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How Long To Keep Mortgage Statements?

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Mortgage statements are evidence that you’ve paid your debt obligation for this month and in most cases, have paid down some of your mortgage principal. The question of how long to keep mortgage statements depends on your scenario but generally, considering hanging on to your home loan documents for at least 1-3 years. The answer is more nuanced depending on if you’ve paid off your mortgage fully, what type of mortgage you’re in, where you live, etc. When in doubt, always store them longer than shorter since once they are gone, it’s hard to get a new copy!

If you’re still paying your mortgage, planning to sell your property, or dealing with the property of a deceased person, you might want to keep your statements for years.

All this documentation can get overwhelming. So much paperwork, so many different rules. But don’t worry — not only will I provide exact instructions on what to keep, but I’ll also share best practices on how to store documents and where to keep them. We’ll also explore the best practices for keeping and maintaining mortgage bills and papers.

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How long to keep monthly mortgage statements?

If you plan to resell your house sometime in the future, it’s best you keep the mortgage statements with you until you sell the house. You might need it when you put the house up for sale on the market.

However, if you plan to live in your house and pass it on to your heirs, you can discard your monthly mortgage statements after 1-3 years of closing your mortgage. But you might want to keep a copy of your annual mortgage statements and pass them on to your heirs as an important asset.

In case you haven’t cleared your mortgage payments completely yet, you should keep all your mortgage documents until you’ve paid off your loan, be it your monthly mortgage statements or a letter between you and the lender.

Along the same lines, if the homeowner has passed away and you’ve received the property in inheritance, you should keep the monthly mortgage statements until you acquire legal ownership of the house and clear all dues.

Beyond this, you won’t really need the statements (but you can keep them as a precautionary measure if you wish to).

Here’s a quick table to help you keep things straight:

How long to keep mortgage statements?AliveDead
Borrower*Until mortgage is cleared + 3 yearsUntil mortgage is cleared and/or property ownership is transferred
Homeowner*1-3 yearsUntil property ownership is transferred

*Borrower = pending mortgage; homeowner = cleared mortgage

What is the difference between a monthly mortgage statement and a monthly mortgage invoice?

Technically, a monthly mortgage statement is the same as a monthly mortgage invoice. It includes important details about your mortgage, from the principal amount, interest rate, and current dues. 

You’ll receive these mortgage documents from your lender at a fixed date every month via mail and/or email.

What is an annual mortgage statement?

Just like a monthly mortgage statement, an annual mortgage statement is a document that mentions essential mortgage details including the principal balance, current interest rate, current balance, duration of the mortgage, and lender’s contact details.

It is a summary of the mortgage payments you’ve paid in the entire year and is usually issued to you by your lender at the end of the year.

What mortgage papers do I need to keep?

There’s a lot of paperwork involved when you buy a house. The following are some of the most important documents that you’ll need to keep as a part of your mortgage dealings:

  • Deed
  • Promissory note
  • Purchase contract or agreement
  • Seller disclosure agreement
  • Home inspection report
  • Closing disclosure 
  • Seller disclosure document
  • Title insurance document
  • Buyer’s agent agreement
  • Satisfaction of mortgage (received after you pay off your mortgage!)

There may be more documents called addendums or amendment documents if you make changes to the terms and conditions of an original document. These are also important to keep.

Out of all these documents, the ones that you must keep with yourself forever include:

  • Deed
  • Promissory note
  • Closing disclosure

The rest of the documents can be discarded as soon as you’ve paid off your mortgage. With that said, Suze Orman states that “Records of Paid Mortgage” should be kept forever — to prove you paid off your mortgage if anyone ever questions it!

How long to keep my satisfaction of mortgage document?

Once you’ve fully paid off your mortgage, your lender will issue a document evidencing that you’ve paid off the entire mortgage. This document is called a “satisfaction of mortgage” and is generated by the lender for you to prove that the mortgage is paid off in full. The lender is in charge of creating this document, filing it with the state, and providing you with a copy. You will want to keep your copy of your satisfaction of mortgage document forever so that you can always prove your mortgage is finished.

Is there any reason to keep old mortgage papers?

If there’s a situation where someone wants to know your current and former debts and loans, mortgage papers will come in handy. They will serve as evidence that you’re either paying off the payments due to you in a timely manner or have done so in the past.

Now, who could possibly want to know your sense of responsibility towards loan repayment? It could be:

  • Private loan lenders when you’re taking out a new mortgage loan
  • Bank
  • Employer

Police, lawyers, or courts may also ask for these documents if a legal dispute regarding your repayment or property ownership arises. You may also need them when you file a tax return.

Can I throw away old mortgage papers after refinancing?

No. It’s not a good idea to throw away your old mortgage papers after refinancing. Keep them for as long as you have a mortgage due on you for the same property — even if you have refinanced your loan.

The old documents are evidence of the changed or updated interest rate. If you don’t want to keep all of the old documents, you can keep only the most important ones, such as your original deed, promissory note, and purchase agreement.

Also, if it’s difficult for you to keep hard copies, you can scan your documents via CamScanner (or any other similar application) and store them as soft copies.

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How long should you keep loan statements?

You should keep loan statements with you for the term of the loan. Once you’ve repaid the loan, you can discard all associated documents after a year or so.

