Shred Week 2024: What do I shred?

May 2024 | Featured, Financial Education

Deciphering what personal documents to keep (and for how long) can be tricky. AAGCU is here to give you an easy guide of what to shred and when, to help you minimize risks of personal information being stolen.

Why should I shred documents?

Shredding documents that contain personal information helps reduce the risk of identity theft. Destroying the documents prior to disposal reduces the risk of personal information being stolen and used for fraudulent activities.

You should consider shredding any of the following documents after 1 year.

  • Pay Stubs
  • Bank Statements
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Cancelled Checks
  • Quarterly Investment Statements
  • Utility Bills

You should consider shredding any of the following documents after 3 years.

  • Income Tax Returns – possibly keep up to 7 years
  • Supporting documents for your Tax Returns
  • Medical Bills
  • Cancelled Insurance Policies
  • Record of Selling a House or Stock
  • Annual Investment Statement

There are certain documents you should keep until they are no longer active and then you can shred them. Such as:

  • Contracts
  • Disputed Bills
  • Insurance Documents
  • Property Records
  • Records of Pensions and Retirement Plans
  • Home Purchase/Sale/Improvements
  • Warranties
  • Loan Documents

Now that we have reviewed a list of various documents to shred, keep in mind there are items that you likely shouldn’t shred or dispose of. Documents that you will most likely want to keep forever include:

  • Marriage licenses
  • Birth Certificates
  • Wills
  • Adoption Papers
  • Death Certificates
  • Records of Paid Mortgages

Watch our video here to learn more:


Keep an eye out for more tips and tricks this Shred week!

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