If you’ve gotten a refund for a purchase you made on your credit card or for some reason paid the card company more than you actually owe, you may find yourself with a negative balance — meaning the credit card company owes you money for a change.
So, what to do if you find yourself in this situation?
Team Clark has helped people deal with almost every kind of credit card scenario possible. In this article, we’ll lay out three things you can do if you have a negative credit card balance.
3 Things You Can Do if You Have a Credit on Your Credit Card Statement
Of course, it’s not often that you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have a negative balance on your credit card, but it can happen. Most often it will be the result of you getting a refund on a purchase after you’ve already paid your card balance down to zero. If this happens to you, here are three ways you can deal with it.
1. Make Charges on Your Card Until You’re Back to Even
If you use your card routinely, simply use your card for purchases until your balance is back to around zero. At that point, you will have wiped out your negative balance (or credit) and can choose to either continue to use your card as you have in the past or keep it with no balance on it.
If you have a negative balance on a card that you don’t use often, this may not be the best solution, as you might be tempted to use it for purchases you wouldn’t otherwise make. Instead, consider one of the next two options.
2. Request a Check From The Credit Card Issuer
You can call your credit card company and ask them to issue a check to you in the amount of the negative balance. This is probably the best course of action if the negative balance is a large amount of money and/or you could use the cash in the near term for other things.
I did this a couple of years ago when I had a negative balance on a Chase credit card and had a check in my mailbox in four or five business days. Your mileage may vary with your particular credit card issuer, but the refund shouldn’t take more than a week or two.
Please note that requesting a check is not the same as getting a cash advance. This is your money, not money you are borrowing from the credit card company. Do not attempt to get your money via a cash advance, as you may encounter unnecessary fees.
3. Do Nothing and Wait
Your third option is to not take any action at all.
After a period of time — typically a few months — the credit card company will go ahead and issue you a check for the remaining negative balance without you having to do anything on your end.
In fact, the issuer is legally required to make a good faith effort to get you the money it owes you within six months even if you don’t request it.
Having a negative balance on your credit card is one case where a negative is actually a positive. Just be sure you know your options and, as always, keep an eye on your statements to make sure everything is processed correctly. And don’t forget to avoid cash advances at all costs!
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