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Former company’s corporate card in my name is still in use – am I in trouble?

Report the card to both your former employer and the card issuer, and make sure the card is closed

Summary

Unauthorized charges on a company credit card in your name can hurt your credit, even if you no longer work for that company. Make sure the account is closed once you change jobs.

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Dear Your Business Credit,

I had a company Visa credit card with my name on it at my previous employer. I turned in the card when I left the company eight months ago.

An emailed receipt came to me yesterday that indicates that card is still in use. Should I be concerned? – Michael

Dear Michael,

Yes, I would be concerned in your situation. It’s never a good thing when someone is using another person’s credit card without their knowledge.

One potential scenario here is that the card, apparently never closed, has been stolen and someone is using it to make fraudulent purchases. I would suggest reporting the receipt to your former employer, in case someone did steal it.

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

Ask Elaine a question.

See related: Am I liable for unpaid bills on a company credit card?

Company card: When you are (not) responsible for charges

If you were an authorized user on the card, you are not financially responsible for the charges.

In that case, it will behoove your employer to report any fraudulent charges immediately to the credit card issuer. Otherwise, the company could get stuck paying them.

However, some companies make individuals liable for payment on corporate cards and reimburse them later for approved charges.

If that was the case, you could be responsible for charges on the card.

Report fraudulent charges on company card

In that case, contact the credit card issuer to let them know you are no longer with the company and do not have the card in your possession. Report the fraudulent charge. Ask how to make sure the card is closed.

What if someone at the company, such as the owner, is using the card, either accidentally or because of a cash crunch? Sometimes this happens at smaller companies.

If that is the case, I would kindly ask that whoever has used the card pay the bill and discontinue using the card. Then notify the credit card company that you no longer have the card in your possession and ask how to close the card.

Protect your credit from corporate card fallout

There is one other thing that concerns me in this situation: Your credit utilization – the amount you have borrowed compared to your credit limits and the second most important factor in credit scoring calculations, after making on-time payments.

Even if you are an authorized user, it is possible that the card usage could be reported to credit bureaus that track your personal credit, as I discussed in a previous column, “I am an authorized user on my employer’s business card: Will it hurt my credit?

This is more likely to happen if the account becomes delinquent than if it is paid on time. If you need to apply for credit in the future, it’s possible you might show higher credit utilization than you might otherwise, because of any debt your company has amassed.

Make sure corporate card in your name has been closed

Company credit cards can be convenient, but it’s important to be aware of the risks that can come with them.

Now that you have left this company, there should be no active company credit cards floating around in your name.

Something is odd here, given that you departed eight months ago, and I’d suggest you get to the bottom of it quickly, so it doesn’t end up causing you a lot of stress in the future. Good luck!

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