Have you recently made a remorseful purchase? Plenty of people regret using their financial cards to buy items or subscriptions. Credit card users may be inclined to freeze their cards to stop a transaction from going through. But you may ask, “Will freezing a card stop pending transactions?”
What Are Pending Transactions?
A pending transaction is an authorized purchase that has yet to post on your credit or debit account. A pending charge can directly affect your available balance. Still, it will not accrue interest since the charge is not part of your outstanding balance. A pending transaction will typically get posted to your financial account within a few days.
What Is a Credit or Bank Freeze?
Many financial institutions offer consumers the option to freeze a credit or debit card. A freeze, or card lock, allows you to deactivate the ability to make new transactions.
This feature is helpful if you have lost a card or want to prevent spending money. Suppose you recently lost your credit card but suspect you left it at your friend’s house. You can freeze the card to temporarily prevent in-store purchases and online transactions while you look for it. Freezing an account offers broader protection than deactivating a financial card. You can start a credit freeze through your online account or a mobile app.
The card issuer will not issue a penalty charge for freezing your account, so you can temporarily prevent new transactions and balance transfers at any time.
Does a Freeze Stop a Pending Transaction?
Putting a freeze on your card can be helpful in various situations. However, there are limitations you need to be wary of. For example, financial institutions will still process recurring credit or debit card transactions. Additionally, authorized returns made before issuing a freeze will still go through.
But what about pending credit card transactions? Suppose you want to stop pending transactions for online and phone purchases. Does a freeze cancel those pending transactions? The answer is no. Financial institutions have already authorized pending transactions, which means the payment will still go through. The good news is that alternative methods to cancel a pending transaction do not involve a freeze or canceling a credit card.
Does a Freeze Stop Fluctuating Credit Scores?
Consumers have the ability to place a freeze on their credit reports. A credit report freeze prevents access to your credit history and new accounts from opening.
All three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) offer this federally regulated freeze.
Suppose you suspect fraudulent activity on one of your credit reports. In that case, you can freeze one or multiple credit reports for free. A freeze can prevent further fraudulent accounts from opening. However, you can also use a credit report freeze to deter creditors from viewing your credit score and payment history.
You need to call the credit reporting agency or start the process online to place a freeze on a specific credit report. A freeze will typically require your Social Security Number, date of birth, and residential address. You will have to make a PIN or password, which will allow you to unfreeze your credit report at any time. Suppose you want to apply for a new loan or line of credit. In that case, you can allow limited access so that a financial institution can perform a credit check for approval.
A freeze does not impact your credit score. You can freeze a credit report, but your credit will continue to fluctuate based on your financial activity. Are you trying to stop a sizeable pending charge that will disrupt your credit utilization ratio? Unfortunately, a credit report freeze will not prevent a negative effect on your credit score.
How To Cancel a Pending Transaction With a Merchant
People choose to cancel a pending charge for various reasons. Perhaps you are trying to manage a credit card wisely and want to limit the amount of money you spend each month. Or maybe you realized too late that a new gaming console is not the best thing to spend your money on.
If you want to cancel a pending transaction, the best course of action is to contact the merchant. If you regret the online purchase of a pricey electronic, you can contact the merchant to cancel a pending transaction.
You can typically find information on how to contact the merchant via the confirmation email or through their website. You will need to provide your full name, order number, transaction date, and reason for the cancellation. Ensure you track communication with the merchant in case you need to dispute the charge.
If you change your mind about a pending charge, you can typically call or start the cancellation process online. Many retailers offer customers the ability to cancel a pending transaction. However, there may be a short window of opportunity from the transaction date. Typically you must request a cancellation before the merchant processes an item for shipping or the charge is posted to your account. The amount of time for cancellation varies by retailer, but most offer 24 hours.
What if I Can’t Stop a Pending Credit Card Transaction?
Suppose you have made reasonable efforts to halt a pending transaction from a merchant to no avail. In that case, you will simply have to wait to initiate a return. A credit card issuer cannot stop a pending charge from a merchant.
If the merchant does not accept returns, you cannot request a refund unless your purchased item is damaged or missing. However, suppose you suspect a pending transaction on your billing statement is fraudulent. In that case, you can contact the credit card company for a chargeback. A chargeback is a return of money in the event of fraud. Most financial institutions provide a zero liability policy, so customers are never responsible for unauthorized account use.
Merchants use a pending charge to confirm you have sufficient money in your credit or bank account. Do you have pending charges you want to cancel? If so, you may wonder, “Will freezing a card stop pending transactions?” Unfortunately, requesting a freeze from your bank or card issuer is not enough to stop the transaction.
The only way to cancel a credit or debit card transaction is to contact the merchant asap. If you contact a merchant right away, you may be able to successfully cancel a pending transaction that has not yet been fully processed. You can contact your bank or creditor if a merchant fails to cooperate.
If your pending charges prevent you from being able to afford monthly bills, consider adjusting your personal finance plan. You can use fast cash loans online to afford the cost of upcoming recurring auto payments, ask friends or family for a loan, or start a remote side hustle from home.