5 Reasons to Read Your Credit Card Billing StatementMay 26, 2011 - 8:51 am
When you apply for a credit card, you can expect to receive a billing statement from your card provider every month. Card issuers are required to send your billing statement 21 days ahead of your due date to give you time to pay your bill. Since your due date will fall on the same day every month, you can expect to get your billing statement around the same time.
Many people just glance at their billings statement to see how much to pay. Some people don’t look at their billing statements at all. The truth is that everyone with a card should thoroughly review every billing statement for several reasons.
To make sure there’s no billing error.
Billing statements are computerized now, so there’s not too much room for human error. But computer glitches still happen. You should review all the details on your credit card billing statement to confirm that all the information is correct and that there are no errors. If you do find an error, you have 60 days to dispute it with the card issuer and have the charge removed.
To catch early instances of credit card fraud.
Believe it or not, there are ways that thieves can use your credit card without your card ever leaving your wallet. Even if your credit card isn’t lost or stolen, you should review your credit card statement to make sure no one is making charges using your credit card number. If you find unauthorized credit card charges, report them to your card issuer immediately. You’re not liable for any unauthorized charges made when your credit card is still on your possession.
Confirm your minimum payment and due date.
Because your minimum payment is often based on your credit card balance, the amount of the payment could change. It’s not a problem if you pay a higher minimum payment than what’s really due, but if you write a check for a smaller minimum payment than what’s due you’d be hit with a late fee. Don’t guess about your minimum payment. Check your billing statement to make sure you’re paying the right amount at the right time.
Get information about your payoff time.
Credit card issuers are now required to include payoff information on your credit card billing statement. The billing statement will include the amount of time it takes to pay off your balance making the minimum payments. It will also include the total amount you’ll pay including interest. Your statement will also show the monthly payment required to pay off your balance within three years.
Find out about changes to your credit card terms.
Credit card issuers often include details about credit card changes on your credit card billing statement or on an insert in the same envelope with your statement. If the change is listed on your billing statement, you’ll have to read the whole document to find it. Otherwise, you might miss a chance to reject the changes.
Read your credit card billing statement every month to be proactive about billing errors, paying off your credit card balance, and learning of changes to your credit card terms.