Capital One Will Ruin This Guy's Credit One Way Or Another

Joseph is having problems paying his Capital One card, mainly because Capital One keeps making it hard for him to pay it, and then reports his payments past due after they’ve cleared the bank. Now he wants to know what he can do to remedy the situation.

In 2006 I received a pre-approved card from Capital One, I had used it once or twice and always payed my bill on time, In early spring of 2007 I had cut up the card as I did not want to use it anymore, and just wanted to pay it off. In Jan of 2008 I was no longer able to log in to the online bill payment section of the site, which was fine for the first month as I just sent a check in the mail to pay the bill.

I moved in Feb and called them to change my address, I had the lady on the line repeat it back to me to make sure it was correct and it took her 3 time to get it correct.

I had also asked her to fix my online account so I could pay my bill online once more and she transferred me to the online support. I asked the guy who I was talking to to fix the account and he said that he would un-freeze it. (I never bothered to ask why it was frozen in the first place). He told me to wait up to 24 hours for it to become unfrozen before I log in, I tried to log in later that week to pay my bill, and was still unable to.

As I was unable to pay my bill online I just waited for my statement and once again payed with a check, I payed with a check until May when I called to ask them to fix my account once again, and they claimed I had a bad check. But upon checking my bank statement It showed that the check went through.

In total I had talked to over 10 people during a three month period, and payed over 200 dollars to them. I requested a new card, which was never received.

This last week I had payed my bill 2 weeks before it was due, and payed more than the minimum amount. I checked on the account today and noticed that the payment went through and somehow I now have a past due payment, which I did not have before, and that I was -0 available credit, I don’t see how this is possible seeing as I had been paying the minimum amount each month for a year, without using my card and had over 100 dollars available earlier that week and that it went down after paying my bill…

I have tried to fix this multiple times with no results… I am a young individual, and now I have horrible credit… Was just hoping you guys could help.

Perfect Credit, no more… Thanks Capital one

Okay, Joseph. We’re not sure what your current balance is, or your current financial situation, but here’s what we think you should do to fix this situation.

First, go over your story and document it in as much detail as possible—there’s a lot of gaps in the above account. The months where your check cleared but they marked it late are particularly important. Also document to the best of your recollection every customer service call you made, what it was you requested on that call, and whether or not it was followed-up on the Capital One side. If you started using the account again after cutting up the card, or if you took cash advances, note it. Put all of this in a single document and make sure it’s easy for you to reference while you’re on the phone.

Make sure you have a case before the next step—if it turns out you mailed payments later than you thought, or missed a month, or you charged up your balance again in the past 12 months and forgot to include that in your story, then accept responsibility. When you contact Capital One, it should be to request that they correct an error on their part that you have clearly documented—not to help bail you out of a mistake you made.

Call Capital One’s executive customer service line and request assistance. (Try these numbers: 703-720-2500 and 800-548-4593.) Explain that you’ve been repeatedly locked out of your account, that your checks are clearing before the due date yet payments are being marked late, etc. Make it clear what you want to accomplish, for example:

  • remove any incorrect late fees
  • regain online access to your account
  • receive a new card

If Capital One can’t help you and you have proof that you’re right and they’re wrong, file a dispute with each credit reporting agency. Check out this post for advice on how to file disputes.

Another thing you should do if Capital One won’t help you is close the account. You’ll have to pay it off like an open credit card but won’t have access to it anymore, and yes, it will impact your credit score. But if you can’t trust Capital One to report your payments correctly and they refuse to help you correct the matter, you’re better off avoiding them entirely and waiting for another credit offer to come along to build up credit. The ding from closing the account will be less damaging than repeated dings from billing errors, if they won’t fix them.

Stay on top of your credit history and Capital One—remember to check your credit report every four months. It’s free if you use and request your free report from only one of the three agencies each time. Do not use!

And lastly, always pay more than the minimum on any credit card bill, even if it’s just $5-10. You’ll ultimately save more money in the long run by paying less interest, and some creditors may even report you as paying more than the minimum.