How Long to Keep Credit Card Statements

How long to keep credit card statements is a question many people have. Here are some tips on when to keep and when to shred those statements.

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Introduction

Paper statements are a thing of the past. In their place, many financial institutions now offer digital versions of credit card statements that can be accessed online or through a mobile app. While this is more convenient for customers, it does raise the question of how long to keep credit card statements.

Generally speaking, you should keep credit card statements for at least 12 months. This will give you enough time to review the statement for accuracy and catch any fraudulent charges. If you need to dispute a charge, most credit card issuers require that you do so within 60 days.

Once you’ve reviewed your statement and verified that all the charges are correct, you can shred the physical copy or delete the electronic version. If you prefer to keep paper records, consider storing them in a fire-proof safe or box.

Whatever method you choose, be sure to keep your statements in a secure location where they won’t get lost or mixed up with other papers. And remember, if you have any questions about a charge on your statement, contact your credit card issuer right away.

How long to keep credit card statements

Federal law

Federal law requires financial institutions to keep records of your account for at least five years. So, if you have a question about a charge on your credit card statement that is more than five years old, your credit card issuer may not be able to help you.

Best practices

You should keep credit card statements for at least two years. This will give you enough time to resolve any disputes that may arise. If you are a victim of fraud, you will also need to have access to your statements to help resolve the issue.

Ideally, you should keep all of your financial records, including credit card statements, for seven years. This is the length of time that the IRS has to audit your taxes. If you are ever audited, you will need to have access to your financial records to prove that you have paid your taxes accurately.

What to do with old credit card statements

Shredding

Most people know that they should shred any documents that contain their credit card number or other sensitive personal information. But you may not know how long to keep credit card statements and other documents before shredding them.

The general rule of thumb is to keep documents for at least six years. This includes credit card statements, bills, and receipts. After six years, you can shred them.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you should keep records of major purchases (such as a house or car) indefinitely. And if you’re self-employed, you should keep business-related receipts and records for at least three years.

If you’re not sure whether to shred a document or not, err on the side of caution and keep it for six years. That way, you can always go back and look at it if you need to.

Saving

You’ve probably been told that you should keep old credit card statements around “just in case.” But how long should you really hang on to them?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should keep records of your credit card bills and payments for one year. After that, you can shred them.

Obviously, if there’s anything on your statements that doesn’t look right — a charge you don’t recognize, for example — hang on to those records until the dispute is resolved. The same goes for any receipts or documentation that will help prove a purchase or return.

If you’re self-employed or have significant investments, you may need to hang on to credit card statements and other records for longer than a year come tax time. Consult with a tax advisor to find out what records you should keep and for how long.

Conclusion

Based on our research, it is generally safe to keep credit card statements for around one year. After that, you can shred them or recycle them. If you need to keep them for tax purposes, make sure to store them in a safe place.

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