A Bank Statement or Account Statement is a document or report accessed from the bank by the customer.
A Bank Statement Template may vary from bank to bank. However, most financial institutions provide bank statements for their customers that have some particular general information. Suppose a customer wants to access their statement. In that case, the bank statement template will have all the information listed above under the title “What shows up on a Bank Statement?” and maybe include other details that are unique to their financial institution.
The bank statement template usually contains the account owner’s account number, statement period, and transactions. These transactions will appear chronologically.
The information on the bank statement template is helpful to the customer in many different ways, and that is why a customer needs to know what to expect from the template.
Note: An account owner should also keep their filled-out bank statement template safe and secure.
It contains information regarding the account balance and activity, usually for one month. A bank is known as a depository, while individuals or companies are known as depositors on a bank statement template.
Some of the activities that customers will have in their bank statement templates include details of their deposits and withdrawals, details about their spending, identify any errors, and get alerted of any suspicious activities.
Importance of a Bank Statement
Bank statements are of profound importance in the modern era. Modern man life is inextricably linked with a bank as all financial transactions are linked with a bank. However, day-to-day financial activities’ records cannot be kept individually. It is where bank statements intervene, i.e., they keep a record of every transaction made in the account, typically for a month.
Hence, it is important to have a bank statement, and here are some of the main benefits of it:
Gauge your spending
Since customers receive their bank statements every month, they will be able to review their monthly spending. A bank statement will help them change their bad money habits and learn to adapt and make better financial choices.
Track your savings
With a bank statement, a customer can keep track of their savings. Since they are aware of the account balance at the end of each month, they will know what to do as the month begins to save much more.
See how much interest you’re earning
A bank statement or bank statement template also highlights the interest a customer is getting from their financial institution.
With interest being earned, a customer can increase their money in their account as an investment to increase their interest earnings.
Monitor your account balance
This alerts the customer when they need to deposit more funds to improve their account balance and avoid overdraft fees.
Overdraft fees result from paying bills and ATM transactions when one’s bank account does not have the necessary funds.
Since a bank statement highlights all the transactions related to that bank account, a customer can spot fraud and stop it before losing any more money.
They might identify someone else using their debit card and contact their bank to stop those transactions.
Catch banking errors
At times banks might make mistakes that might cost the customer money. With a bank statement template, a customer can identify any banking errors like wrong charges or wrong deposits and communicate to the bank to change such errors.
Such mistakes must be reported to the bank immediately in writing.
Watch for mistakes
A bank statement can also help you watch for mistakes from other areas of a customer’s life that need transactions from their bank account.
Paying a $69 bill that was mistaken for $96 by the seller is a mistake that a bank customer can identify using a bank statement.
A bank statement also helps the customer watch for any mistakes related to their bank-like discrepancies or duplicate charges.
Apply for a loan
Any loan giver will require a bank statement to prove how a customer is fairing financially. In addition, a customer will have to access a bank statement even when looking to take a mortgage.
Rent an apartment
Landlords and other rental agencies expect a bank statement from their soon-to-be tenant.
A bank statement is usually part of the documents requested before the signing of the lease happens. It helps a landlord understand the tenant’s financial ability and decide whether they are fit based on the rental’s financial requirements like rents, security deposits, and other types of payments needed.
Refinance your home
When it comes to refinancing a home, an individual wants to take a new mortgage or loan in place of the old one with a new balance. For this to happen, a customer must access their bank statement since any financial institution will want to know the financial standing of the person seeking to refinance their home.
File your tax return
For accurate filing of tax returns, a bank statement is required. It keeps track of all the deposits and earnings made and proves that the individual has filed the correct tax returns.
A filled-out bank statement template is also another great way to maintain records about the customer’s finances and financial decisions. Customer can store their bank statements either digitally on a computer or in files.
An account holder should store their bank statements for a minimum period of one year.
Note: If an account holder spots any mistakes in the bank statement, they have a period of 60 days or two months to dispute these errors for changes to be made. A bank customer shouldn’t check their bank account online if connected to public Wi-Fi. This will give room for potential hackers to access their bank accounts by getting their private information.
