How to read your credit card statement

Credit card statement formats vary, but they usually always contain this kind of information.

Sample credit card statement.

  1. Your credit card account number — Remember to keep it a secret, or others can use your account.
  2. The closing date of the statement is the date the credit card company created this statement.
  3. The amount of your credit line is your spending limit.
  4. Available credit is the amount of your credit that you haven’t borrowed yet, so it’s still available to you.
  5. The account summary section summarizes your transactions.
  6. Payment information shows the total amount you now owe, which is also called your new balance.
  7. The minimum payment — Each month you must pay at least this portion of what you owe. If you wish, you may pay more than the minimum, up to the total amount, if you can. If you want to have good credit, and reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay, it’s a good idea to pay more than the minimum payment each month.
  8. The payment due date — Unless your credit card company receives your payment by this date, they will begin charging you interest on the amount you owe. Most companies will also charge you a late fee. They may also increase your interest rate.
  9. Rate information shows you how the interest and fees are being calculated.
  10. In the transactions section, you’ll see a list of each charge and payment you made in date order.
  11. The Payment Coupon repeats your current payment information. Include this coupon with your check if you pay by mail, and be sure to write in your new address if you’ve moved.

Remember: With a savings account you earn interest; when you borrow you pay interest. The interest rate a lender charges you depends on how good they believe your credit is — your creditworthiness.

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