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Credit Card Rights - What Rights Do You Have?

Posted by nick_niesen on October 29th, 2010

So you've thought about getting a credit card, but all you've heard about from parents, friends, co-workers, and the like is that they are just trouble. Horror stories of over limit charges, finance charges, late fees, mysterious charges, telemarketers, and missing bills dance through your head like sugar plumb fairies in children on Christmas Eve. It?s important to know, going into your first, or even your fifth credit card experience, that as a credit card holder, you have certain rights that go along with your responsibilities.

Here?s a rundown of some your credit card rights:

Prompt Credit for Payment:

Your creditor is required to post payment received within twenty four hours of receiving it. In order to insure that this system goes smoothly from your end, make sure that you make yourself familiar with the payment procedures for your card.

Refunds of Credit Balances:

If you overpay your credit card bill, that is the total amount, not a specific monthly bill, you have a right to receive a credit on your account. You can also request that the credit card issuer send you a refund of the over-paid balance. This only applies if you have completely paid off the total amount, and have issued additional payment. It does not apply to an overpayment of a monthly minimum. If you overpay your balance, your creditor will automatically credit your account the additional funds, which you will not be required to re-pay, as it is your money. However, if you submit written request for a refund of the balance, they must issue you a refund within seven days of receipt of your request.

Resolution of Errors:

If you feel as though there is an error on your billing statement, you must submit a written complaint within sixty days of the error's occurrence. An investigation must follow within two billing cycles, and no later than ninety days of receiving the complaint. This is federal law, and for more information you can contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Removal of Unauthorized Charges:

If your card is lost or stolen, report it immediately. Following a lost or stolen report, the cardholder is not liable for any charges. If you find fraudulent charges on your account, you can be held accountable for up to fifty dollars per card. However, fifty dollars is the most you will owe for unauthorized charges, even if the thief uses your card to access an ATM machine. The best way to avoid any payments on your behalf for stolen goods is to report a missing or stolen card as soon as you discover it missing. This way, the company will cancel the card and you will not be held responsible for any charges.

It is best, going into any new experience, to understand your rights and responsibilities. Request a written copy of these rights from your credit card company, and feel free to call them with any questions or concerns. Make sure that you arm yourself with information, and you will never be caught unawares.

Also See: Credit Card, Unauthorized Charges, Fifty Dollars, Card Rights, Credit, Card, Charges

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