Credit Card Statements Will Be Easier To Read Starting in July 2010

The Federal Reserve Board passed sweeping changes to the way the credit card industry operates. The new regulations will go into affect on July 1, 2010. One of the changes that will be instantly noticeable to account holders will be the billing statement.

The Fed has mandated that credit card issuers must make the monthly statements they send to card holders easier to read and understand. That includes doing away with the ‘fine print’ on billing statements. It has long been an industry standard to bury nasty little details (read expensive) like fees and the terms and conditions to raise APRs in fine print that defies anyone to read without expiring from sheer boredom.

The new statements will have 5 boxes on them. Each box will be displayed prominently and will contain only the most pertinent information. The 5 boxes will show:

  1. An easy to read summary of all your account activity.
  2. Interest rate charges and how they are calculated.
  3. All transactions made during the current billing cycle.
  4. Your payment information.
  5. Any recent changes that have been made to your account.

Wherever interest rates and fees are mentioned on the statement they must be printed in bold letters so they will stand out.

Other information that will be clearly displayed include a warning about how paying the only the minimum on your monthly balance will be costly and may take considerable time to pay off.

You can read more about these changes at They have an excellent article on the topic complete with an example of what a credit card statement will look like that is based on a sample supplied by the Federal Reserve Board.

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