DCP: Guidelines for Shredding and Saving Personal Documents

Guidelines for Shredding and Saving Personal Documents

Opinions differ; here are some reasonable guidelines. Additional resource links are provided at the bottom of this page.

Document type
 
Keep for:
 
canceled personal checks
 
1 year, then shred unless needed for tax,
warranty, or insurance
pay stubs 
1 year, then shred unless needed for tax,
warranty, or insurance
credit card, debit card, ATM receipts
Until you verify transactions against
statements, then shred
health plan statements Until bill with provider is settled, then shred
statements that bear your signature,
credit account number, phone number,
social security number, or medical or
legal information. 
Shred as soon as possible
warranty cards, instructions, and receipts
for high-ticket items
Keep for as long as you own the items.
store receipts for non-warranteed items
Keep receipt until no chance of return or
exchange, then shred.
cancelled checks, contracts, invoices
and receipts for any permanent home
improvement
Until you sell the house
vehicle purhcase or lease documents,
warranties and maintenance records,
title
Until you sell the vehicle or return leased
 vehicle to the dealer.  Give documents to
the new owner when transaction is final.
stock, bond, mutual fund purchase/sale        
records
Keep for IRS reporting then file for as
long as you own the financial funds.
documentation for federal and state tax
filing, including W-2 forms
3 - 7 years after filing tax return
federal and state income tax filings Forever

 
Documents that should be kept permanently in a fireproof  
box or home safe: 
 
  
  • birth certificates, marriage certificate 
  • college transcripts, diplomas
  • credit card agreements, loan agreements
  • divorce decree and property agreements
  • mortgage documents
  • home inventory
  • insurance policies
  • passport (current)
  • pension-plan and retirement-plan documents
  • Social Security cards
  • stock purchase agreements
  • tax returns
  • will and living will
 

 
 
 
 
Additional Resources:


Content Last Modified on 4/4/2012 11:33:57 AM