CHICAGO, IL – March 28, 2013 – Although the temperatures are
still low, spring has arrived and it is a good time to rid
your home of the clutter and paperwork you have accumulated over the past year.
However, when it comes to reviewing your financial records, it is important to
know what to keep, what to discard, and when. The Better Business Bureau
serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) offers advice on how to safely
clear your clutter.
“Spring cleaning is a great time to reorganize and clear
out,” said Steve J.
Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.
“It is important to understand what you can get rid of and the BBB Shred Day
offers a safe way to dispose of sensitive information.”
The Better Business Bureau suggests the
following record keeping and removal tips:
- Canceled checks:
All canceled checks and related receipts or documents for a home purchase
or sale, renovations, or other improvements to a property you own should
be kept indefinitely. The same holds true for non-deductable contributions
to a retirement account. Checks that support your tax returns must be kept
for a minimum of seven years. All other checks may be discarded after a year.
- Deposit, ATM,
credit card and debit card receipts: Save them until the
transaction appears on your statement and you have verified that the information
- Credit card and
bank account statements: Save those with
no tax or other long-term significance for about a year, but save the rest
for up to seven years. If you get a detailed annual statement, keep that
and discard the corresponding monthly statements. Also, be sure to mark
closed deposit accounts as such.
- Credit card
contracts and other loan agreements: Keep for
as long as the account is active; they may be needed in the event you have a dispute
with your lender over the terms of your contract.
- Documentation of
your purchase or sale of stocks, bonds and other investments:
Retain these while you own the investment and then seven years after that.
To avoid becoming a victim of identity
theft, be sure to shred any document that contains a Social Security number,
bank account number or other personal and financial information before disposing.
The BBB offers its FREE shred day events in
Chicago. On Saturday,
June 22, our shred day event will be held at the United
Center, on Wood St. between Madison & Warren Blvd., in Parking Lot E. For more
information as well as a list of approved materials to shred, visit http://chicagoshreds.com/
For more advice on safely discarding paperwork,
As a private, non-profit
organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an
ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of
conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims,
online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and
issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage
people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.