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Financial Tip of the Day:Read Your Monthly Credit Card Statements

By Drew Kessler

If you are using a credit card you should read your statements when they arrive every month.  It’s a good habit to keep all charge receipts.  Put them into a folder when you get home from shopping. When your statement arrives, check the statement against the receipts. This way you can make sure that all of the charges are yours. You also can account for the charges by categories in your budget rather than by having one large expense called “credit card.”

If there are charges that you are certain neither you nor anyone else in your family have made you should dispute the transaction as described on the back of the statement. The law requires that disputes be submitted in writing to the financial institution that issued the card. You can usually request to see a copy of the transaction slip as a starting point.  You should not be charged interest or late fees for that item while the situation is being resolved.

Your monthly statement also provides information such as your interest rate and fees that may have been assessed on your account. Check these out. You may be paying a higher rate of interest than you thought you were. 

If you purchased something at a promotional interest rate, make sure you check the bottom of the statement to find out what interest is being charged on what portion of your charges.  Make sure the card issuer is applying the promotional rate correctly. If you have questions, call the card issuer at the number provided on the statement.

Drew Kessler is Vice President of Marketing & Communications with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.

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