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When Should I Shred Those Documents

By Randy Alderman

One of the best ways to protect yourself from Identity Theft is to shred your documents.  But with so many documents – financial, educational, medical – it’s hard to know when to shred what.  So we did some research and came up with this list.

When should I shred it?


  • Sales receipts
  • ATM receipts
  • Paid credit card statements
  • Paid utility bills
  • Credit offers
  • Cancelled checks (that are not tax related)
  • Expired warranties
  • Warranty offers
  • Old ID cards or driver’s license

Up to One Year

  • Pay stubs
  • Bank statements
  • Paid, undisputed medical bills

After Seven Years

  • Tax-related receipts
  • Tax-related cancelled checks
  • W-2’s
  • Records for tax deductions taken

It Depends…..

  • Auto titles…Keep as long as you own the vehicle
  • Home deeds…Keep as long as you own the property
  • Disputed medical bills...Keep until the issue is resolved
  • Home improvement receipts…Keep until you sell your home and pay any capital gains taxes

Keep Forever  -  Lock These Documents Up

  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • Marriage or divorce decrees
  • Citizenship papers
  • Adoption papers
  • Death certificates
  • Tax Returns

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