Is it safe to throw away old bank statements?

Asked by: Arne Heller  |  Last update: February 9, 2022
Score: 4.5/5 (57 votes)

All they need is access to your old mail, credit cards, and debit cards. "Bank statements, credit card statements and other documents that contain your personal information should never be disposed of in an insecure manner," says Debbie Guild, chief security officer at PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

How can I get rid of old bank statements without a shredder?

10 Amazing Ways to Get Rid of Confidential Documents Without a Shredder
  1. Shred the Waste Using Your Hand. ...
  2. Burn the Confidential Waste. ...
  3. Compost the Confidential Documents. ...
  4. Use a Multi-Cut Scissors to Destroy the Confidential Documents. ...
  5. Soak the Confidential Documents. ...
  6. Censoring. ...
  7. Pulping.

Do I really need to shred old bank statements?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should shred documents containing sensitive information, including bank statements, to protect yourself from identity theft.

Is it safe to put old bank statements in the bin?

Is It Safe to Dispose of Bank Statements? NO, you should shred sensitive documents instead of throwing them away, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Sensitive documents can range anywhere from bank statements all through credit and debit cards.

What is the safest way to dispose of old bank account statements?

Use a shredder.

This is the standard, and most popular, option for destroying old bank statements. A good shredder can completely obliterate any information, so you can safely put the documents into a trash can. Once everything has been shredded, you want to dispose of it over a few separate occasions.

How long to keep bank statements, tax returns and more

32 related questions found

How do you destroy paper without a shredder?

Here are some quick tips.
  1. Shred by hand. This is the most intuitive option, but can be time-consuming and inefficient. ...
  2. Use paper-shredding scissors. Yes, there are shears that will do the job quicker than by hand! ...
  3. Burn it. This option is another classic method to rid of your documents. ...
  4. Dissolve the paper in water.

What personal documents should you shred?

Documents that should be shredded include:
  • Financial Statements.
  • Medical Records.
  • Legal Documents.
  • Receipts & Invoices.
  • Payroll Records.
  • Bank Statements.
  • Tax Records.
  • Contracts.

Is it safe to throw out credit card statements?

Because of the risk of fraud, you should be careful about how you throw away credit card statements you no longer need. Simply tossing them in the trash is unsafe because it leaves too much of your personal information exposed; they need to be completely destroyed.

What do you do with old bank books?

Generally, when calculating the interest accrued over the years, the bank or building society will treat it as if it had been active. To trace an old bank go to your local library and look in the Bankers' Almanac.

How many years of bank statements should you keep?

Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.

Can I get bank statements from 20 years ago?

You need to contact the bank and ask. Banks do keep records typically going back 7 years, though bank policies vary.. Twenty years back would be unusual. Statements are kept digitally or on microfilm or microfiche, with the latter forms taking longer to retrieve.

How long do banks keep records after account closed?

These programs mandate that banks obtain and retain checking and savings account customer data, including contact, identification and tax information. FDIC regulations stipulate that banks must keep this information for five years after the account is closed.

How do you destroy a large amount of paper?

Methods of Document Destruction
  1. Burning Paper in a Fire Pit. ...
  2. Soaking Documents in Water and Bleach. ...
  3. Composting Sensitive Documents. ...
  4. Cutting or Shredding By Hand. ...
  5. Attending a Community Shredding Event. ...
  6. Hiring a Professional Paper Shredder Service to Destroy Paper and Sensitive Documents.

How do you dispose of confidential papers?

Destroy paper documents permanently and securely

Shredding is a common way to destroy paper documents and is usually quick, easy and cost-effective. Many retailers sell shredders for use within your office or premises, enabling you to shred and dispose of the documents yourself.

Where can I destroy documents?

With shredding services available at The UPS Store locations nationwide, you can get rid of your personal and business documents using one of the leading document destruction vendors, Iron Mountain®. Shred your items to help protect yourself and your business from identity theft.

How do you destroy a bank account?

The account holders should personally visit the branch to carry out the closure. The bank may ask for unused cheque books and cards to be deposited along with the form. These documents and cards will be destroyed by the bank. Banks don't charge for closure within 14 days of opening of an account.

What to do with old books you can't sell?

If there's no way you can sell or give away your books, contact your local council or recycling centre and ask if they can do anything to help recycle your books. Don't throw them in your recycling bin; they need a specialist recycler to look at them to judge whether they're recyclable.

Is it safe to just throw away receipts?

Experts warn that the only receipts that are safe to throw away are those which contain no personal information whatsoever, such as a grocery or coffee shop receipt. ... Receipts containing your name, address, and/or phone number. Receipts with a truncated credit card or Social Security number.

Is a paper shredder necessary?

The most important reason to get a paper shredding machine for personal or office use is to avoid identity theft. You can never be too safe when it comes to your personal information. ... We recommend shredding every paper you want to dispose of, which contains personal information. This can also be junk mail.

Is there any reason to keep old credit card statements?

Tax-related expenses are a very important reason to keep credit card statements for longer than 60 days. This might be especially helpful for those using business credit cards. The IRS retains the right to audit anyone's financial history for up to six years.

What should you not shred?

Expired credit and identification cards including driver's licenses, college IDs, military IDs, employee badges, medical insurance cards, etc. (If your shredder can't handle plastic, cut up cards with a scissors before discarding them.) Expired passports and visas.

Should I shred my utility bills?

Credit card statements and utility bills are documents that should be high on anyone's list for shredding. Bills of that nature tend to have very sensitive information. So once payment is confirmed and you no longer need to reference that bill, make sure the document is destroyed.

How long keep statements and bills?

Hold the returns and supporting documents for at least seven years. The IRS can randomly audit you three years after you file — or six years afterward if it thinks you skipped out on reporting your income by at least 25%.

Does bleach destroy paper?

Pour in ½ Gallon (2L) of bleach.

Bleach is going to help break down the paper. Commonly used in the recycling of used paper, it will also destroy the colorants of ink. This will guarantee a more complete destruction of any secure information in your documents.