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6 Pressing Reasons Why You Should Check Your Credit Card Statement Each Month

March 14, 2019

Most individuals rush to pay off the amount due on receipt of their monthly credit card statements. Having done that, they simply file the papers away, without even going through the details of the transactions. This is a mistake. Your credit statement contains valuable information which, if scrutinized, can save you from a great deal of trouble. Read on to learn why you should make it a point to check over your credit card charges each month

1. To Catch Fraudulent Charges

These days identity theft is becoming increasingly common. However, what is truly perplexing is that most criminals don’t use stolen credit card numbers to make huge purchases. Rather, they charge small items to the card, such as a pizza or a cab ride, and hope it will go unnoticed. Unless a cardholder checks her statement on a regular basis, she might end up missing such transactions. Moreover, it may embolden the thief to commit thefts of bigger amounts in the future.

2. To Detect Errors

It is not uncommon for credit card companies, or even organizations you do business with to commit errors. For example, your card issuer may have marked your payment late, even when it was on time. Or perhaps the cashier at your grocery store mistakenly charged you twice for the items you purchased. Unless you review your statement, there is a chance that these errors will remain unrectified.

3. To Keep Tabs On Spending

Once you have a credit card, spending becomes easier. Many cardholders swipe away without stopping to evaluate the consequences, thereby landing themselves into debt. Seeing those amounts in black and white may help you come to terms with the fact that you need to cut down on your spending. Moreover, by scrutinizing your statements you can better understand how much you are spending on what categories, and if you can do something to reduce those amounts.

4. To Cancel Unnecessary Charges

Often, cardholders sign up for subscriptions or services and forget to cancel, once they stop using them. Any consumer who regularly checks his statement will be able to spot such recurring charges and put a stop to them, thereby saving themselves hundreds of dollars.

5. To Check Other Details

Your credit card statement lists your account balance, minimum payment due and due date at the top of the page. However, if you read further, you’ll get access to some equally valuable information such as 

  1. Late Payment Information, that is the fee amount you’ll be charged if you make a late payment, along with the penalty rate.
  2. Minimum Payment Details, meaning how long it will take you to pay off your balance if you make just the minimum payment each month, as well as the amount of interest that you will end up paying.
  3. Interest Charged – unless you carry a balance from month to month, this amount should be zero.
  4. Fees Charged – this amount should be zero as well. If it is not, find out why, and take steps to improve or correct the same.

 6. To Update Any Change in Personal Information

From time to time, your personal information such as your phone number or address may change. In such cases, it is imperative for you to update these details with your card issuer at the earliest. Seeing this information on your statement serves as a reminder to make the changes as soon as possible.

In short, checking your credit card statement every month enables you to discover and fix errors which otherwise may go undetected.  By following this practice, you may protect yourself from trouble and save a lot of money in terms of fraudulent charges, mistaken charges or unreasonable fees.

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Ari Page Ari Page is the CEO of Fund&Grow. He resides in Spring Hill, Florida with his wife and two children.

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