Shredding Guidelines

Shredding is an important way to keep sensitive documents from getting into the wrong hands. These guidelines are general guidelines for personal documents. For guidelines specific to your situation you may want to confer with your accountant or lawyer.

Shred Now

  • Unused, preapproved credit card applications
  • Expired credit cards, passports, visas and ID cards
  • Preapproved checks included with special offers
  • Any unwanted document that has your address, account numbers, date of birth, driver's license number, medical information, passwords, social security numbers, or signature

Shred Monthly

  • Credit card and check card receipts, unless needed for warranties
  • Canceled checks (In most instances it is better not to get these at all since they are available electronically if you should need them.)

Shred Once a Year

  • Monthly retirement/investment account statements
  • Monthly bank statements (consider switching to eStatements )
  • Pay stubs and utility bills (consider direct deposit and online Bill Pay )

Shred After 7-10 Years

  • Year-end bank statements (if not needed for tax purposes)
  • Titles, deeds, and surveys to property or automobiles you haven't owned in seven years

Save - Do Not Shred

  • Marriage, birth, divorce and death documents, military service records, health records, insurance policies and claims, wills and power-of-attorney documents, loan and mortgage paid-in-full documents, IRA contribution records