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What happens if my financial company has an outage and I can’t access my account?

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

System or technology problems can affect the operations of many financial companies, including home, auto, and student loan servicers, payday lenders, debt collectors, and more. Keep in mind that a service outage doesn’t necessarily mean your personal data is at risk.

Steps you can take in the event of an outage:

First, contact the company

Even if the system for making transactions is down, the company’s web site or customer service chat could be functioning. Or call customer service by phone. Ask about the outage and when they expect it to be fixed. You can try contacting the company by social media. Remember not to put any account or personal information in your posts.

Check for fees and charges

If the system outage meant you were charged fees that you couldn’t have avoided, dispute them. The company charging the fee might be able to undo it or credit the money back to you.

Watch for fraud

To communicate with the company, call the customer service number or try contacting them through their web site. 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 financial products and 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.