To read the prequels to this article click…

Part 1Uses of Credit Cards, Finding the best rates, Different Types of Rates.

Part 2Credit Card Fees, Credit Limits, Grace Periods

Part 3Interest Calculations, Cash Advances, Premium Credit Cards, Credit Card Features.

Understanding the Terms of Service and Application

By law, credit card companies must show you all the terms of the credit card.  Reading through the terms of service may seem like a daunting task, but if you break it down it is not too bad.  Use How to Choose the right Credit Card Parts 1 – 4 as a guide to help you sift through the information.

Look for the disclosure box which breaks down the

  • Rates
  • Grace period
  • Calculation Methods
  • Fees
  • Minimum Finance Charge
  • and all the other pertinent information.

What to do About a Stolen Credit Card

If your credit card is stolen (or lost/presumed stolen) report this information to the credit card company immediately.  You will be able to find the phone number on your credit card statement or on the credit card companies website.  When you report the card stolen the credit company will immediately put a stop on any further purchases or transactions made from your card.   From that point on that credit card will be useless.  The credit card company will issue you a new credit card if you desire.

You can take precautionary measures by recording your credit card information and phone numbers in a secure location.  If your purse or wallet gets stolen you will be able to contact all your credit cards and banks immediately without having to try and find a whole bunch of phone numbers.

If your credit card is used after it has been stolen you will never be liable for any charges over $50.  The federal truth in lending act protects purchase made without permission that exceed $50.  Extra insurance can be purchased to protect the entire amount if the credit card is stolen and used.

Dealing with Mistakes on Your Bill

If you find a mistake on your bill then there is a few steps you can take to dispute the error.

  1. Place a phone call and speak with a representative. If the error is small they can often times take care of the issue immediately.
  2. If you cannot settle the dispute by phone you must write a letter to the credit card company within 60 days of the statement.  There will be an address on the bill where you can send the dispute.  Include:
  • Full Name
  • Date
  • Account Number
  • Explanation of the Error
  • The Dollar Amount of the Error

You still must pay all the other parts of the bill, but the disputed amount does not need to be paid until settled.

If the error was the credit companies fault, they will correct the bill and you will not have to pay the disputed amount or any interest charges.

If there is no error the credit company is require to write you a letter back explaining the bill.  They must also include a statement indicating how much you owe from the disputed amount, including interest charges.

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