How to Get a Bank Statement
Since account owner can access their bank statement from their banks for different purposes, they can get these statements.
In order to get one’s bank statement, a customer should first log into their bank account through the bank’s app or the bank’s website. If they do not have an online bank account, they will have to create one or call the bank’s customer service.
Locate where the electronic statements are. They are usually housed under heading such as “services,” “bank statements,” or “e-statements.”
After they locate the statements, they can choose the period they wish to access.
Review statements online or downloads them as a PDF.
An account owner should always save their bank statements in a safe place before closing the screen and logging out of the account for security reasons.
Note: The customer can choose to adjust the way they receive their bank statements by clicking “go paperless” while they are still logged in.
Getting paper statements by mail
Bank statements received online are usually sent automatically every month once a customer has a bank account. Therefore, they are always the same as what a customer will receive through the mail.
For the customer to get paper bank statements, they need to log on to their bank account through the bank’s app of the bank’s website. Then, under headings like “account settings” and “services,” they will locate a place where they can request mailed bank statements. However, a customer should remember that mailing bank statements might cost them time, printing, and postage.
If a customer is unsure about this process, they can always get help from the bank’s customer service by calling them using their debit card number.
The Details on a Bank Statement
The details found on a bank statement or bank statement template may vary from one financial institution to another. For customers with both their savings and checking accounts at the same bank, their account statements will have information for both accounts.
This is a list of the general details that are usually found across bank statements:
- The customer’s account number
- The home address of the account owner
- The statement period
- The bank’s customer service number
- A section on how the customer can report errors or fraudulent activities
- The account balance at the beginning of the period
- Information regarding the deposits made such as the checks, direct deposits, any electronic transfers, all canceled checks, all canceled credits, and reimbursements or credits
- Information regarding withdrawals is done, such as purchases, payments, electronic transfers, ATM withdrawals, auto payments, and any fees charged by the bank.
- Any earned dividends and interests
- The account balance at the end of the period
How Long to Keep the Bank Statement
Banks are required by the Bank Security Act to keep their customers’ bank statements for a period of up to 5 years, even after that customer has closed their bank account. Some banks usually keep these statements for even more than five years.
Banks need to keep records of account statements for their customers. This is because an account owner may require their statement for divorce, loan application, litigation, or even tax audit.
Online bank statements can only be accessed for free for a period of two years. Further than that, the customer must visit their financial institution to access their bank statements at a fee of $5 per statement. It is advisable for people to, therefore, access and saves their bank statements for future use. If an account owner no longer needs the statements, they should be destroyed properly, like shredding them for security reasons.
An account owner can also decide to download and save their bank statements in an encrypted folder for security purposes.
Online and Paper Bank Statements
An account holder can choose to either access an online or a paper-based bank statement. Banks allow their customers to receive the type of bank statement they want. An online bank statement is usually posted to the customer’s account, while a paper bank statement is sent to the account owner through the mail.
The online bank statement is more convenient for most customers since some banks usually charge a certain amount for the paper-based account statement. In addition, while the paper statement is accessed through mail, the electronic statement is accessible from the customer’s online account.
The customer is required to log into the account and click on the navigation item titled bank statements. Bank statements can be found under “Services” or “Account Information,” in case the option is not present on the navigation part. The account owner can review the bank statements for the month of their choosing once they locate them.
There are also options of saving the bank statement(s) as a PDF or printing it out after locating it.
A bank statement is essential for tax auditing, divorce proceedings, loan taking, and many other reasons. However, a customer should preclude themself from fabricating and using forged documents.
It is illegal to use fake bank statements as it is considered a felony crime. In addition, it may lead to expensive lawsuits, fines, and even jail time in the end. Therefore, it is best for a customer only to use legal and authentic bank statements accessed from their bank for financial purposes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although both a bank statement and a transaction history display transactions for a given time, they differ. A bank statement presents transaction details of only one month and may leave out recent or pending transactions.
On the other hand, transaction history reports all transactions in that bank account for a set period as chosen by the customer.
No one can check your bank statement unless you have given them your account number. In addition, financial institutions such as banks never release information about your bank statement to any unknown third parties without your permission.