A late fee on a credit card isn’t just a nuisance. It can hurt your credit score. A lowered credit score can be especially detrimental if you're about to make a big purchase that you need a loan for such as a car or a house. Have the late fee refunded back into your account and dispute the late fee charge with the major credit reporting agencies to make sure a $39 late fee doesn't cost you much more in the long run.
Organize your latest statements so that when you call the credit card company, you have all of your information readily available. You should note the date of the billing cycle, the date you paid your credit card and any supporting documents as to why it was late. Preparing carefully for the phone call can reduce stress and show your credit card company that you are organized.
Call the credit card company and ask to speak to a supervisor. A regular customer service representative might not have the authority to reverse late fees and erase them from your record, but a supervisor should have the authority.
Explain your case to the supervisor. Ask that he look at your payment history to find that you don't have a history of late payments. Then explain why you were late. Make sure you explain it was through circumstances out of your control that your payment is late. If the payment was late just because you forgot, the supervisor might not be so understanding.
Consider telling the supervisor you plan to pay off the balance and close the account. AllBusiness.com Black Enterprise Editor notes if you've had a good enough payment history with the card company and have a credit score over 620, they'll be more apt to waive the fees and remove the late payment to keep you as a client.
Be polite and courteous. Don't damage your customer history by becoming irate if the supervisor refuses to remove the late charge. Thank her for her time and know you can still save your credit score by disputing the late payment with the credit reporting agencies, even if you can't get your money back.
Write a dispute letter to the major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Explain why you are disputing the late fee and that you are asking to have it removed. Record the time and date you spoke with the credit card company and include supporting documents such as doctor's notes to plead your case. The reporting agencies have 30 to 45 days to decide whether to remove the late fee from your credit history.
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Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.