Credit Cards: Copies of Active Accounts

In working through an organizational system for our important documents, we are still concentrating on the first section of Box 1 titled Credit Reports/Card Documents. As a review, here are the documents housed in my first box and links to the posts addressed to date:

BOX 1 of 3

  • Credit reports and credit cards

Credit reports:

Credit Report: Reporting Agencies

Credit Report: Schedule

Credit Score: Free Experian

Credit Score: Free TransUnion

Credit Report: Reviewing Information

Credit Report: Disputing Errors

Credit cards

  • Personal records
  • Home ownership
  • Vehicles

Photograph Credit: Microsoft Images

If you are following the same system I am sharing, then the first folder in your accordion file should obtain your accurate credit report(s) and credit score(s). Are you are still disputing errors on your credit report(s)? If so, then good for you! Keep those credit bureaus accountable for reporting your information accurately.

Having concluded last week the first part of this section dealing with the credit reports and scores, I will address credit cards, which is the second part of the Credit Report/Card Documents section. The second folder of my accordion file houses copies of my active credit cards.

TIP: These are just credit cards. Our debit card information is housed under Investments in Box 3.

For each credit card, I have the following documents:

1.       Copy of the front and signed back of the card. Hopefully this never happens, but in the event that my purse is stolen, I will have the phone number to contact the issuer to report the theft. The phone number to contact is on the fine print located on the back of the card. When I make the copy, I make sure the print is readable in case I need the information.

2.       PIN information. If a Personal Identification Number (PIN) was issued with this card, then I keep that number with the copy of the credit card.

3.       Credit Card Agreement. This document usually arrives with your credit card. When a new card is sent to replace an expiring card, a new card agreement is usually sent. If you have misplaced your original, you could contact the issuer and request a new one, or wait until a replacement card is sent before your current card expires.

4.       Website Address,  User names, and Passwords. Having the website address to access this card information written down will be very handy in the event you become incapacitated or pass away. If your Executor knows about your Important Document file, then he/she can access your accounts with this information. If you do not want this information all in one place, then choose a good hiding place. When you have a designated place, write down your user names and passwords and then let someone know where that information can be found. This one action can save your loved ones oodles of time and ounces of worry. Remember to update your list when you change your passwords or add accounts.

PROTECTIVE PASSWORDS: To help protect our accounts, I have placed a protective password on each account. I have called each account issuer and asked to put this password on our account. I then followed their guidelines. Now when I contact them regarding my account, the representative will ask for my protective password in addition to the other personal information they request. Having this password also allows me to bypass giving out our Social Security Numbers for identification. I prefer the protective password since I can customize the word or phrase making it difficult for someone to  commit identity theft.

5.       Contact name. If you have called for any reason and had a great customer service from a senior representative, then I write down and keep the name and direct phone number or e-mail of that representative with the credit card information. If I have a problem and need assistance, I will have direct access to someone who I know will help.

6.       Credit Card. Since we do not carry all our credit cards with us, we keep the unused ones in our credit card file. If we need to use it to make a purchase, then we get the card from the file. This action helps us make wise decisions with our money.

I paperclip these items together for each credit card we hold. I then place all these documents in the second file of my Box 1 documents. Next week, I will share the contents of the third file which is the last compartment under the first section titled Credit Reports and Credit Card Documents.

Are you finding this information helpful? Do you already have protective passwords on your accounts? Do you have them written down for your loved ones and/or Executor? If not, please write them down. Your family will be so thankful you did!