Don't let bill errors empty your wallet

Errors on your credit card bill
Errors on your credit card bill © David Evison/

If there's a transaction you don't recognize on your credit card statement, a simple phone call may resolve the issue, says Chi Chi Wu, a staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center. "Maybe the merchant uses a different name for billing," Wu says. For example, the restaurant where you ate lunch may bill using the name of the adjacent motel because the same company owns both businesses.

But if the charge was made in error, remember, that phone call does not protect your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act, Wu cautions. To be protected, you need to send your dispute in writing to the credit card company within 60 days, she says. During an investigation, your credit card company can't report the unpaid charge as delinquent. Nor can the company try to collect payment on that charge, she adds.

Takeaway: Call first when you notice bill errors, but write within 60 days if the problem isn't resolved.


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
Credit cards on a table

Get advice for managing credit cards, building your credit history and improving your credit score. Delivered weekly.

Debt Adviser

Who pays deceased mom's debts?

Dear Debt Adviser, A couple of months ago, my friend's mother died. Her brother is handling the estate and has been wondering about their mother's $2,100 outstanding credit card debt. The mother had no assets except for... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us