At some point or another, most of us are going to face a late fee. Even those of us who are super careful about paying everything on time. Because sometimes life just happens. So take a minute to read this post even if you feel like it wouldn’t apply to you. You really never know. And it’s best to be armed with this information just in case. In this post I’m going to tell you how to remove late fees.
HOW TO REMOVE LATE FEES
I wish I had known about this in the days before I was good with money.
That’s actually too nice of a way to put it.
In truth, I used to be just plain bad with money.
I felt completely powerless.
But I wasn’t.
If you’re in that position now, behind on your bills, racking up late fees, and struggling just to get by, I want you to know that you’re not powerless.
In fact, you have a lot more power than you think.
Nobody wants to get stuck wasting money on late fees. And it turns out, you don’t have to.
Late fees are generally applied to your credit card accounts and other bills when you’re late in paying them.
Most people just pay these fees when they get around to paying their bill.
Oftentimes, this means extending the amount of time it takes to pay off the total balance.
And we know that the longer we carry a balance on our credit cards, the more interest fees we end up accumulating.
And the more we end up paying in the long run.
But here’s the thing… All those late fees can be avoided.
How? Well, you really have 2 options.
OPTION 1: THE PREEMPTIVE STRIKE
You can actually prevent late fees before they happen IF you know ahead of time that you’re going to be late on paying your bill.
Anytime that you know you’re going to be late with a payment, it is a smart idea to call the company ahead of time and explain your situation.
Of course, it’ll depend on the company and their policies.
But more often than not, they’re going to work with you.
They want your money and as long as you’re willing to make arrangements to pay them in the near future, most companies will be happy to accommodate you.
Call the company as soon as you realize you’re going to be late with your payment that month.
Make arrangements to pay when you will have the money.
Depending on the company you’re working with, they may even change your due date to a time that is more convenient for you.
OPTION 2: THE ERASER
If you’ve already missed a payment and incurred those late fees… don’t just give in and pay them! Call the company and explain your situation.
If you have a reason for being late, tell the customer service agent about it.
Do they actually care about your problems? Maybe not.
But their calls are recorded and they’re scored on their call time.
So, it’s in their best interest to get you off the phone as soon possible.
Oh, also, they can’t be rude to you or cut you off.
So, tell them your financial woes.
Then, specifically ask if the late fees can be removed.
Bold move? Sure. But what’s the worst that can happen?
Maybe they say no.
Chances are, they’re going to help you in some way.
If the customer service representative isn’t able to remove your late fees, go ahead and ask for a manager.
They have more power and more incentive to make you a happy customer.
IT HAS WORKED FOR ME
I’ve gone through this twice myself.
Once, right after my son was born and I wasn’t sleeping at all, I totally forgot to make my car payment.
I called the bank, explained the situation, reminded them that I’d always paid on time before, and asked them to help. They were happy to.
Another time, about a year later, we thought we scheduled our credit card payment. We had logged in to look at it, and thought we scheduled it, but we didn’t.
So, again I called them. I literally said “I thought I scheduled it but I guess I didn’t.” I asked if they would help by removing the late fee (I didn’t even mention the interest charge).
They removed the late fee and the interest charge immediately.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
It never hurts to ask!
Ask nicely, be courteous to the people you’re speaking to, treat them like you need them to help you (because hello, you need them to help you!). And chances are, they will.
I hope these strategies help you skip those late fees!
Try them out and let me know if they work for you.
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Lydia @ Thrifty Frugal Mom says
This is such good advice! We only use credit cards to take advantage of the perks and so we pay them off in full every month and typically have them set up on auto pay. But once in a while, we have failed to set up the auto pay correctly or something else goes wonky and we’ve had a late fee. We always do what you recommend here and call and explain the situation and ask them to remove the fee. They always have and while it still goes against our credit score, we at least don’t have to pay the fee! Such a great money saving tip!