By Porsche Miles-Grant
A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows one in six adults across the nation have low literacy skills. A person who is challenged with low literacy skills may be able to read some words, but not enough to understand simple forms or instructions. Research shows that basic skills are not only linked to employment outcomes, but also to personal and social well-being. If you are not faced with such trials and setbacks, why are you failing to read disclosures and your financial statements? Do you believe that financial statements and disclosures are a waste of time? Or are you simply unconcerned?
Whatever you reasons are, you are hurting your financial future tremendously when you neglect these important documents. Financial statements provide you with an overview of how you have managed your money. It also can assist in helping you avoid being a victim of identity fraud. Reviewing your statements on a regular basis helps you catch mistakes on your account. When dealing with humans, there is aways room for error. How simple is it for a teller to transpose an account number and put your funds into someone else’s account? Believe me, it happenes daily. However, reading your statements can eliminate these financial pitfalls that can leave you financially broken.
Disclosures are just as important to read. There is definitely a reason that the Federal/State laws require financial institutions to provide disclosures containing information on terms you are planning to agreed to. A disclosure details all material facts relevant to a transaction. YOU SHOULD NEVER MAKE A FINANCIAL DECISION ABOUT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WITHOUT READING THE DISCLOSURES STATEMENT THAT CONTAINS CRITICAL INFORMATION THAT HELPS YOU MAKE INFORMED CHOICES.
When opening an account, disclosures are especially important to read as they provided you with understanding as to what to expect from that particular financial institution. This document is your guide to learning your legal rights, the responsibilities of the financial institution, and the things you are liable for. After reading the disclosure, this is your time to ask questions, clarify information you do not comprehend, and analyze your decisions before committing to opening an account, or applying for a loan. Frankly put, it is not wise to sign a disclousre or anything else of that nature before reading the conditions. By reading through your disclosures and making sure you understand them, you protect yourself from making a bad decision, while evading signing you wallet away for good.
Porsche Miles-Grant is a Certified Financial Counselor and the CEO and Founder of Financial Success Services, LLC. She can be contacted at 313-753-2696 at Porsche.firstname.lastname@example.org. She may also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/financesandeducation/.
Printed in the December 11 - December 26, 2016 edition.