Bank statements come each month, but are you paying attention to them? Your bank statement shows you where you stand with your financial institution. You should be able to see what is coming in and out of your bank accounts. Use your bank statement to learn more about your habits. Good habits set you on the path to success. We will walk you through the parts of a bank statement so that you know how to get the most out of these documents each month.
What is a bank statement?
A bank statement displays the current state of your bank account. You can see which transactions have occurred over a period of time, typically a month. You will see each time money was added or withdrawn to your account and the date that this has happened.
You will also see the source or destination of this money. You should see which transactions are pending and which have officially gone through. Finally, you should have a balance somewhere on your bank statement.
How do bank statements work?
Banks issue a bank statement to an account holder that shows the detailed activity in the account. Banks are required to send monthly statements every month. Banks must report the electronic fund transfers (EFTs) that occur each month.
What information does a bank statement provide?
Your bank statement provides a lot of information. You can expect to see the following things on an account bank statement:
- Personal information: You should see your name, address, and account number. For this reason, it’s important that other people do not gain access to your bank statement.
- Time period: Not all bank statements encompass an entire month. For example, your bank statement could start on the 17th of one month and end on the 16th. Always look at the time when analyzing your bank statement.
- Balance: You can find the total money you currently have in the account. This is called a balance.
- Deposits: Your bank statement will record the dates and amounts of money that go into your account. This happens from checks, direct deposits, transfers, payments, interest, and reimbursements.
- Withdrawals: You will see all the instances of money leaving your account. The destination and date will also be listed. This happens from purchases, ATM withdrawals, auto-pay bills, and bank fees.
- Bank information: You should see information about the bank, including how to contact them about any questions.
Benefits of a bank statement
Before you think of a bank statement as something you should just glance at each month without much care, consider some of the benefits of looking at your bank statement a lot more closely.
- Track your finances: If you’re constantly using your debit card, chances are you should look at your checking bank statement. If you need to stick to a budget, note where spending feels out of control. For example, are you eating out too much?
- Monitor your account balance: This goes with tracking your spending, but monitor your balance. You never want to be penalized for overdrafts on your account.
- Identify fraud: Make sure you recognize all of the charges on your account. Unknown withdrawals could indicate fraud.
- Apply for a loan: You’ll need to show bank statements when applying for a major loan, so keeping tabs on your statements can let you know where you stand.
- Refinance your home: Refinancing your home is similar to applying for a loan, and many mortgage companies will examine bank statements.
- See the interest earned: Are you curious if your savings are paying off? It can be helpful to examine the interest you have made.
- Catch bank errors: Banks make mistakes. Look carefully at your bank statement each month to catch errors.
- Rent an apartment: Renting an apartment usually involves a credit check, and they may even ask to see several months of your bank statements as well.
- Maintain records: Keeping track of your bank statements is essential for maintaining financial records over time. You will be glad that you did this when the time comes to make a big purchase or need it for a mortgage application.
Where do I find my bank statements?
Banks give out two types of bank statements, including paper and electronic. Find out more below.
Paper bank statements
You choose whether you receive paper or electronic bank statements. Please read the fine print here because many banks will charge to send out paper bank statements. If you receive a paper bank statement, you can expect one to show up in your mailbox each month.
Electronic bank statements
You can find electronic bank statements on the bank’s website or app. You can even save them as a PDF, and keep them in a folder on your computer or print them to have a physical copy.
Can anyone check my bank statements?
No, only you can see your bank statements unless you give someone your account information.
Get more out of your bank with MoneyLion
You can learn a lot from your bank statement. These lessons can help you establish and maintain goals. Find a bank that puts your goals first.
What can you see in a bank statement?
You will see your personal identifying details, account number, account balance, withdrawals, and deposits.
Do bank statements show exactly what you bought?
No. But bank statements show where you shopped.
Can I hide transactions on my bank statement?
No. The places your money went to will show up on a bank statement.