What Is a Bank Statement, and How Do I Get One?

How Can I Get a Bank Statement?

What Is a Bank Statement, and How Do I Get One?

Most banks provide statements every month, although some do it every quarter. Depending on your bank, you can access your statement online, in-app, or through the mail.

How to Access Your Bank Statements Online

Almost all banks and credit unions offer an option to view your bank statements online for free. The process varies from bank to bank, but here are some basic steps to follow.

  1. Log in to your account through the bank’s website or app.
    • If you’ve never signed in online, you may have to create an account or call customer service.
  2. Find where your bank houses their electronic statements.
    • Look under headings like “services,” “bank statements,” or “e-statements.”
  3. Select the statement period you want to view.
  4. Review the statement on your computer, tablet, or phone — or download your statement as a PDF.
  5. Save your bank statement in a secure location on your computer (if you wish), print it, or close out the screen.
  6. Log out of your bank account for security purposes.

While you’re logged in, you can adjust your account settings to “go paperless.” This means you’ll receive and review all statements online instead of getting them in the mail. Sometimes banks will offer a one-time bonus credit to your account for going paperless.

How to Get Paper Statements by Mail

When you sign up for an account, some banks automatically send you monthly statements by mail. Your mailed statements will be identical to what you can view online.

If you agree to go paperless, meaning you consent to receive electronic bank statements, banks still must provide a paper copy of your statement if you ask. To receive paper statements, first log on to your account through your bank’s website or app. Look under headings like “account settings” and “services” to find where you can request mailed statements. Some banks charge a fee for mailing your statements as it costs them time, printing, and postage.

If you’re unsure how to log in online, call your bank’s customer service number, which is often listed on your debit card. If your bank doesn’t offer a mailed option, download your statement online as a PDF and print it to get a physical copy.

How Long Do Banks Keep Records of Statements?

Under the Bank Security Act, banks must keep statements for up to five years — although some may keep them longer. If you’ve closed your account, the bank will still keep your records for at least five years. Why would you need a bank statement from the past? You may need to pull your records for a tax audit, litigation, divorce, or to apply for a loan.

You can often retrieve bank statements online for free for the last year or two. If you need to go back further than what’s available online, your bank might charge you for each statement. For instance, if you want a statement from four years ago, the bank could charge you $5 per statement. That’s why some people save their bank statements in case they need them in the future. If you no longer need your statements, be sure to shred them for security purposes.

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