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Credit cards

How do I dispute a charge on my credit card bill?

Let your card issuer know about the problem right away.

You can call the card issuer, but in order to protect your rights you must also send a written billing error notice to the card issuer:

  • Within 60 calendar days after the charge appeared on your statement
  • At least three business days before the company is scheduled to draw an automatic payment from your account, if you want to stop the payment on the amount that’s wrong

You should follow the instructions on your monthly credit card statement for where and how to send a billing error notice. Remember, the address where you should send this notice is usually different from the payment address.

Make sure your letter includes:

  • Your name and account number
  • The dollar amount of the charge you are disputing
  • An explanation of the reason why you think an error was made

Once your credit card company receives your letter, it has 30 days to confirm it received it. The company has another 90 days to investigate. You don’t have to pay the disputed amount while the card issuer is investigating. You can’t be required to pay interest or other charges relating to the disputed amount during the investigation. If you pay the entire undisputed amount of your bill on time, the card issuer can’t treat your payment as late.

Note: If you already paid the charge that you’re disputing, you can still dispute it. But you probably won’t get the payment back until the credit card company has investigated your dispute and decided that you were right.

If the card issuer finds you are correct, the charge should be removed from your bill. This is called a chargeback. If the card issuer says that you are incorrect and the bill is correct, the card issuer must tell you why in writing. It must also tell you how much you owe and when your payment is due.

Tip: Check your credit card agreement to review your rights regarding unauthorized charges. You can find your agreement by visiting your credit card issuer’s website or by visiting the CFPB’s Credit Card Agreement Database.

Note: You may have to go through a different dispute process if you use a credit card to pay for goods or services that turn out to be defective.

Tip: If you’re having trouble with a credit card, you can submit a complaint to the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).

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