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Debit Card Deactivated: How do I Pay Bills?

I am a student and have my student loan refunds loaded to a debit card issued by Sallie Mae bank. When I went to check my balance this morning to be sure I had enough to pay my rent today, I was informed that because of something to do with the plastic in the card, they have deactivated my card and will be sending me a new card within the next three to four weeks. In the meantime, I cannot access the funds I have in my account.

Can they legally do this? Will they be responsible for the late charges I will incur from my landlord? Is there a state or federal agency I can file a complaint with against this bank and their card servicer?


Contact the bank directly both to verify that what you saw on the bank's website was accurate and to ask the bank to expedite delivery of your card. If the bank cannot get a card to you in time to pay your rent without a late penalty, ask the bank if it can get the funds to your landlord in some other way.

Published on 2/03/09