Money Talks, So Should You

Q&A: What can I do if a payment hasn’t shown up on my credit card statement?

Mechel Glass
by Mechel Glass, Dimespring Contributor  (@CredAbility)

It is unnerving to receive a credit card statement that doesn’t show a payment that you are sure you made on time. When that happens, you should start investigating right away to find out why.

A likely reason a timely payment is left off a credit card statement is that the company mailed your latest bill before posting the most recent credit.

If you have online access to your credit card account, you can quickly check it for recent activity. If you don’t see the payment credited there, you’ll need to continue your detective work.

Your next step should be to make sure your payment wasn’t lost before it reached your credit card company. Check in with your bank — online, over the phone or in person — to find out if the check cleared. If you scheduled the bill to be paid online, be sure you assigned it the proper payment date.

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Your next call should be to your credit card company, either to tell them that your check to them has cleared your account or to let them know you sent them a payment, but it was apparently lost. If you are sure enough time has passed and the missing payment should have arrived, you’ll need to make arrangements to bring the credit card account current.

Now it’s time to contact your bank again.

If the check cleared, either access a printable copy of the check online, or go to a branch office and request a copy, front and back. The back of the check should show the credit card company’s deposit stamp and provide proof that a payment was made.

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If the check didn’t clear, you should consider stopping payment on the check. Banks usually charge a fee for this service. Another possibility is your bank made an error, in which case it is likely they will correct the mistake at no cost to you.

But if the check cleared and your printed copy shows it was deposited, you need to contact the credit card company again and let them know you can prove that they accepted payment. If they still insist they never got the money, you should file a complaint with their customer service department and the Better Business Bureau.

Once you have straightened this out with your credit card company and your bank, you are still not quite done.

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You’ll want to monitor your credit reports for the next month or so to know if your credit card company reports you as 30 days late. If they do that because your payment was lost or improperly posted, you should contact their customer service to appeal the decision to report you as late.

If you are a good customer and they insist on reporting you as late paying because of an error that wasn’t your fault, you may not want to do business with that company anymore.

 

Mechel Glass is vice president of community outreach for CredAbility. She is responsible for coordinating community outreach and financial education activities across the agency’s regions and developing new education programs for both classroom settings and online. Glass, a U.S. Army veteran, is also co-author of “The Veteran’s Money Book,” scheduled for publication in April 2014 by Career Press. The book can now be ordered on Amazon.com.