While Target and credit card companies are sifting through the rubble of the information breach, many who were affected are trying to pick up the pieces and put their financial lives back in order.
When Boise resident Michelle MacKay heard her debit card information had been compromised, she panicked. Now, weeks after the theft, she still has mountains of struggle to overcome.
"I don't think that Target or Chase understand the challenges this has put forth for the common consumer," MacKay said.
MacKay is a mother of four and a victim of the target security breach. Her account with Chase was closed and replaced. But her new card and checks will not be coming in until after the new year. So paying her bills at the end of the month presents a problem.
"You have to contact your car insurance company, your home owner’s insurance company, the cable company,” MacKay continued. “All of those [companies] you have withdrawals set up for."
To add to her burdens, her child support and paychecks can't be deposited until she gets her new card and checks. "If you don't have money coming in it's really hard to pay your bills," she said.
But not all banks have responded in the same manner to the credit hack. While Chase customers like Michelle had their accounts closed right away, the Idaho Central Credit Union decided to keep accounts open, at least through the holiday season.
"If you're just shutting down their cards and sending them new ones it can take a couple weeks for them to get there,” said Lori Gull, Assistant Vice President at the Credit Union. “By then, Christmas is over and it would cause all kinds of havoc."
The Credit Union is keeping a close eye on cards used at Target, but thus far only one account has shown fraudulent activity. In the meantime, for Michelle, it will be touch and go until she gets a new card.
"I am losing sleep over it, but at the same time I know it will all work out and I have faith in that," MacKay confessed.
If you find yourself in a similar situation as Michelle, waiting for new cards or checks to come into the mail, you may have some options. Many banks will provide a debit card to customers in person. So if you need to make end of the month payments, head to your local bank and see if they provide that service.