November 26, 2013
It’s common for consumers who have old, unused credit cards or who no longer trust themselves to wield plastic responsibly to express interest in canceling their accounts. You might assume doing so to be a no-brainer, but the truth is that in many cases keeping your account active may actually be preferable.
“Investing in a shredder is one of the best $25 investments someone can make,” says Christopher Browning, an assistant professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. “Even if a credit card is expired and can’t be used to make purchases, simply throwing it away makes information that is potentially sensitive available for someone to use is a harmful way. Even beyond credit cards, any document that contains personal information that has the potential to be used fraudulently should be destroyed.”