Do you have questions about your credit card or line of credit’s monthly statement? Here is what you need to know.
A financial institution must send you a statement of account at least 21 days before the date on which they can apply credit charges. This means that a statement of account sent on the 1st of the month can be paid before the 23rd of the same month without any charges being added, except in the case of cash advances.
The financial institution is not required to send you a statement of account in certain circumstances. Such is the case, for example, if you did not request an advance or made a payment during the period in question, and where the account balance is zero at the end of the period.
If you so request, the financial institution may notify you that your statement of account is ready by electronic means (e.g. via email).
A statement of account is deemed to have been sent to you if:
- you received by email or another technological means a notice informing you that a statement of account is available on the financial institution's website;
- the statement is indeed available;
- it is possible for you to keep a copy of the statement of account by printing it or otherwise.
You can also ask for copies, free of charge, of the supporting documents for each transaction for which you are invoiced. The financial institution has 60 days after the date on which you sent your request to send you the documents.
Your monthly statement must include the following information:
- the date of the end of the period;
- the balance owing at the beginning of the period;
- the date, a description and the amount of each transaction charged to your account during the period. This information is not required if the issuer encloses a copy of the supporting documents;
- the date and amount of each payment made or sum credited to your account during the period;
- the applicable rate or rates (in the case of a variable credit rate, the rate that is applicable at the end of the period and how to obtain a list of the rates during the period);
- the charges charged to the account during the period;
- the total of all advances and purchases charged to the account during the period;
- the account balance at the end of the period;
- the credit limit applicable for the period;
- the minimum payment required for the period;
- in the case of a credit card, the estimated number of months (and years, if applicable) required to pay off the balance owing if only the minimum payment is made each period;
- in the case of a credit card, the payment due date;
- the grace period you are given to pay your balance without having to pay credit charges (except for cash advances, that is, an amount of money that you withdraw from your credit card);
- your rights and obligations regarding billing errors; and
- a telephone number you can use, at no charge, to obtain information about your contract or account statement, in the language of the contract or statement. If collect calls are accepted, a clear statement to that effect must also be provided.
What should you do if your statement contains an error? Send a written notice to the card issuer. You usually have one month to do so.
Contents of the notice
Your notice must contain the following information:
- your identity;
- the error noted and the amount in question, if applicable;
- the reason you believe it is an error.
Reply from the financial institution
Within 60 days after sending your notice, the financial institution must notify you in writing that the correction was made. If the institution refuses to correct the error, they must explain why and provide you with documents in support of their refusal.
If the institution does not reply within 60 days, they lose the right to claim the amount you deem to be in error.