Keeping your credit card reports is critical to help you double-check them when an error occurs. You can provide feedback or dispute with the major credit bureaus to be corrected or adjusted. But, how long should you keep credit card statements? Hanfincal will show you in this article.
1. How long should you keep credit card statements?
1.1. For business owners and charitable donors
You should keep your credit card statements for more than a 30-day standard, or even years. Most banks provide access to online statements for years; however, that access is revoked when the account is closed. So, keep all of your statements a year-end habit. You will almost certainly need to document those purchases on your taxes. If your tax returns are audited, you should keep proof of tax-related purchases for at least six years.
1.2. For most consumers
Credit cardholders should keep their credit card statements for at least 60 days. Every credit card company has its own policies regarding feedback or adjusting errors on your credit statements. However, most credit card policies allow individuals 60 days to report errors on their statements. So, trying to recheck, send your feedback within that time, and keep your hard copy statement for that long is a good rule of thumb.
Aside from a 60-day policy, some issuers offer 90-day extended warranties, while others offer up to a year. To determine the length of time that applies to you, consult your issuer’s policy for reporting statement errors.
2. Why should you keep the statements?
- Saving credit card statements is also helpful for reporting signs of fraud or other errors to credit card services, keeping track of spending habits, and sticking to a budget.
- It is always good to keep the statement until the dispute is resolved if you have one. Depending on credit card companies and your situation, this could take 30 to 90 days.
- Some experts recommend keeping copies of credit card statements for 12 months if the cardholder only uses paper copies. This is useful for tracking spending habits and if any unexpected problems arise later.
- Some credit cards offer return protection for qualifying purchases. Keep the statement for as long as the security is in effect.
- Keep your credit card statement that shows proof of purchase until the credit is received if a purchase is expected to result in statement credit.
- Tax-related expenses are also a huge reason to keep credit card statements for more than 60 days, particularly for business credit cards. The IRS has the authority to audit anyone’s financial history for up to six years. In this case, credit card statements should be kept for at least three years, preferably six, if there is a high risk of audit.
3. How should you store credit card statements?
Keeping your credit statements in a secure location to protect your data is the most important thing you need to do first. There are several methods for accessing your statements while keeping them safe:
- Keep hard copies: It is critical to keep hard copies of credit card statements in a fireproof location. A fireproof safe is an excellent option if you have access to one because it provides safety and security.
- View statements online: If you have a password-protected online account, you may be able to view recent credit card statements. Check with your issuer to determine how long you will be able to access your account statements online.
- If you download electronic copies, consider storing them in a password-protected file on your computer. Labeling them by month and year can also help you find them quickly in the future.
4. What is the best option to dispose of statements?
Credit card statements typically contain personal information, such as full name and address, your account number, and transaction details. Therefore, they may appeal to identity thieves looking to access and misuse your information. Once you’ve outgrown the need to keep credit card statements, it’s critical to dispose of them properly.
- You should not toss hard-copy statements in the trash. Instead, shred your statements before discarding them. This renders the statement’s information unreadable and safeguards your personal information.
- If you don’t own a paper shredder, you can take your documents to a copy shop that provides shredding services. Furthermore, you can also shred your documents by hand or with scissors if you prefer.
How long should you keep credit card statements? The time for keeping your statements varies on your purpose. Keep every personal information safe. Moreover, credit card statements are similar to a log of all your credit card transactions. You can use it to go over your spending and adjust to more responsible spending habits.
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