If you just opened your first credit card or have had multiple credit cards for a while then you can be sure of one thing. You will receive your credit card statement each month and have to pay it. It is important to know that there is a lot of important information that comes with your statement that you need to look at and understand before paying it.
Minimum Amount Due
This is the total amount that you need to pay to be considered “paid on time” and up to date with your statement. This amount is not what your total statement is for that month. Whatever is left over after you make your minimum payment will be assessed an interest charged and applied to your next statement.
Credit Card Statement Balance
What is a credit card balance? This is the total amount that you spent over the timeframe of your last statement. If your statement timeframe is from the 1st of the month to the 30th then this is the total amount of money that you put on your credit card during that time. You do not receive your credit card statement until after this is over and most credit cards give you somewhere between 2 – 3 weeks to pay this off. This is the total amount that you need to pay off in order to not incur any interest on your balance. Here at Casavvy we encourage everyone to pay off their credit card in full each month, because these interest charges can add up quickly and it is basically spending money on nothing.
Total Outstanding Balance
This is where some people get confused so we will try to make it simple. Your total outstanding balance is the total amount from your last credit card statement (from the 1st to the 30th) plus the money you have spent from the start of your new statement to the present. Lets say your statement balance is $500 and your total outstanding balance is $600. In order to pay off your bill in full and avoid any interest you need to pay off $500 of your credit card bill. The $100 you have left over isn’t due until your next credit card statement period ends. With that being said, you do have the option to go ahead and pay off your total outstanding balance if you wish and there is no penalty for doing this. If you already have the money available why not and go ahead and pay it off and bring your credit card balance back to $0. So now at the end of your current credit card statement period you will owe whatever you spend from that point forward.
Total Credit Line
Credit line is the same as credit limit. Credit limit definition is the amount of money that you are allowed to have outstanding on your card at one time. This number is important because you want to keep your credit card balance below 30% of your total credit limit. When you go way over this number your credit score will get dinged because it looks like you are over extending yourself. If you find that you spend over 30% of your credit limit each month then go ahead and ask your credit card company to raise your credit limit. This way you can spend the same amount that you normally do each month, but will keep your percentage of your credit limit lower and help you get close to your max credit score.
We hope that makes everything clearer and more straight forward when looking at your credit card statement. Now that you know how to read your statement you can move forward to earning the rewards you deserve on your rewards credit card, or to help you get the highest credit score possible so that you can obtain the credit card that you want.