What To Shred


What Documents Should I Shred and How Long Should I Keep Them?

Tax Returns

The general rule for tax records is to retain them for 7 years. When you file the new return shred the expired one. The IRS has 3 years to audit you from the date you file your taxes and it is up to you to have all of the backup information that went into the preparation of your returns.

Banks Statements

The only reason to keep bank statements is if you are thinking about applying for a mortgage (in which case you will only need a 3-month history). Otherwise, the banks has all of your records on file.

ATM Receipts

Keep these until you balance your bank statement and then shred them.

Credit Card Statements

It is recommended that you keep only 3 months on hand.

Medical Insurance & Information

This includes your premium statements, doctor bills, prescriptions, hospital bills, etc. Keep these 5 years from the date of service.

Home Insurance

The minimum suggested is 5 years, though it may be prudent to wait 10 years.

Pay Stubs

Many people save these but this is not a good idea…just 1 page contains everything an identity thief needs to compromise yourself and your finances. Because each paycheck contains the history of all past stubs, it is not necessary to keep any stub except for the most recent. The exception is if you are planning to apply for a mortgage, which usually requires a 3 months’ worth of pay stubs.

Investment Documents

If you have an IRA, 401K, or any other investments than you are likely inundated with prospectus, privacy notices, address confirmations, and so on. Do not keep any of these documents unless you plan to act on them. Public companies also ask you to vote for the board of directors and special measures once a year. Unless you own a significant amount of stock or have a strong opinion, you may wish to save the company postage and just shred the vote card. You should retain 3 months of balance statements and, following a new investment, retain purchase records until you liquidate and file taxes.

Home Repairs

These should be kept for 10 years in case you need to prove something with regard to guarantees of workmanship. If you are renovating, make sure you get the satisfaction of lien from your contractor(s). Keep these documents as long as you own the property (they may prove useful during resale).

Utility Bills

If you are writing off your utility bills for tax purposes, you may need to keep them in your records. However, if you can’t write them off, you need only keep bills from the past 3 months.

Mortgage Documents

Keep the loan information as long as your mortgage is open. After you’ve paid off the mortgage, the bank is obligated to record a satisfaction of mortgage. You should keep this document as long as you own the home.

Warranty Documents

Shred your warranties and related documents after getting rid of your electronics, appliances, software, etc.

Computers, Hard Drives, and Electronic Storage Devices

Do not just place your old computers on the side of the road or throw away your external hard drives, flash disks, CD’s, or other storage devices…electronic media are a gold mine of confidential information for those who know how to access it. Security Shredding is equipped to handle all of your Electronic Shredding needs.

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NAID® National Association for Information Destruction is the standard-setting body advocating for best practices in secure data destruction. NAID AAA Certification® of secure data destruction service providers fulfills the customer’s regulatory obligation.

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We Recycle All Shredded Paper

All paper is brought to a specialized recycling center for processing. The paper is never bleached or treated.Shredded documents return to the world as everyday paper goods.

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