But if we’re talking about the loans you’ve taken on your home or your mortgage dues, keep the documents with you for at least three years.

What documents should you keep after paying off your mortgage?

The most important document that you should retain after paying off your mortgage is the letter that confirms you’ve paid off your debt completely (satisfaction of mortgage document or also called a mortgage closing statement).

Along with this, you should keep any document that proves you’re the rightful owner of the property and that you’ve paid off your mortgage. It is also essential to hold onto your deed as long as you live in your current house.

Should I keep old home insurance policies?

Yes, you should keep your old home insurance policies as long as you own the property or are in the process of selling it. You should also keep these documents if there are any ongoing or expected disputes about the property.

If it’s been 2-3 years since you sold the property, moved into another one, and haven’t faced any legal or financial issues from your bank, insurance company, real estate agent, or any other entity so far, it’s okay to shred and discard these documents.

How long should you keep monthly statements and bills?

For mortgage documents, we’ve answered this question in the earlier section of the article. You should keep your monthly mortgage statements for at least three years after paying off your mortgage.

For the rest of your monthly statements and bills, here’s how long Forbes says you should keep each:

  • Monthly utility bills: 6 months – 1 year
  • Insurance policies: Discard when you have bought new insurance policies
  • Credit card statements: 60 days. But if they have tax-related expenses, keep them for three years
  • Tax records (returns & receipts): 3 – 7 years
  • Home improvement bills and statements: As long as you own the house
  • Paychecks: 1 year
  • Previous bank account number and bank statements: 3-7 years
  • Major receipts: 3-7 years
  • Tuition payments (fee challan etc.): 3-7 years
  • Major hospital bills: As convenient

How do you store important documents at home?

As a tech-forward entrepreneur, I opt to save all my documents digitally. See more about that below. With that said, many folks like to keep paper copies. If that’s you, store your important documents at home such that they are out of everyone’s reach and safe from the adverse effects of weather and other hazards. 

The best way to do this is to keep your documents in a safe or deposit box, which can cost anywhere between $60 – $150 a year. 

Usually, the higher the price, the safer the box. We recommend shopping for a box that’s fireproof, waterproof, and has a secure locking mechanism with a reliable backup. 

In addition, if you move often, it’s a good idea to laminate or plastic-coat all your original documents and organise them in separate clear folders for each individual in your family. It’s best to hold each individual responsible for their own documents. 

Joint or family documents can be taken care of by a key person (the one who usually maintains or looks after the home).

If there are disputes or distrust within your home, it’s best to entrust a bank or credit union to keep your documents safe. You’ll have to pay a monthly fee ranging from a few dollars to several thousand dollars. 

Apart from choosing a super safe location for your documents, you should also adopt the best practices for document maintenance. These are:

  • Shred and discard the documents you no longer need.
  • Keep a photocopy of all essential documents (such as birth certificates and property ownership documents) along with the original copies.
  • Store documents in a cool and dry place.
  • Scan all your important documents and keep their soft copies in your computer’s internal storage.
  • When storing documents online, make sure you use an encrypted and widely trusted cloud based solution.

How to digitally store financial documents on your computer and the cloud?

Here is how I store all my financial documents. The first thing I do is gather all my PDFs. Sometimes the institution will email me copies or they will allow me to download them from their online portals. Other times, when I have the paper copy, I have to scan it in myself, which I hate because it takes longer and the copy is not as clear.

Next, I save a copy in a secret folder on my desktop. The only person that knows of this folder is my spouse.

Finally, I store a copy of it in the cloud. Personally, I use Dropbox, but others like Google Cloud or Microsoft One Drive.

The important step in storing your documents digitally is labeling the files and organizing your folders! Don’t just jump everything into one folder. Instead, rename your files and put them in specific folders for easier access later!

Should you keep a hard copy of important documents?

Whether or not you should keep a hard copy of important documents depends on the nature of the document and your lifestyle. HerMoney.com lists out the documents you should keep.

In addition to your monthly and yearly mortgage statements, you should keep a hard copy of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Vaccination cards
  • House ownership documents
  • Tax receipts & returns
  • Passport
  • Land records like property and business ownership documents
  • Car ownership documents
  • Currently valid insurance policy
  • Social security card and related papers
  • Academic papers (your degree or result sheets in particular)

Although hard copies increase the responsibility on your shoulder and lead to a bit of extra baggage to carry wherever you move, it promises increased security. 

With soft copies, you never know when the internet stops working or if the device you have will stay with you in times of need. The same applies to third parties that you may entrust with the safe keeping of your documents.

How long to keep mortgage statements?

The answer depends on your specific scenario, mortgage, and location. Hopefully my article clarifies a lot of these questions for you… but if not, please leave a comment and I’ll respond ASAP. Thanks! 🏡

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Disclaimer: The above is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax, savings, financial, or legal advice. All information shown here is for illustrative purpose only and the author is not making a recommendation of any particular product over another. All views and opinions expressed in this post belong to the author.

Scott Teesdale

Written By Scott Teesdale

I use data and technology to help Millennials navigate the ins-and-outs of buying or selling a home in today's market. From appraisals to mortgages to zoning, I cover it all with the goal to teach others. Connect with me on social via the icons above.