How Long Should I Keep My Credit Card Statements?
If you are a careful person who tends to think multiple times before taking any action, chances are you have saved your credit card statements for quite some time. Every billing cycle, credit card companies issue a billing document containing the details of all transactions of the cardholder. It is important to read this statement thoroughly as it keeps you up-to-date on your expenses.
Saving credit card statements may be a heap of paperwork that can become hectic to manage. So you must want to know how long to keep them before disposing of them. The following sections will help you make that decision.
How Long Should You Keep Your Credit Card Bills?
It’s always a good idea to go over your account statements as soon as possible to look for potential billing errors. You should keep your statements for a minimum of 60 days. This is the time limit for disputing any billing issues on a credit card statement.
After that, credit card issuers are not required by law to resolve billing error disputes, so keeping your statements is not necessary, at least not for dispute purposes. However, many issuers keep several years of statements on their websites. If your lender does this, then you can retrieve your statements at any time.
However, there can be some situations in which you need to keep them for a longer period. Find them below:
- 90 Days for Dispute Charges
Hold on to your account statement until the billing error dispute has been resolved if you’ve lodged one. After the creditor gets notice of your dispute, the process may take two payment cycles but no longer than 90 days.
- 3 to 6 Years for Personal Tax Deductions
It’s a good idea to keep proof of any expenses you want to deduct from your income tax returns in case the Income Tax Department conducts an audit. According to leading tax experts, you should maintain records of your tax documents for at least 6 years.
Some of the documents that you need to keep as proof include credit card statements, salary details, home loan deductions, etc. Keeping these documents and records will let you answer queries filed by the Income Tax Department.
- 1 Year for Tracking Business Expenses
To track your spending habits, keep copies of credit card statements for one year. This information can assist you in developing a budget.
You may also charge business costs to your credit card if you are self-employed. You could use your statements to total up your business expenditures for tax purposes at the end of the year. It may also assist you in calculating tax deductions on business expenses.
- Few More Years for Extended Warranties
If your payment network, such as Visa or MasterCard, provides extended warranties on some purchases, you should keep a statement. Assume you buy a refrigerator with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty and your credit card stretches the warranty by one year. Keep your credit card statement for an extended period of a year if you need proof of purchase.
Importance of Credit Card Statements
Every cardholder must realize how crucial it is to review their credit statements at least once a month. You will realise why credit card bills are important after reading the facts below:
- Sometimes, mistakenly, your creditor may charge you twice for a certain payment. Alternatively, your credit card account may contain some calculation errors. If you don’t thoroughly verify the statement and you’ll keep paying for things that are not necessary. So, it is crucial to review the statement and double-check all transactions.
- Due to its buy now, pay later option, credit cards make it very simple for users to make impulsive purchases. Even little sums can easily accumulate up to large balances. You can get a better understanding of where you need to cut back on your spending by reviewing your credit card statement each month.
- People sometimes continue to pay for subscriptions that they don’t need, usually due to auto-pay. Another example is when someone signs up for a free trial period and then forgets to unsubscribe, which can increase their credit card balance. Reviewing your credit card statements regularly will assist you in removing these unwanted subscriptions.
How to Properly Dispose of Credit Card Statements?
Security is a crucial factor to take into consideration when it comes to discarding your old credit card bills. Particularly because they include private data you don’t want to end up in the wrong hands.
If you have access to a shredder, you can use it before disposing of physical documents. However, if that isn’t possible, hand-tearing or cutting up statements with scissors are useful strategies to prevent identity theft. You can discard the pieces after they can no longer be put back together.
Digital statements that you have downloaded should be kept for as long as required before being completely deleted from your computer, even if they are in the Recycle Bin.
It is a good practice to store your credit card statements for a long time and review them at proper intervals. There are multiple benefits to doing so. Also, don’t forget to dispose of them properly to avoid any misuse.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it easier to store digital copies of credit card statements than hard copies?
Yes, it is easier to store digitalYou need to inform your bank or issuer immediately if there are any errors in your credit card statements. You should also keep the supporting documents ready to submit as proof. copies than hard copies of credit card statements. All you have to do is save each month’s statement in a folder after downloading it to your computer. Make sure to lock the folder with a password that only you have access to.
2. Can I see my credit card bills online?
You might be able to access recent credit card statements from your online account that is password protected if your creditor provides online banking. Several issuers also offer them through mobile apps. You can contact your issuer to find out.
3. Do I need to keep my credit card receipts?
Your credit card receipt will be useful if there is an error while disputing charges on your credit card statement. Along with keeping receipts for anything you might need to return, you should also save credit card receipts for business and tax-related purchases.