One of the worst feelings to have is when you realize that you have lost a credit/debit card. This happens a lot around the holidays because we find ourselves running quickly from store to store in order to finish all of our shopping.
If you have the unfortunate experience of losing one or all of your credit cards, here are a few tips for you to follow.
One of the worst things to do is panic after losing your credit card or wallet. Federal laws can make you rest easy knowing that you have liability protection. You will only be responsible for $50 if your card is used after it’s stolen. A lot of credit card issuers even have a no liability policy so that you are not liable for any charges made on your account.
Call Your Credit Card Company Immediately
Even though your liability is very minimal for unauthorized purchases with your credit card it’s important to get everything taken care of quickly. Call your credit card company and make sure your cards have been canceled. Have them send you new cards as quick as possible.
If you lose your wallet then it’s important to understand that the rules are a little different for debit cards. Truth in Lending Act states that you will have a $50 liability if you report the lost card within two business days. If you don’t report the loss within two days, but it’s within 60 days, your liability will increase to $500. You could be liable for all unauthorized charges made on your card.
Put a Fraud Alert On Your Credit Report
Once you have canceled your credit cards, you should contact the three credit reporting companies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). Ask them to put a fraud alert on your report. This is so that no one can open a line of credit under your name.
Check Your Credit Report
When talking with your credit reporting companies ask them if you can get a copy of your credit report. This will allow you to see if anyone has been able to open an account under your name. Also to see if there has been any new activity between the time you lost your card and when you put the fraud alert on your account. The best part is every 12 months you get one free credit report.
Losing your credit cards or having them stolen is not fun for anyone. By taking the proper steps you can make the process a little easier to get through.