CARD Act

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New Monthly Billing Statement

Dear Merrick Bank Customers,

It is important to us that we provide you with timely information regarding your Merrick Bank Visa® or MasterCard® credit card account.

To meet the requirements of the new CARD Act law, your credit billing statement will include a lot more information than what you're used to. Part of the new law requires additional disclosures regarding rates, fees, and other information. To help clarify these changes, we have written some general Questions and Answers that we hope you find helpful.

As always, thank you for being a valued Merrick Bank customer.

Sincerely,

Richard Urrutia,
President, Merrick Bank

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. Why did the format of my billing statement change?
  2. Why is there a late payment warning message? I did not pay late.
  3. I don't understand the Minimum Payment warning. What does it mean?
  4. I am confused about how much to pay on my account. The Minimum Payment due and the Amortized Payment Amount are different--and the Amortized Payment Amount is less. Which do I pay?
  5. Why is the Amortized Payment Amount lower than my Minimum Payment Amount due. Please?
  6. Why did my payment due date change?
  7. What will my new statement look like? Where is the new information?
  8. Why did you include a consumer credit counseling phone number? I do not need this.
  9. What is the CARD Act?

Questions and Answers:

  1. Q: Why did the format of my billing statement change?
    A. To meet the requirements of the CARD Act, information contained in your statement had to be provided in a certain format.

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  2. Q: Why is there a late payment warning message? I did not pay late.
    A. The late payment warning is a standard message that is required to appear on all billing statements. This is to let you know that if your minimum payment is not paid on time, a late fee may be charged to you.

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  3. Q: I don't understand the Minimum Payment warning. What does it mean?
    A. The minimum payment warning is a standard message that is required on all billing statements, The warning is letting you know that if you only pay the Minimum Amount Due each month, you will pay more in interest and it will take longer to pay off your balance. You can always pay more than your minimum payment which will reduce the amount of interest you pay and the time it takes to pay off your balance.

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  4. Q: I am confused about how much to pay on my account. The Minimum Payment due and the Amortized Payment Amount are different--and the Amortized Payment Amount is less. Which do I pay?
    A. We understand there is some confusion about how much you have to pay each month with the two figures. The required amount owed each month, as outlined in your Cardholder Agreement, is the Minimum Amount Due. This is the amount that needs to be paid that keeps your account in good standing. So, even though the Amortized Payment Amount is showing a lower payment amount, this is not the same as what is required to pay–your minimum payment. You can always pay more than your minimum payment which will reduce the amount of interest you pay and the time it takes to pay it.

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  5. Q: Why is the Amortized Payment Amount lower than my Minimum Payment Amount due. Please?
    A. These two payments use different calculations. The Amortized Payment amount has the assumption that your balance will not change and that you will make equal payments for the time period indicated. The Minimum Payment Amount due has to account for other factors, such as payments based on a percent of your balance.

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  6. Q: Why did my payment due date change?
    A. Your payment due date changed as a result of the requirement to provide at least 21 days notice before your due date and that your due date be on the same day every month.

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  7. Q: What will my new statement look like? Where is the new information?
    A. Below we have outlined the top 5 items that are new/different to your billing statement.
    Statement Sample - Click to enlarge it.
    1. The number of months it will take to repay your balance if only the minimum payment is made;
    2. The total cost of making minimum only payments based on your current interest rate;
    3. The monthly payment required to repay your balance within 36 months along with the total amount of interest and principal paid on a 36-month repayment plan if required;
    4. A toll free number where you can call about consumer credit counseling; and
    5. Summary of total fees and interest paid to date during the current billing cycle and year to date.
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  8. Q: Why did you include a consumer credit counseling phone number? I do not need this.
    A. We included a consumer credit counseling number to meet the CARD ACT requirement. This number does not mean that you are enrolled or have to enroll in consumer credit counseling.

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  9. Q: What is the CARD ACT?
    A. The CARD Act or the "Card Accountability Responsibility Disclosure Act" is legislation that Congress passed and the President signed on May 22, 2009. The CARD Act was not effective when it was signed but contained several effective dates. The first one was August 20, 2009 the second effective date is February 22, 2010. The Act has caused banks, including Merrick, to change some of their policies and practices. We and our vendors are working diligently to make necessary changes and are confident we will have them in place by the required effective dates.

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