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Statement balance vs. current balance: What's the difference?

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    When looking at your credit card statement, it may be tricky to differentiate between your statement balance vs. your current balance. So, what's the difference? Your statement balance typically shows what you owe on your credit card at the end of your last billing cycle. Your current balance, however, will typically reflect the total amount that you owe at any given moment. Billing cycle times frames may vary if an issuer allows cardmembers to change their billing cycle.

    What is a statement balance?

    Your statement balance is the amount shown on your monthly billing statement. It doesn't reflect any new activity since your last statement ended. Instead, a statement balance represents the purchases and payments on your card during a set period, known as your billing cycle, which falls between 28 to 31 days.

    For example, if your billing cycle starts on the first of the month and ends on the 31st, the amount owed on the 31st is your statement balance, reflecting what you purchased during that 31-day period. Note that if you're carrying a balance from the previous month, that amount, along with the accrued interest, is also included in the amount due. Once your credit card statement is generated, the statement balance doesn't change until the billing cycle closes and you start a new one.

    What does current balance mean?

    Unlike your statement balance, your current balance may fluctuate. The current balance that appears is your most recent statement balance plus other transactions since your last statement was generated. Once a billing cycle closes and a statement balance is paid, it is updated to reflect transactions made in the new billing cycle. As you continue to make purchases using your credit card, you may see your current balance increase until payment is made.

    Why is my statement balance more than my current balance?

    Depending on how you use your credit card and when you make payments, your two balances may be the same or one may be higher than the other. This is because your current balance is continually updated based on payments and purchases made, while your statement balance is a record of your balance on a given date.

    If you've made payments on your credit card after your billing cycle ended and haven't made any other purchases, your current balance may be lower than your statement balance. On the other hand, if you've made purchases since your statement closing date, your current balance will most likely be higher than your statement balance.

    In summary

    It's helpful to understand the difference between your statement balance vs. current balance to manage your account. To help you remember, your statement balance is a fixed number and the sum of all transactions during a billing period, while your current balance may be continually updated to indicate your balance right now.

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