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How to Deal with Lost or Stolen Credit Cards
Have you recently lost or misplaced your credit card? No need to panic. Staying calm and following these tips will help.
Contact Your Card Issuer Immediately
If you’ve lost your credit card, whether you believe it was simply misplaced or stolen, it’s important that you contact your issuer and inform them of your situation as soon as possible. Notifying your credit company immediately will help them take the necessary steps to protect your account, and it will help alleviate the stress of having to worry about fraudulent charges in the future.
Remember, the sooner you report your lost or stolen credit card, the less chance you have of any actual damage occurring.
Aside from reporting your credit card, there are a few other steps you can take:
Fraud Alert: By setting up a fraud alert, you’re letting lenders know there’s an issue with your credit, which means they’ll take extra precaution when verifying your account. This helps minimize your risk of loss because a notice will be sent every time someone tries to use your credit. Fraud alerts typically last for 90 days.
Credit Freeze: Taking it a step further, a credit freeze actually freezes your credit report, meaning no one will be able to access it—including you. A credit freeze can sometimes be tricky because it may interfere with any current or pending loan requests you have at the moment. That’s why it should only be used only as an emergency fail-safe.
Ways to Minimize Your Losses
Thankfully, there are safeguards in place that will help limit or even prevent possible losses. The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) lets you dispute billing errors relating to:
- Unauthorized charges that are over $50
- Charges for goods and services that were never received
- Statements mailed to the wrong address
- Charges not made by the consumer
- Charges with incorrect amounts and more
*For more information on the FCBA, click here.
While losing a credit card can be stressful, following the proper procedures will help ease the process.
For more information on lost or stolen credit cards, or for more information on our nonprofit debt consolidation services, contact us online by filling out the form above or calling us at 1-800-500-6489.