Do you know where your important personal and financial documents are? Are they in a fireproof safe? The bank? A shoe box? Stashed underneath your mattress? Any clue? Misplacing important documents like social security cards or IDs is not only a pain, but you could be putting yourself at risk to become a victim of identity theft.
Answer this question with me.
My docs are now neatly filed in a filing cabinet. But last week, I went into a frenzy trying to find my birth certificate. After three hours of frantic searching I found it. Phew! I’m ashamed to admit I had misplaced it in a manilla folder that I failed to go through because it couldn’t possibly be in there. I needed my docs the following day so it made the experience even more stressful.
Don’t let this happen to you! Keep your paperwork organized to save time and money. This will especially come in handy in case of an emergency or natural disaster (looking at you, Isaac!).
Can’t find important documents like social security cards, birth certificates, or IDs?
- Report the loss or theft to the proper authorities so that your file is red flagged.
- You’ll most likely have to file a police report if documents are stolen.
- Make sure you have copies of important docs in case you’re asked for account numbers. Keep these copies in a separate location than the originals and don’t forget to keep an eye on these as well.
- Prevention is important. Make sure to spring clean your documents (same goes for your finances) to keep tabs on them.
- Check your credit report religiously every year. Get a free copy at AnnualCreditReport.com. This is how you’ll find out if you’re a victim of identity theft.
- Begin the process of replacing docs. This will take time and money.
Where do you stash your important documents? And when was the last time you went through them?
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