When your credit card bill arrives, do you take the time to look it over thoroughly? Or do you peek at the minimum payment due with barely a glance at anything else?
Thanks to the Credit CARD Act of 2009, statements are now streamlined and largely uniform. They also provide vital information that can help you manage your credit wisely and even signal when your best credit card may be losing some of its luster. Credit card issuers are required to tell cardholders how long it will take to pay off the balance if they pay only the minimum payment and how much total interest they will pay in that time--along with other changes that make statements easier for consumers to understand.
Understanding your credit card statement
If you haven't been paying attention to your bills, now is the time to start. Here is what is important to know about the main sections of your credit card statement.
Your credit card statement includes some important information so don't skip a monthly review. Taking five minutes to go over your account details can help avoid identity fraud by verifying purchases and assure your account isn't about to get hit with a higher interest rate or fees.
Below is a sample statement, from the Federal Reserve, that illustrates the changes implemented thanks to the CARD Act. Mouse over the number to read the details for each part of the statement.