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What to Shred and When to Shred It

It’s that time of year when many of us open the windows and start spring cleaning away all the dust and dirt that accumulated over the past year. If you’re like a lot of people, you may find yourself sifting through drawers and piles of old documents wondering if it’s really necessary to keep those papers around.

The answer is, it depends on the document. Some you really should hold on to for several years while others can be shredded and recycled. Here’s a handy guide from to help you determine which papers can go and which should stay.


How Long to Keep It

Bank statements

1 year, unless needed to support tax filings

Birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, passports, education records and military service records



Until updated

Credit card records

Until paid, unless needed to support tax filings

Home purchase and improvement records

As long as you own the property

Life insurance records


Car and home insurance records

Until you renew the policy

Investment statements

Shred your monthly statements; keep annual statements until you sell the investments

Investment certificates

Until you cash or sell the item

Loan documents

Until you sell the item for which the loan was made

Real estate deeds

As long as you own the property

Receipts for large purchases

Until you sell or discard the item

Service contracts and warranties

Until you sell or discard the item

Social Security card


Social Security statement

When you get your new statement online, shred the old one

Tax records

7 years from filing date

Vehicle titles

Until you sell or dispose of the car


Until updated

Now that you’ve decided which documents you no longer need, it’s time to make sure they are securely destroyed. Unfortunately, simply throwing documents away can put you at risk for theft or fraud, which is why shredding is one of the safest and easiest methods of disposal. To have your documents conveniently and securely shredded, watch for a Capitol Federal® free Shred Days event near you.

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Categories: Community, Safety and Security
Tags: About CapFed


Lisa Ledo

Question regarding allowed items to shred. Says odd sized items not accepted - does this mean credit card receipts? But it is ok to bring check carbon copies/cancelled checks - yes? Thank you. Hi Lisa - Our shredding partner, Jayhawk File Express, will be accepting all paper items including receipts and carbon copies, as well as binders and CDs. Electronic waste, such as computers, will not be accepted at our shredding events. We hope you can make it to one of our free Shred Days! - Capitol Federal

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