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CARD ACT: CREDIT CARD STATEMENTS NEW LOOK

Beginning July 2010, we saw an update on the CARD Act and talked about possible changes expected to happen in response to the bill both from credit companies perspective and personal level. Making credit card statement simple and easy to read is one among many changes requested by law. Many credit companies and banks made those changes way ahead and you should be getting new version of your credit card statements now. It is really very detailed in every aspect for the consumer. Thanks to Card Act 2009.


If you are an American express credit card member, you should have also got a pamphlet explaining the changes in your credit card statement. Not all banks and credit unions spent time and money to explain the changes to their consumer. Let us see the changes in details by looking at the old and new statement side by side from the slide show.

OLD Statement


If you look at the old statement, it is simple and abstract with just about details. It shows the amount due, minimum amount due, transactions details and available credit. That's about it. If you incur any financial charges, it shows that in the bottom. It doesn't explain, whats it is the minimum payment due, how it can affect your balance? What are the fees on this statement? It is very basic and only helps people who are familiar about how credit card works.

NEW Statement


On the other hand, new statement is very elaborate and detailed. Even for first timer, it is clear and tells what happens when only minimum payment due is only paid. It surely will help many consumer looking for answers to their basic questions on their statement. Lets look at new sections added in the statement one by one.

1. Warnings Section


This warning section clearly explains about late fees and minimum payment due. It will really help to put the things into perspective if they only make minimum payments. We can hope many consumers who will be alarmed to see the numbers and may consider paying full on time.

2. Summary Section


In this section, they summarized full activity of the credit account clearly to give a detail picture by breaking it down to show the fees, advances, interest and so forth. It is a very important section which will surely help even experienced credit consumer.

3. Fees and Interest Breakdown


This last section at the bottom might seem redundant but it another break down of fees and interest charges. If you have fees for late payment or cash advances, this will break it down to show them. Also if you have many different interest changes, Interest charged section will show that in detail. Last but not least, Interest charge calculation section gives an idea how interest is calculated and charged.


I took my DCU credit card statement and AMEX had similar sections and most credit card statements should have them as well according to the law. These new addon sections to the credit card statement comes real handy for any type of consumer. We can only hope atleast now everyone reads their credit card statement and not give silly excuses they don't understand it.


 

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