2014 Spokester Search: Meredith H

Meredith is a 20-year-old from West Bloomfield

Meredith’s Situation

My name is Meredith. I am finishing my third year at Lawrence Technological University. I am studying Digital Arts: Graphic Design and Imaging. I currently work as a desk receptionist with university housing and I mentor peers with disabilities.

Meredith’s Blog Post

Declined. 

How frustrating is it when you go to purchase something with your credit or debit card and it is declined? It's especially frustrating when you have spent so much time saving up for that hot item on your list and you know the funds are available. My initial reaction would be to take my card back, apologize to the cashier, and pay in cash. I get the item and all is well, right? Although this solves the purchasing dilemma, this is not the solution to the problem. 

A declined card can happen for many reasons ranging from insufficient funds to identity theft. The best thing you can do to protect yourself when your card is declined is call the number located on the back of your card as soon as possible. The financial institute that issued your card is the only knowledgeable source to resolve your issue. The sooner you resolve your issue, the less likely it is to cause havoc. 

This situation actually happened to me a while ago. I was attempting to use my debit card. I had checked my bank account just minutes before attempting the transaction to be sure I had enough money. The card was declined, and I followed my misleading judgment by paying in cash. Little did I know I had a voicemail from my bank at home waiting. 

I continued my day and attempted to use my card again, this time for a small purchase. I was declined again. By the time I had called my bank to straighten out the issue, I had dug myself into a hole. The bank had suspected fraudulent activity on my card, because I was making purchases in a new area. By attempting several times to make purchases, my bank had flagged my card as suspicious activity. 

Even though it may seem frustrating that our financial institutions flag cards like this, we should be thankful. It means they are watching what happens and ready to shut down anything that could potentially damage our credit and bank accounts. So next time something like this happens I will remember to call the number on the back of my card first, will you?