Knowing how long to keep documents with sensitive information can be confusing. Some documents you should plan to keep forever, but others can be shredded immediately. Here’s a guide to what to shred and when.
Does something have your name and address on it? Does it contain sensitive data such as account numbers, balances, or credit card numbers? If the answers to any of these questions are yes, then consider shredding it.
A few things you can shred immediately:
- Credit card or insurance offers
- Paid billing statements
- ATM receipts
- Sales receipts
- Paid utility bills
- Expired warranties
Shred After 30 Days
Items to keep for at least 30 days include the following:
- Pay Stubs
- Checks deposited through mobile apps.
Shred Within a Year
Some items you will want to keep for a few months to look back on. These documents can be shredded after some time and generally are items you receive on a monthly basis. Many bills and detailed statements are now available online. Switch to electronic statements for a safe and secure record.
A few things you can shred in six months to a year:
- Bank statements
- Paid, undisputed medical bills
Keep until Paid or Sold
Documentation should be kept until something is paid or sold. If you have disputed a bill, keep that until the dispute is resolved.
A few items to keep are:
- Vehicle titles
- Home deeds
- Disputed bills (medical, utility, etc.)
Keeping your own records is important when it comes to tax-related documents. Keep these items for at least 7 years:
- Tax related receipts
- Tax-related cancelled checks
- Records for tax deductions
Always keep items that prove things like you are who you say you are—these can be difficult and expensive to get new copies of.
- Birth Certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Citizenship papers
- Adoption Papers
- Tax returns
- Death Certificates
- Marriage certificates or divorce decrees
We have several online and mobile tools available to help you maintain paperless records so you have less worry. Learn how to get set up on eStatements.