How Long Should I Keep Credit Card Statements?

How long you should keep credit card statements is entirely dependent on your own financial practices and habits.

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Why Keep Credit Card Statements?

Most people don’t give much thought to how long they should keep credit card statements. After all, once you’ve paid your bill, what do you need the statement for? There are actually a few very good reasons to hang onto those old statements. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

To Monitor Purchases

Your credit card statements can be a valuable tool for monitoring your spending habits. By reviewing your statements regularly, you can keep track of where you are spending your money and identify any questionable charges. If you see a charge that you do not recognize, you can contact the credit card issuer to resolve the issue.

In addition, your credit card statements can also help you keep track of your credit card balance. This information can be helpful if you are trying to pay down your debt or stay within your budget. By reviewing your statements, you can see how much money you have available to spend and make adjustments accordingly.

To Check for Fraud

Your credit card statements are important documents that can help you track your spending, spot errors and fraudulent activity, and keep tabs on your account balances. For these reasons, you should keep most of your credit card statements for at least a year.

Of course, credit card statements aren’t the only records you should keep: You should also hold on to receipts for major purchases, records of annual income and expenses, and tax returns. How long you keep these records depends on the laws in your state and/or country (in the US, the IRS recommends keeping records for three to seven years).

When it comes to credit card statements specifically, you may want to hang on to them for even longer than a year in some cases. For example, if you have a business credit card, you may need to keep statements for longer than a year in order to document business expenses for tax purposes. Similarly, if you’re disputing a charge on your credit card statement, you may need to provide documentation going back several months or more.

In general, though, 12 months is a good rule of thumb for how long to keep credit card statements. After that point, you can shred them or store them electronically (many financial institutions now offer online access to statement history). Just be sure that however you store them, they remain accessible in case you need them down the road.

To Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is important. It’s a three-digit number that lenders use to evaluate your creditworthiness. A high credit score means you’re a low-risk borrower, which could lead to a lower interest rate on a loan. A low credit score could lead to a higher interest rate and could mean you won’t be approved for a loan at all.

Part of your credit score is based on your credit history, which is tracked by your credit report. Your credit report includes information like how much debt you have, whether you make your payments on time, and whether you have any negative marks like bankruptcies or foreclosures.

Credit card statements are one way to track your credit history. They show your payment history for each account, including whether you paid on time or late, and how much you owed. Keeping old credit card statements can help you track your progress over time and see how your payment habits affect your credit score.

How Long to Keep Credit Card Statements

For Monitoring Purchases: 1-3 months

You’ll want to hang on to your credit card statements for at least a few months to monitor your expenses and make sure all the charges are legitimate. After that, you can shred them.

For Checking for Fraud: 6-12 months

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you keep records of your credit card and banking transactions for at least 12 months, in case you need to go back and check them for any unauthorized charges. However, if you’re diligent about checking your statements and monitoring your account activity, you may be able to get by with keeping just the last six months’ worth of statements.

For Improving Your Credit Score: 2 years

If you’re looking to improve your credit score, you should keep your credit card statements for at least two years. This will give you a better chance of being able to dispute any errors that may appear on your credit report.

How to Store Credit Card Statements

In a Filing Cabinet

When it comes to credit card statements, the best place to store them is in a filing cabinet. This will ensure that they are organized and not taking up space in your home. Be sure to label each statement so you can easily find it when you need it.

You should keep credit card statements for at least one year. This way, if you need to dispute a charge or track your spending, you will have the information you need. After one year, you can shred the statements to protect your personal information.

In a Digital Folder

You can access credit card statements online through your credit card issuer’s website. Once you’ve logged in, you can view, download and print previous statements. Most issuers keep records of past statements for seven to 10 years, so you don’t need to keep your own copies.

If you prefer having a physical copy of your statements, you can print them out or store them in a three-ring binder or another type of storage system. Again, there’s no need to hang on to more than seven years’ worth of records.

In the Cloud

While some people like to keep their records in a physical filing system, an increasing number of Americans are using the cloud to store their important documents. There are a few different ways you can store your credit card statements in the cloud:

-One way is to use a document storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. With these services, you can upload your statements and access them from any internet-connected device.
-Another way to store your credit card statements in the cloud is to use your credit card issuer’s online portal. Most issuers offer online access to your account, and many will let you download and save your statements.

The main advantage of storing your credit card statements in the cloud is that you can access them from anywhere. If you travel frequently or have family members in different parts of the country, being able to view your statements online can be a huge time-saver. And if you ever need to dispute a charge, having easy access to your statements can be invaluable.

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