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Jun 14

Understanding Your Credit Card Statements

Posted to City of Miramar Blog by Regina Roberts

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FINANCIAL BLOG FROM YOUR CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Title: Understanding Your Credit Card Statements

Would it be safe to say that most individuals over the age of 25 have a credit card? Therefore, understanding your credit card statement is important since not too many people read their statements on a monthly basis or if at all.  Understanding how your credit card works is a key factor in using it responsibly

In this article I will be focusing on the following:

  • The account summary
  • Statement closing date
  • Statement due date
  • Minimum payment warning
  • Late payment warning

Your credit card issuers are required to send your monthly credit card statements at least 21 days before your minimum payment due date.  Included on your statement (usually on the right side) is your Account Summary.  The following information is displayed: previous balance, payments & credits, current purchases, balance transfers, cash advance, and interest charged.  The account summary gives an overview of your credit card account status.  You will also find your current balance, fees, credit available, and the date the billing cycle closed.  These are the most important information on the statement.

Your credit card works in monthly cycles. Your credit card Statement Closing Date is the day your credit card billing cycle ends.  The closing date is the day in each month that divides your account’s previous billing period from its next one.  At this point, the current balance is reported to the credit bureaus. Any purchases, cash advances or balance transfers made after the closing date will go into the next cycle.

Note all your transactions made since the previous closing date and make sure they are all legitimate purchases that you have made. If there are any discrepancies or unknown purchases, contact your credit card company immediately.  The statement closing date is also the date your statement is generated, and interest is charged. It is also the start of the countdown toward your payment due date.

Pay close attention to this date!  That should be the first date you review. While the closing date is the end of your statement cycle, the Statement Due Date is the date by which you must make your payment to avoid a late charge. Your credit card company will set a date on which you should make your payment. Your credit card payment due date is the date when you should pay down your balance. This date will appear at the top of your statement.  If this date is not good for you, you can change your due date by simply calling your credit card provider.

 

Must know information about statement due date:

a.      It is the last day of the month you can pay the minimum payment without facing consequences.

b.     You will be charged interest on your revolving balance if it is not paid in full.

c.     This ties to the health of your credit score.

d.     Paying your bill after this date could damage your credit.

e.     The date will be the same each month.

f.      Paying your bill on time represents 35% of your FICO score.

The Minimum Payment Warning on your credit card statement.  This warning on your statement is a requirement under the CARD ActThe Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 is a federal statute passed by the United States Congress and signed by U.S. President Barack Obama on May 22, 2009. It informs cardholders that making only the minimum payment each month will result in a higher amount of total interest paid and a longer repayment period.  It shows consumers the cost of paying the minimum payment only.

The Late Payment Warning on your credit card statement. This warning on your statement is a requirement under the CARD Act. It discloses exactly what the repercussions are for making your payment late (after the due date listed on the statement). It includes the amount of the late fee and the “penalty Annual Percentage Rate (APR)” which is the significantly higher interest rate that could be applied to your current account balance and future transactions.  Credit card issuers do not report payments that are less than 30 days late to the credit bureaus. If your payment is 30 or more days late, then the penalties can add up. In most cases, you will be hit with a late payment fee.  Do these few things to avoid being hit with a late payment fee: (1) Set up auto pay, (2) Set payment reminders, and (3) Change your payment due date. 

By following these few ideas and getting a better understanding of your credit card statement you will be on your way to taking control of your money, so your money does not take control of you. Remember, “when money realizes it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands.” 

I believe in you!

 

Mar 08

HEADS UP - SMALL BUSINESSES

Posted to Financial Blog from Your Chief Financial Officer (CFO) by Regina Roberts

Financial Blog Banner - Heads Up Small Businesses
If you have never hired a tax professional, this is the year you should do so. This is the year you want to be more prepared. Pay attention! There are some tax rule changes that will have an impact on businesses as you file your 2020 tax return. With everything that transpired with business during 2020, some business tax returns will be complicated.

Each taxpayer has his or her own unique situation, therefore, some advice to the small business owners, please speak to a professional that deals with taxes. It’s always important to get organized, so here are some ideas to get started.

1. Organize your records. Make sure all your financial materials related to your business are up to date, organized and filed in one place.
2. Organize the small things.
3. Again, if you took advantage of any of the COVID-19 programs, such as SBA loans, grants and credits that was made available to you through the CARES Act, please discuss them with your tax preparer.
4. Examples:
a. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - PPP loans may be forgivable if certain conditions are met.
b. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) - Per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), any forgiven Small Business Administration (SBA) loan should be included in taxable income.
c. Employee Retention Credit - Up to 50% credit, if you have employees that were kept employed during the pandemic.
d. Review all new credits - First Coronavirus Response Act, Small Employer Health Insurance Premium Credit and Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
e. Deferral of employer payroll taxes.
5. Consider all charitable donations.
6. Consider retirement plans and retirement contributions made.
7. Look at your expenses. Separate Capital expenses from Business expenses.
8. See if you qualify for Section 179.
9. Attorney or accounting fees for your business
10. Depreciation
11. Charitable donations
12. Stock deductions
13. Medical reimbursement
14. Health insurance premiums
15. Health savings accounts
16. Healthcare for employees
17. Banked health credit
18. Life insurance
19. Education expense (professional classes)
20. Website design

As you can see this is no way an exhausted list. Consider all deductions that can help you to avoid paying more taxes than you need to, because the more deductions you have, the lower your taxable income. You must also take time to understand the tax rules so you can avoid penalties. If you don’t think you can, then get professional advice as needed.

I believe in you!
Feb 13

The Intersection of Arts and Athletics: Ernie Barnes x MCC

Posted to MCC by Alexis Fox

Miramar welcomed a weekend of fun and frenzy with Superbowl 2020 and the start of Black History Month  

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