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When To Get Rid Of Old Bank Statements

August 17, 2022


Bank statements can accumulate over the years. While some may be more important than others, you may not know which ones you can get rid of. And, you may not know when the best time to get rid of them is.

So, here is how to know when you can get rid of old bank statements.


Some documents may not serve you any purpose after you have seen them once. These include:

  • Sales receipts (unless you want to keep them for tax reasons)
  • ATM receipts
  • Online purchase orders
  • Utility bills (once they have been paid and you have received confirmation of payment)
  • Travel-related materials

After 3 Years

Sometimes, it is wise to keep certain documents around just in case issues arise. But, they don’t need to be kept for that long. After 3 years, you can get rid of:

  • Vehicle or personal property loan documents that have been closed
  • Any documents related to mortgages that have been closed
  • Employment contracts and benefits that have ended
  • Expired membership agreements

After 7 Years

7 years is a long time. But, certain statements, such as tax-related documents, need to be kept for this duration. Here are some documents you can shred after this period of time:

  • Year end bank statements (if they were only saved for tax purposes)
  • Income tax returns with any related financial documents
  • Bank statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Medical records and bills
  • Estate documents (only if the estate matter has been closed)

Documents To Keep Forever

While many documents can be destroyed, there are many you should never shred. These include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Adoption papers
  • Social Security Cards
  • Marriage certificates and divorce documents
  • Citizenship papers
  • Passports
  • Death certificate

This is a general guide that you can use when it comes to shredding bank statements. If you are unsure of whether or not you should shred certain documents, even after the 7 year mark, you should keep them until you confirm they can be destroyed.

Just remember that documents accumulate over time, and shredding documents keeps you safe from security or privacy breaches.

If you liked this blog, check out this one on, “The Dangers Of Doing Your Own Shredding.”

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