How to Review Your Monthly Credit Card Statement - dummies

How to Review Your Monthly Credit Card Statement

Look over every one of your credit-card statements every month. You may be surprised to find charges on your account that aren’t yours, changes in your interest rates that you don’t understand, or how much you’re charging each month.

If you see anything you’re unsure about or that’s incorrect on any part of your credit-card statement, call the credit-card company immediately and resolve the issue.

Here is a credit-card statement review checklist:

  • Verify that all charges are yours and are correct. If you see charges that you aren’t certain about, contact your credit-card company immediately. It should provide you with as much clarification as it has about the charge, and presuming you still don’t recognize it, the company will begin an investigation with the merchant in question.

  • Verify that all payments you made during the reporting period have been posted correctly and on time to your account. Credit-card companies often take seven to ten days or more to receive and process a payment that you made. Keep track of when you mail a payment or authorize a telephone or online payment. A credit-card company conveniently posting payments one day past the due date and charging a late-payment fee isn’t unheard of, so keep an eye out on that too.

  • Check the fees you were charged during this billing cycle. If you were charged a fee, does it appear correct? Other than the potential annual fee, you should have no other fees such as late fees, over-limit fees, or returned-payment fees.

  • Check to see whether the interest rate has changed since your last statement. If your interest rate has changed, find out why by calling the credit-card company. Interest rates can go up upon the expiration of some special short-term, extra-low interest rate, also known as the teaser rate, if you fail to make payments by the due date and/or if you exceed your credit line at any time.

  • Check the payment due date. This deadline is the “drop-dead” date for payments to be received. Many credit-card companies have the right to substantially increase your interest rate and assess a late-payment fee if you miss this deadline.

  • Check the statement closing date. Sending your payment in on time to be credited before the statement closing date can help your credit score.