canstockphoto7397155When you think of receiving your credit card statement, the thought of it may make you cringe. It is always a good idea to check it thoroughly to avoid incurring more costs than you realize. The credit card statement can be confusing at first, but once you know what to look for,  this can save you some money and even help to protect yourself against fraud. Here are some things you should check for on your monthly statement.

First, you should look for the purchases or new charges section for your most recent transactions. You should keep your charge receipts for all of your purchases so that you can compare it to the charges that’s listed on your credit card statement. You should also look carefully for any unauthorized charges and double billing for a purchase. You’ll want to catch these unwanted charges on your credit card since you will be given a certain amount of time to dispute it.

If you continue to make payments on your credit card for unauthorized charges that you weren’t aware of,  you may still be responsible for those charges. Most credit card companies will give you 60 days to resolve the matter or they will argue that you accepted the charges.

If you notice any transactions for a purchase that you didn’t make , call your credit card company right away to report the fraudulent charge. Most will file a report and you won’t be responsible for paying for the charge. They will usually reverse 100 percent of the amount in most cases.

The next thing you should look for on your statement are the interest rate that are applied to various charges. For example, if you took out a cash advance, you are more likely to pay a higher interest rate than you would on a credit card purchase for an item at the grocery store.

Paying close attention to the interest rate on your statement will also guarantee that you will make the best choice on how to use your credit card wisely. It is obvious that you don’t want to use services that come at a higher interest rate too often. This is throwing money down the drain. Paying attention to how much you are paying for that service is an excellent way to keep yourself in check.

Another section you should check for is your previous balance. This is the outstanding balance that’s owed from the previous month.  Always double-check that balance to ensure that the charges are accurate.

The section outlining your credits and payments is very important. You will want to ensure that all of the payments were applied properly to your outstanding balance and all charge reversals or returns were accurately credited to your account.

You will also notice the term “APR” on your statement. This stands for annual percentage rate which is the interest that’s applied to any outstanding balance at the end of the month. The lower the rate, the less you will have to pay in interest.

You should be aware that the credit card companies can change the APR even if the APR rate is fixed. The bank is required to provide at least forty-five days notice of any changes to the terms of your agreement such as an interest rate increase.

Some credit cards also apply a finance charge in addition to your APR. This only applies if you are carrying a balance in most cases. If you don’t pay off the balance at the end of the month, you will likely have to pay a finance charge on top of your interest fees.

Keeping a close watch on your credit card statement on a regular basis will protect you against fraud and save you money. If you follow these steps, you will avoid getting in debt and put thousands of dollars in your savings.

 

 

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