First off, make sure you didn’t simply misplace your credit card. Having a credit card is a big responsibility. If you don’t take losing a credit card seriously it truly could cause you problems. Sometimes a lost credit card can cause you problems for years, if not taken care of immediately and correctly.
First Step – Find the Contact Information for the Lost Credit Card’s Issuer
You no longer have the credit card to look at to find this information, so find an old statement. Not any contact information will do. You need to look for the part that specifically tells you who to call for reporting lost or stolen cards.
Some locations give you the option to freeze activity on your card. This is so you can look for it more thoroughly before canceling it. If there is a possibility that it might be lost inside of your home and not stolen, this is an option to consider. Your card’s issuer will have more information if you ask for it. While you are on the phone with them, if you do decide to cancel the lost credit card, make sure that everything will transfer like your rewards points. If you’d like a higher spending limit, now is also the time to ask.
Second Step – Notify Your Creditors Who You have Set Up Direct Payments With
Creditors don’t like being left out of the loop for any reason. Make sure that you inform them that you aren’t able to provide payment with that credit card at this time and you want to set up an alternative way to pay. Perhaps you can send a check or money order instead.
Money management skills that you put into play in the past might really benefit you now. If you’ve built up enough of a credit with the creditors, you might be able to skip a payment, especially with an emergency like this.
Third Step – Contact the Three Credit Reporting Agencies so they can put a Hold on Your Accounts
This will cause anyone who tries to open up new lines of credit under your name to prove they are you. It will also put on a fraud alert so other creditors will know that you have lost your credit card. This will provide further evidence that you aren’t trying to mess up your payment plan with them, or your credit.
Fourth Step – Contact Your Local Law Enforcement
Even if no one stole your credit card and you are sure you only lost your card you should still report it as lost or stolen. This accomplishes two things. They will protect you in the event your lost credit card is later used somewhere and you will now have a police report stating that your credit card was lost. This can help protect you in the event of identity theft as well.
It’s often that it isn’t only the credit card itself that is lost or stolen, but often the entire wallet or purse. You should repeat these steps for each card, including debit cards, as well. The police report and copies from the three credit reporting agencies can help you re-establish your identity so you can replace your driver’s license.
Other items you should concern yourself with are membership cards. Especially government issued items, such as your social security card and birth certificate. Don’t forget that there may have been ones for your children, also, in your purse or wallet, and if that was the case, you need to replace theirs too.