Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saving Money by Negotiating Late Fees and Overdraft Fees

Have you ever accidently paid a bill or credit card late or let your bank account become overdrawn, and found yourself strapped with late fees or penalties?  I have done both of these by mistake.  I have gotten much better about paying our bills on time and keeping track of our bank balance over the last several years, but recently I had a balance on my Menard's credit card which I hardly ever use, and I forgot to pay it.  Of course then I had a late payment fee on my account.  I called the credit card company and asked them to do a one-time wavier of the fee on my account because it was an accident.  The individual I talked to was super nice and replied that sure, they would take that late fee off right away for me.  Now, of course your results may be different depending on who you talk to and what kind of shape your account may be in, but it never hurts to ask.  

I also had a similar experience with our bank account being overdrawn and I got (3) $25 overdraft fees for a couple $5-$10 transactions.  I called the bank and they did take the fees off because we had never had anything like that happen before.  Your bank may also allow you to link your accounts if you have both a checking and savings, so that if your checking account becomes empty, the money will come out of your savings account preventing overdraft fees.  

If you find yourself faced with late payment fees or overdraft fees consider talking to the company or your bank and asking them to remove the fees or at least to have them reduced.  You just might be surprised by the results you may get. 

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