Credit card late payment fees, just about everyone has had it happen at some point. Ussualy it is our own fault we were late with the payment and the resulting late payment fee between $25 and $35 rests squarely on our shoulders. Instead of getting angry about the late fee you can instead take action. There are a few simple things you can do to get out of paying that late fee, although there is no guarantee that this will work it is better than simply paying the late fee.
The first step is to pay off the bill in full, minus whatever your late fee is, as soon as possible. For one it shows the credit card company you are serious about paying off your debt and secondly it will help you to avoid a second late payment. So if your credit card bill is for $235 and your late fee is $35 pay them $200. You skip paying the late fee in the hopes you can get your credit card company to waive the fee.
Next what you need to do is to set up automatic bill pay for your credit card. I use my bank to take care of this directly through my banks website, I use Bank Of America but I would guess most banks these days offer an automated bill pay service. This move sets the creditors ease of mind and also might have an effect on the credit card companies algorithm. All credit card companies use algorithms to gauge their customers spending habits and finances. The big reason to set up automated bill payment is that when you call the credit card company up you can tell them that you will never be late on a bill again due to setting up auto pay for the card.
Now is the time to call the credit card company up and make your case. You need to be polite and to the point, state that the bill escaped your mind, that you have never before been late with a payment and do not intend for it to happen again. Let them know to ensure that it never happens again that you have set up automatic bill pay through your bank, and that you would like to inquire if the late fee may be waived this one time. The CSR or customer service rep will likely put you on hold to speak to their manager. If your track record with the credit card is pretty good there is a decent chance that the fee will be waived. If it does not get waived you will have at the very least ensured you will not face a late fee again due to setting up the auto pay.
Most credit card issuers will indeed work with you on late fees and even APR, you just have to ask. Also I should note if the first rep declines your request you can try again on another day and reach a different CSR agent, I myself have had luck with that in renegotiating my credit cards APR, the first rep declined my request so I sat on it for a few days and called back reaching a new service rep, asked again and had my request approved and my APR lowered by slightly over 1 percent.
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