Did you know that credit cards are good at hide and seek? I didn’t either.
Apparently… after watching some of their closest friends and family members disappear – last seen heading toward Close ’em Shred ’em Forget ’em cemetery – credit cards will wise up and hide. Don’t let them. Go get ’em man!
I won’t lie… it is really nice to have the upper hand when it comes to credit cards. When you are seeking to shred them, it can actually feel like they are trying to hide from you!
Credit Cards Hang on for Dear Life
Last week my wife and I made the controversial decision to close, shred, and forget all our credit cards. Well… all except for one. Less than a year after deciding to strive toward freedom from debt, credit cards were now a thing of the past. Well… all except for one. I mean we are finally ready to live a disciplined life focused on debt repayment and wealth building, all in the absence of credit cards. Well… all except for one.
The longer we pondered our new freedom from credit cards, and the more we speculated living life without debt, this “well… all except for one” thing was really starting to stick in our craw.
We Decided to Get Rid of The Last Card
So last week when we decided to close all our credit cards – well… all except for one – we decide that although we would keep the last card, we wouldn’t actually use the last card. Looking back now I can see how this makes absolutely no sense, but nonetheless, that was our plan. The card was a new credit card from our new local credit union. It was a rewards card that paid 2% cash back.
Well… tonight we finally decided to go ahead and cancel it too, and that’s when it happened!
5 More Credit Cards were Found Hiding!
While rounding up our “last card” we ended up stumbling upon 5 additional credit cards that we had totally forgotten about. It sounds like a glaring mistake, but it was actually quite a harmless mistake.
You see… when you are – in the zone – of closing, shredding, and forgetting your credit cards, it is really easy to get so engrossed in the shredding process that you forget “the lesser cards” who are usually hiding in lesser traveled places around the house.
What are the lesser cards? Department store cards. Do not forget about these little buggers when you finally decide to bite the bullet and end your relationship with credit cards. Don’t let any of your cards | new or old | big bank or department store | survive the power of the shredder!
How to Win at Credit Card Hide and Seek
1. Go Hunting
To ensure you are truly ridding your life of all credit cards – make sure you hunt around for all the cards in your possession!
Don’t be a fuddy duddy about it either, make it fun. Go get dressed up in your best camouflage, do your best Rambo impersonation, and start hunting. Remember… the credit cards drew first blood, not you!
Here are some common areas that credit cards may be hiding from you:
- Your messy purse
- Your messy wallet
- Your office and/or desk
- At work
- The infamous junk drawer
- Your car
2. Get Your Free Credit Reports
I am a huge zealot of securing free copies from all three credit bureaus every year. Do this as a way to inventory your credit accounts and close them as necessary.
- Get a free credit report from Transunion
- Inventory all your credit accounts and decide which ones you want closed
- 4 months later secure your free credit report from Experian
- Ensure all accounts you closed are indeed marked as paid and closed
- Tidy up any errors on the second report
- 4 months later get your third free credit report from Equifax
- Tidy up any lasting errors on the third and final report
Baker from Man Vs. Debt released an article yesterday at Get Rich Slowly detailing how to get your free credit reports using AnnualCreditReport.org. Use this guide if you need detailed help in securing your free credit reports.
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DFA is passionately dedicated to helping people break the bondage of debt and work toward financial freedom using biblical principles.