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Who hasn't been bombarded with credit card offers? Each day you go to your mailbox, you seem to get more junk mail than mail of importance. However, have you considered that what you sometimes disregard as junk can in fact be just the thing you are looking for or, in fact, the envelope may contain important information. In any event, while time consuming, the process of reviewing all of your mail might be beneficial to your financial well-being.

Here are some reasons you should never judge your mail by its envelope.

The Terms Are A Changin'
Your credit card company may send you correspondence that outlines the changes in your credit card terms. In some cases, the letter may require that you contest the change within a certain period of time. If you throw away the disclosure without reading it, you will likely get stuck with fees and charges on your credit card account that you cannot change. It is better to promptly file and keep your notices in case there is ever a situation involving a dispute.

Opt Outs Need An Answer

Some companies where you maintain an account can send notices about opting of a specific program or change in your account. By not replying, you are essentially agreeing to sign up for what may turn out to be a costly program.

Checks Should Be Destroyed

Occasionally, credit card companies will send out blank checks that you can use to transfer the balance from another account onto your credit card. If your mail is stolen or your fail to dispose of the checks that you do not want, you could become a victim of balance transfer fraud. This type of fraud occurs when a thief has access to and writes out checks for their own benefit, leaving you with the check amount added to your balance. You should always shred any checks you've received to make sure they are completely unusable to others.

New Credit Cards Were In There

Your credit card company may have automatically issued a new credit card due to your due date expiring. If you do not open the envelopes and throw the card out in the trash, you will not only have a working credit card past the expiration date, you will also leave yourself open to criminal activity.

Better Opportunities
Sometimes, that so-called junk mail may contain information you've been looking for all along. Because some promotions that are sent through the mail can't be accessed anywhere else, you might have a chance at finding the deal that is right for you. Some promotions may also offer bonuses and other incentives by applying during a certain period of time, which you will most likely miss you don't read through your mail.

This is a guest post from Trisha Tolar. Trisha is a freelance writer providing content for
CreditCardAssist where she regularly writes about credit cards, rewards programs and general consumer finance issues.

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  1. Anonymous // December 1, 2008 at 3:25 AM  

    Thank you for sharing great information.It's junk mail. It won't affect her credit score. And you definitely don't need to worry about changing the name. Just shred it.

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  2. Anonymous // December 1, 2008 at 12:28 PM  

    Good topic especially with the Holidays more things will be coming in the mail. Be alert to the change in terms that could be in those envelopes normally a change in terms look like a pamphlet of sorts. One of your credit cards may be increasing the interest rate and for some if you don't respond back that tells them you accept the new terms. Could also be a way of being aware of who may be applying for credit in your name. Read what you need to and shred what you don't keep.