If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve refinanced in the last 12 months, congratulations! You probably secured an interest rate in the 3-4% range – the lowest 30-year fixed-rate since 1971.1
Now, that you’ve decided to stay put, why not make sure your house is safe? Not just from burglars, but from identity thieves too. Refinancing usually involves pulling out many financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs and other records that could mean a big payload for an identity thief. Protect yourself by taking the following precautions.
Shred it. Shred all sensitive documents before you throw them away. Sensitive documents include utility bills, ATM receipts, old resumes, legal and insurance documents, pay stubs, bank and credit card statements and anything with your social security number or address on it.
Buy a home safe. Store tax returns, W-2 forms, passports, social security cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates and other sensitive documents in a locked safe that’s well-hidden in your home.
Watch out for real estate fraud. It’s a good idea to periodically check with your local county recorder’s office to examine the legal documents related to your property. This could include the deed, deed of trust, lien releases and other records to make sure everything is correct and in your name and/or your spouse’s name.
Read your statements. Carefully examine your bank, credit card, brokerage and retirement statements. The same goes for your health insurance statements. If you have a question or see a mistake, call the business immediately.
1 Freddie Mac Corporation