October 17 – 23 is <a href=http://www.protectyouridnow.org>National Protect your Identity week</a>.  Locally there are events scheduled offering free sensitive document shredding.  Wednesday and Thursday it will be offered at the Village Family Resource Center on 25th St and 13th Ave S with a limit of 3 boxes.  On Saturday it will be offered at Wells Fargo Bank on 25th St S and 13th Ave with a limit of 1 box or 3 bags per vehicle.

Shredding sensitive documents is one way to protect yourself from identity theft.

If your ID is stolen, it takes many hours and is expensive to go through the process of getting things straightened out again.  Some banks provide protection and will cover some of the work and cost of repairing it.

You have probably seen the television commercials for layaway from Kmart and Sears. Layaway is another way of purchasing items instead of credit cards. For a small fee down (usually $5 fee plus a percentage of the cost of the item as a down payment) you can pick out items and make scheduled payments over a couple of months or few months and when the full amount has been paid you are able to take the item home. One difference of layaway instead of credit cards is that there are no interest or finance charges.
There are also layaway programs available for online purchases. One of which is <a href=http://wwwelayaway.com>Elayaway</a>. You can select items from various online merchants and schedule to have the payments withdrawn from your checking account.
Even though with layaway programs you avoid credit card debt and fees. But you still have to monitor what you are spending so you are able to make the payments as they are scheduled.

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Nancy Kvamme