5 Tips for Negotiating Credit Card Late Fees
If you’re one of the millions of Americans with credit card debt, it’s easy to understand why you would want to negotiate directly with the credit card companies to get rid of it. If you have multiple cards to spread this debt around, however, odds are you have to pay dozens of bills every month. Unless you’re a whiz at accounting, that means you’re probably getting hit for late fees at least a couple of times a year.
Credit card late fees can cost you hundreds of dollars a year, but they’re also one of the easiest things to negotiate with creditors on. If you recently missed a payment and are now getting charged a late fee, try these tips when you negotiate with your credit card company.
Negotiating with Credit Card Late Fees
1. Be friendly. For small fees like this one, odds are pretty good that you’ll be able to work with the first customer service representative that you reach. These people are usually paid more to work as many cases as possible, so be nice and be willing to get the matter resolved quickly.
2. Say what you want. The best strategy to take in these cases is to simply let the operator know what you want. Explain that you made a mistake and would like the late fee waived. It’s not such a big request, and most service representatives can do something once they know what you want.
3. Expect there to be a policy. It’s pretty typical for a company to only allow one waiver a year. If you’re asking for frequent waivers, you probably won’t get them. You might be able to request
4. Ask right away. Most customer service representatives can only waive the late fee from your current bill. Going back several months to ask for a refund is a lot harder to do. It usually requires a manager and several phone calls. If you can ask for a charge to be removed from your current billing statement, however, it can usually be taken care of in a single phone call.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If this is a frequent problem for you, you might want to talk to a credit counselor. They can help you come up with a good long term solution.