though if you're willing to dig through my trash, maybe you've earned it
June 28, 2011 5:28 PM   Subscribe

How careful do I need to be in disposing of the credit card offers that come in the mail?

You know the ones I'm talking about. "Congratulations! You've been pre-approved for Super Select Platinum UltraCard! Here is a personalized application just for you, or go online and enter this 50-digit code..."

The last time I applied for one of these, I do remember having to enter some additional information like my SSN, but I still feel a little uneasy just tossing the thing into the recycling. Am I being paranoid? Should I invest in a paper shredder?
posted by segfault to Work & Money (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
We shred them all, just to be on the safe-ish side.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:34 PM on June 28, 2011

I shred them, and if you freeze your credit, they disappear.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:49 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just shred them. Don't toss them in a recycle bin. Or, do so after you have shredded them.
posted by dfriedman at 5:49 PM on June 28, 2011

Shred 'em.
posted by mleigh at 5:50 PM on June 28, 2011

I tear them in half, and put one half in the bag I used to clean the litterbox.
posted by dilettante at 5:56 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: Tearing them up and throwing them away may not be enough, as this demo illustrates. There is a way to limit the applications you get by contacting the credit bureaus.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:00 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]

I tear them up and stuff them in the return envelope with a large piece that includes my name and address with a note that says "remove me from your mailing list". I now rarely get any credit card offers. YMMV.
posted by Beardsley Klamm at 6:38 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: The Federal Trade Commission ( has a link to opt out for 5 years or permanently.
posted by belau at 6:49 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]

The main defense you have is that everyone gets these stupid things. So the likelyhood of your particular junk mail being grabbed from the trash isn't that high. But the justice department says it does happen.
posted by garlic at 5:39 AM on June 29, 2011

It's worth noting that the thing is from 2006. That was the height of the 'Yee-Haa' days of credit offering. As you may have read in the papers, since then a few things have happened to change things a bit.
posted by mojohand at 7:33 AM on July 1, 2011

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