What's On Your Credit Card Billing StatementNovember 27, 2010 - 8:55 am
Each month, your credit card company sends you a little document that includes some important information about your credit card – your credit card billing statement. Ignore your billing statement and you face a ton of consequences. Here’s some of the critical information you should expect to see on your credit report each month.
Minimum Payment Amount
The minimum payment is the least amount you can pay on your credit card balance and avoid late payment penalties. If you send less than the minimum payment, your credit card issuer will charge you late payment penalties, even if your payment was received before the due date.
This is the date that your payment must be processed to be considered on time. Payments received after the due date are considered late, unless the due date falls on a weekend or holiday and the credit card issuer doesn’t process payments on that date.
Late and Minimum Payment Warnings
Credit card issuers are required to include a warning about the penalty of missing your due date. This warning includes the amount of the late fee you’ll have to pay if you don’t make your payment by the due date.
The minimum payment warning explains how long it will take you to pay off your balance making only the minimum payment and the total amount – principle and interest – you’ll end up paying if you pay only the minimum.
This is your credit card balance as of the date the billing cycle closed. Your true balance could be higher or lower if any purchases or payments were processed after the billing cycle closed. You can typically get a current balance by calling customer service or checking your account online.
A list of all the transactions made since the previous billing statement will be listed. It’s a good idea to review these transactions to make sure you weren’t charged for a purchase you didn’t make. You can also check your transaction amount against your receipts to make sure stores and other businesses didn’t charge you more than they were supposed to.
If you notice anything wrong with the charges listed on your billing statement, contact your credit card issuer immediately. You have 60 days to solve these.
Your current credit card interest rate will appear on your billing statement. The interest rate, or APR, is multiplied by your balance to calculate your monthly finance charges. Your credit card may have several interest rates for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. These will be listed along with your current balance for each type of charge.
The Back of Your Billing Statement
If you’ve never looked at the back of your credit card billing statement, you’ve missed a lot of information about how to handle issues with your credit card charges. Check the back of your billing statement for details about how to dispute billing errors, to find out how your finance charge is calculated, to figure out your grace period, how to change your billing address, and how to contact your credit card issuer.