $6 at Office Max, is that cheap enough for you?
If someone withdraws money from my account with a forged signature, that's the bank's problem. Banks send out statements monthly in obviously marked envelopes - it is very easy for a thief to get hold of a statement just by trawling mailboxes. That's much easier for them than picking through household trash.

Hijack - as the USPS is too lazy to deliver through a mailbox in the door in many places, is there any regulation against having a lockable mailbox with a slot? I've never seen such a thing, but it would prevent having checks stolen from envelopes in your own mailbox (I never mail checks that way, btw).

Of course $6 is not a problem. I don't want to use up the space, lower the aesthetics of my study, or spend the time shredding.
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2003, 04:11 PM
artemis artemis is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by amarone
I pay little attention to my credit history - I have no debt and do not intend to take on any.[/B]
That may be so, but it's still a good idea to keep an eye on it now and then. It's not uncommon for landlords to check credit reports before issuing a lease, and of course mortgage companies always do.

Hijack - as the USPS is too lazy to deliver through a mailbox in the door in many places, is there any regulation against having a lockable mailbox with a slot? I've never seen such a thing, but it would prevent having checks stolen from envelopes in your own mailbox (I never mail checks that way, btw).
[/QUOTE]

Not only are lockable mailboxes legal, they're becoming increasingly common (for exactly the reason you suggest). You can usually find them at Home Depot or Lowes.
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  #41  
Old 10-31-2003, 04:21 PM
amarone amarone is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by artemis
That may be so, but it's still a good idea to keep an eye on it now and then. It's not uncommon for landlords to check credit reports before issuing a lease, and of course mortgage companies always do.
I own my home (and cars). I guess things could change, but for now I'm not going to spend much time on my credit history.
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