Just like clothes and shoes, financial advice can be a good fit for some and not applicable for others. However, there is one universal tip that everyone should adhere to.

While it may seem obvious, many people tend to overlook the fine print when they sign a contract or make a purchase. This covers a wide range of situations, from online shopping and credit cards to housing, loans and rentals.

Failing to read the small print can lead to big problems. Apart from extra charges and fees, you may get caught up in unfair policies that prevent you from resorting to legal actions such as arbitration or class action lawsuit.

To get ahead of the issue, here are a few things you can do:

  • Find out what the business would do if certain situations arise – for example, if your parcel goes missing in the mail, or a contract needs to be terminated earlier. Make sure these are spelled out in the contract.
  • Check the store’s policy for cancellations, returns, refunds and/or warranties.
  • See if your subscription automatically renews after the free trial.
  • Make sure that verbal agreements are documented in the closing papers.

This article originally appeared on Over60.