Continental Finance LLC / VERVE Mastercard (and others)

My credit rating is poor. Very poor. One day in the mail I was offered a new credit card, a Master Card called “Verve,” issued by Continental Finance LLC.  It had a $500 limit (unheard of as usually these offerings are $300).  I thought I would use it very sparingly, so I had my Medicare Part D premium ($10/month) charged to it, and planned to pay it off every month.  I put the card in the bottom of a dresser drawer, so I wouldn’t be tempted to actually use it for anything flippant.

I applied for it and received it on October 26, 2020.  To make payments, I set up my checking account. This is the same account I use to pay other credit cards, and other bills. I sent off my first payment of $50 on November 25th.  A week later I discovered that the payment had been returned to the bank.  Now, my bank would surely had charged me an NSF fee for this, but they did not. Further, my bank account had over $1,000 in at the time it would have posted.

What’s going on?

The following month, the exact same scenario played out.  So I called Continental.  They were sorry and refunded the NSF and late payment fees they charged.  A new payment was submitted with the same bank account number and routing number, and that one went through.  I suspected at that time that this was a scam the company was running in order to charge late fees and NSF fees. I told the fellow on the phone this, and I also told him that if it happened again, I would report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

The December payment went through alright, but the January payment did not. This was the same exact scenario — the bank information was the same as always, and there was plenty of money in my account to cover it.  The payment was returned and I was once again charge an NSF fee and a late payment fee.   This time I went online and used the FTC’s complaint form to post a complaint.  I also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Of course they denied everything. It was all my fault. I gave them incorrect bank account information, or, my bank account had insufficient funds.  The fact that I used the same exact bank information every single time meant nothing to them.  The fact that my bank account always has $1,000 + also meant nothing to them.  The fact that  my own bank was unaware that any of these transactions had taken place also fell on death ears.

At that time, I realized that either their web based interface was prone to mistakes, or, these problems were deliberate.  This is how Continental Finance makes their money, by not submitting payments to your bank and then saying it was returned, and now you owe them an NSF fee and a late payment fee.

I set up a bill pay using my banks bill pay service. This way all future payments are in my control, not Continentals.

This is a warning to you all:  don’t open credit card accounts with Continental Finance LLC.  First of all, they are not a bank, so they are not subject to the Federal and State rules that banks are subject to.  “Verve” is but one of many cards they offer. Other names are “Surge,” “Reflex,” “Cerulean,” “Fit,” and others. They also do business under the name “Cuzco Capital.”   The Better Business Bureau has a ton of complaints filed against the company which seems to have found endless ways to screw over consumers. See https://www.bbb.org/us/de/wilmington/profile/credit-cards-and-plans/continental-finance-company-llc-0251-21003066

As I said, avoid this company like the plague.  I’ve noticed that of late they are flooding FaceBook news feeds with their spam. Oddly (or maybe not so much) there are lots of positive remarks for these ads, but no way to comment. Or if you do manage to comment your comment mysteriously disappears.

Avoid Continental Finance LLC. like the plague.