What is a Monthly Statement?
A monthly statement is a general term for a personalized financial record that regularly informs a recipient about the status of his or her account. It is generally mailed to the recipient on or near the same day each month. There as many different types of these statements as there are types of accounts.
For a checking account, a monthly statement will show the current balance in the account as of the statement date. The customer can check to see that all charges against the account are accurate, and that all deposits or credits that have occurred since the previous month's statement have been applied. If the account is overdrawn, this will also show on the statement. A statement for a savings account likewise shows the current balance accumulated and deposits or interest dividends applied in the current month's activity. If money has been withdrawn from the savings account in the previous 28-31 days, this should also be shown on the statement.
While a bank statement lists what monies have accumulated in a particular account, a monthly credit card statement lists what debt has accumulated on a particular credit card. In the case of a running balance, the monthly statement allows the customer to see the previous month's balance, and any credits applied since. Charges are also listed, along with the current payment due and the due date.
Virtually any type of loan arrangement incorporates a monthly statement. Mortgage payments, car payments, and other big-ticket items that are not paid in full at the time of purchase will use the statement to facilitate the payoff of the debt. Car insurance, medical bills and other goods and services also use this system.
Some small businesses use an informal monthly statement as a billing tool. The gardener might leave a statement in your mailbox that is no more than a hand-written receipt of services rendered, with the balance due. For those small business that provide a service or product and require billing customers, accounting services can be hired to take care of the billing. In this case, the third party prepares and mails monthly statements to the clients, and might also collect on delinquent accounts depending on the arrangement.
With the advent of the Internet, some people now opt for electronic monthly statements and electronic payment. This amounts to receiving and paying over the Internet by electronic bank transfer or credit card. Due to potential security risks, others prefer the traditional method of postal mail.
It is easy to see why some people would be uncomfortable having their financial information displayed on one site.
Unless you can guarantee that your passwords and protection software are completely secure, hackers could access your information rather easily.
Also, some larger banks sell accounts or change affiliations rather frequently. The fewer people with access to your private information, the better.
When my daughter opened her first checking account at college, I told to treat her monthly statement as the absolute truth. She may forget a check or two along the way, but the bank never does. Whatever the monthly statement says, she should plan accordingly. Of course, these days she can just go to the bank's website and get the same information every day if she wants.
Viewing your monthly statement online has a few advantages over using traditional paper statements sent through the mail.
First of all, obviously, online statements eliminate paper use, while still giving you the option to print out a paper copy of the statement if necessary.
Also, online statements usually allow you to view six months or more of statements with a click of the mouse. This could be helpful when investigating payment or deposit history or to quickly find out whether a particular check cleared.
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