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What happens if my bank or credit union has an outage and I can’t access my account?

System outages or technology glitches can happen. First, contact your bank or credit union for any help they can provide. Next, try other methods to access your money. Finally, keep an eye out for possible fees or fraud.

Keep in mind that even during a system outage, your money is protected. When your money is in a bank insured by the FDIC, or a credit union insured by the NCUA, your money (up to $250,000 per unique account) is protected even if the bank or credit union fails or goes out of business.

Steps you can take in the event of an outage:

First, contact your bank

Use your bank’s or credit union’s customer service in person, online, or by phone, to find out about the outage and when they expect it to be fixed.

Look for other ways to access your money

If the outage affects your banking card, try using a check or mobile app for payments, or withdraw cash in person. If the outage affects your online access, try using the phone number on the back of your card to contact a representative or use the automated phone system. You can use an alternate app or take out cash from an ATM or in person. You can try contacting the company by social media. Remember not to put any account or personal information in your posts.

Double-check any automatic payments

Find out whether automatic withdrawals or payments are still being made during the outage. If not, use another method to make your payments, on time if you can.

Ask the bank to reverse any fees

If you are charged fees for withdrawals, deposits, or other transactions because of the steps you had to take during the system outage, tell your bank about them. Ask the bank to credit your account for any charges. And, you can ask them to credit your account for late fees, overdraft fees, or insufficient funds fees the outage caused.

Watch for fraud

To communicate with your bank, call the customer service number on the back of your card or shown on your statement. Thieves sometimes try to contact you with e-mail, phone calls, social media messages, or text messages that seem like they’re coming from an official source.

Submit a complaint

The CFPB accepts complaints about savings and checking accounts and other banking services. Submit your complaint online or by phone at (855) 411-2372. You can check out to find other places to submit complaints. It includes ways to submit complaints about phone, internet, and cable companies as well as companies that sell other products and services and more.