• June 15, 2023
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 3 read

A Beginner’s Guide to Bank Statements

While you receive monthly bank statements, do you read them or understand the information they contain? If not, you should. Becoming familiar with these documents can help you in a myriad of ways, especially when it comes to fraud detection, expense tracking, and budgeting. Use this guide so you know exactly how to leverage these documents when they hit your mailbox – and discover about digital alternatives

What do bank statements include? 

Bank statements summarize the transactions on an account, including deposits, withdrawals, and charges. In addition, they list your beginning and ending balance for the period – usually monthly. You can use this information to: 

  • Track expenses and spending. See where your money is going. Doing so will help you stay accountable and motivated to reach financial goals, identify poor spending habits, and can even lower financial stress.
  • Catch errors or fraud. Sometimes, an error on your bank statement is an honest mistake. For example, a business accidentally double charging you or neglecting to send a refund. Other times, you may notice a fraudulent transaction. Either way, the information in your statement will draw your attention to these issues so you can address them quickly.  

Are there alternatives?  

Paper statements are beneficial, but they can cause issues if they fall into the wrong hands. Bad actors may intercept them from your mailbox to access personal identifying information, such as bank account numbers. If they do, they can use it to commit identity fraud – the effects of which can be far reaching. If you ever suspect you’ve fallen victim to identity theft, it’s important to report the situation to your bank or credit union. They’ll take the necessary steps, like freezing your account, to minimize damage to your financial well-being. 

The best way to protect your accounts is to opt into electronic statements, called eStatements. You’ll have access to this information straight from your bank or credit union’s secure online banking or mobile app. The risk of fraud is significantly reduced because there’s no physical copy, plus you’ll cut back on paper waste. 

eStatements can also make account management more convenient. You won’t have to wait for your statement to arrive in the mail and your history is housed within online or mobile banking. Refer to your bank or credit union’s eStatement option to confirm the length of history that will be available to you.

Here at General Electric Credit Union, we offer monthly account statements to our members, so they have access to an in-depth overview of their accounts. You always have the option to enroll in eStatements through Online Banking or our mobile app and enjoy enhanced security and convenience.1 Learn more about keeping two-years’ worth of financial information at your fingertips.  

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