What can I do if my credit line is reduced because of late payment on a card that had fraudulent activity?
If you've been a victim of credit card fraud, there are several steps you'll want to take to protect yourself and to restore your credit.
Notify Credit Card Company of Fraud
You didn't mention whether you have already notified the credit card company of the fraud or whether they have initiated a fraud investigation. If not, the first thing you will want to do is contact the company that issues the card and explain that you missed a payment because the charges on the account were fraudulent. Your lender will let you know what they need from you in order to investigate your claim, such as a fraud affidavit or identity theft report.
File an Identity Theft Report
If you haven't already done so, consider filing a police report or identity theft report with your local law enforcement agency. You can then send a copy of the report to your creditor to aid in their investigation. Keep the original on hand in case you need it in the future.
Contact Experian to Dispute Fraudulent Information
You should also contact Experian to notify us of the fraud and to request a fraud alert, or security alert. Experian will add the alert and notify the other two credit reporting companies to add one as well. The initial alert will remain on your credit report for one year.
If the late payment is appearing on your credit report, request a dispute and explain that the late payment is the result of credit card fraud. You can upload your identity theft report and any other supporting documentation online. Experian will contact the creditor on your behalf and ask them to verify and update the information.
Your Credit Card Company Can Update the Account
Once your creditor completes their investigation and determines that the charges were fraudulent, they can notify Experian to remove the late payment and update the credit limit, if necessary.
Be sure to contact Equifax and Trans Union as well to notify them each of the fraud and request copies of your credit reports.
Review all three of your reports carefully to ensure that the information is accurate and that your credit card company has made any necessary updates with each credit bureau. You can monitor your credit for free through Experian to check your credit report for any updates and get alerts about new inquiries and accounts.
Thank you for asking,
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist
This question came from a recent Periscope session we hosted.