Consumer Credit Card Rights
Hopefully you are not like about 10% of the population. That is, you are in the 90% of people who know they have consumer credit card rights. You also have credit card obligations.
The single most important obligation you have is to pay your bill. If you have used your “credit” to buy an item, you have just created a debt. You owe the issuing credit card company the balance you put on the card.
The credit card company could call that consumer credit card rights in reverse. That may not be funny but it is true. You owe the money.
Another obligation that is a good obligation because it puts the credit card company on notice that it has to act is giving them notice of a particular happening. For example, if your bill is incorrect.
You will have 60 days from the time you notice the error to notify the company of that error. They will have 90 days from the time they receive the notice to correct the error. If you lose your card or it is stolen, you must notify your credit card issuer so they can work their magic on your account and protect you from fraudulent charges.
It is best if you send in the notification by certified return receipt request mail. The address for the credit card company is on your statement. You should also call them but to keep your consumer credit card rights protected, also send your notification via mail.
One of the very special consumer credit card rights you have is the crediting of your account by the credit card company. They have to credit your account the day they receive your payment. Be careful with this one as some companies also put a time the payment must be received by in their conditions.
They list the date and say something like your payment will be posted on the date received if it was received by 1 p.m. otherwise they post it the next day.
If you believe your credit card issuer has violated your consumer credit card rights you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or your state’s Attorney General (AG). Your best bet is to start with your state’s AG.
The credit card agreement you received when you first signed up for your particular credit card probably has been modified every year since you first obtained it. Part of your consumer credit card rights is the right to reject the changes made to your credit card agreement.
Be forewarned that if you reject the changes, the credit card issuer probably has language in the agreement saying you have to notify them in writing within XX days of receiving the agreement. It will also probably say you can continue to use the credit card under the current terms until the expiration date on the card.
All of your credit card rights are explained in the document called Terms of Service you received when your credit card was issued. Some issuers call it an agreement. Since the laws governing credit cards have been amended you will also see a partial list of your consumer credit card rights on your statement.
To stay on top of your consumer credit card rights read every piece of paper you receive from your credit card issuer. You could save a lot of money by being informed.
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