After building up debt on a credit card or store card by making purchases and paying off bills, a person will receive a statement each month detailing the amount of money they owe. Bank lenders will usually issue a credit card statement by post a set time before their customers are required to pay off their debt.
What is on Credit Card Statements?
Credit card statements list important information about a credit balance including details about each transaction made that month, any interest or other credit card charges added to the balance, any incoming or outgoing balance transfers, and the full amount due. The minimum required payment that must be made will also be stated, along with how and where this payment can be made and the payment due date, which, if missed, will result in an additional charge. Details of how to contact the credit card provider should also appear on the statement somewhere in case the borrower wishes to get in touch with the lender to query one or more items on the statement. Customers are always advised to check their statement thoroughly each month against any payment receipts for items that should not have been debited or have been charged incorrectly.
A person should keep their credit card statements for future reference, particularly if they use their credit card for business expenses or make any tax deductible purchases. After they are no longer of use, they should be shredded and disposed of carefully as they contain sensitive information that can be used for fraudulent purposes.
Online Credit Card Statements
Nowadays, most banks, building societies and online lenders are offering borrowers the option of viewing their monthly statements over the internet in addition to, or instead of, paper forms. Online credit card statements enable people to have greater management of their balance with the convenience of accessing recent transaction details online, including both outgoings and any credit card payments made to reduce the outstanding balance, without having to wait for one to be delivered through the post. As an online credit card statement is paperless, this will also considerably cut down on the need to file any paperwork so sorting out any finances will be made simpler.
Uses of Credit Card Statements
Whichever way a credit card statement is viewed, one can prove to be a small help towards effectively managing debt by providing a cardholder with a clear idea of the costs of borrowing money: this is especially important when the borrower has used costly facilities such as cash advances. Each statement should give an estimate of the next month’s interest charge if only the minimum payment is met in the current month. Due to the expensive nature of such financial products, credit card statements may also inform a customer about any changes to interest rates or charging methods so they are fully prepared for changes, either to their credit limit or to the interest rate and charges connected to their account.
Cardholders are now being notified that they could receive a further credit card bank statement sent to them annually: this is usually known as an annual summary or a year end summary. Those that opt in to this scheme will receive additional help managing their debt as an annual statement will provide an overall picture of their yearly credit card spending. Customers will be able to view their total credit transactions, plus any interest and charges incurred over the year. Annual statements are hoped by financial experts to encourage better usage of credit cards in the future and prompt consumers to shop around for cheaper credit card deals if they are currently paying more than what they can afford.