How long to keep CD records?

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Spring has sprung, if not in reality at least on the calendar. If spring cleaning extends to your files it may be time to get rid of some old certificate of deposit records.

First, if you don’t have a filing system for financial records, you may want to take the time to create one. Most financial institutions now offer online statements, but that doesn’t take the burden of record keeping off of individuals. You never know what can happen to your bank. For instance, it might be bought by another bank, making accessing past statements online difficult. Statements should be downloaded and stored securely.

Savers also should hang onto the documents from CD purchases. Once the CD matures, the records can be discarded, according to the Financial Planning Association website.

Keeping the paperwork safeguards your investment in case anything happens on the bank’s end. The records also serve as a reminder about the date of maturity. Once a CD matures, the owner may have only a short grace period to remove the funds before it is automatically renewed by the issuer. The contract will specify if the CD will be automatically renewed and the length of the grace period, but it’s typically from one to 10 days.

It’s something to keep in mind. With CD rates as low as they are, someone with a five-year CD coming due this year would be incredibly dismayed to have their savings reinvested at prevailing rates.

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Senior investing reporter Sheyna Steiner is a co-author of “Future Millionaires’ Guidebook,” an e-book written by Bankrate editors and reporters. It’s available at all the major e-book retailers.