In today's episode of embarrassing but true things I admit on the internet...  

 

I got a late fee on one of my credit cards last week.

 

 

It was TERRIBLE. I actually felt physically sick to my stomach when I realized I was charged $25 fee just because I forgot to pay my bill! And I mean, it's not like I didn't have the money to pay, I just forgot! UGH. Terrible.

 

(PS-- this is why you should have autopay set up on ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS!! This bank in particular has the weirdest autopay system-- I have to print off a pdf document, fill it out, and mail it in, just to set up autopay. Which is why I never did it. Yeah, you better believe I'm setting that up now!!)

 

But I don't go down without a fight... There's no way I was going to pay a late fee without trying to get it cancelled.

 

(a reenactment of the face I made when I realized my mistake)

 

 

Here's what I did in attempts to get the late fee waived:

1. Immediately paid the bill (in full)

2. Contacted online bank services (I hate phone calls so I tried this method first... turns out they can't do anything online so I had to call instead)

3. Called customer service and pleaded my case...

4. 3 minutes and 39 seconds later (including all the phone menu prompts, haha) I GOT THE LATE FEE WAIVED! WAHOO!

 

My exact phone script:

Me: "Hi, this is super embarrassing, but I realized last week that I forgot to pay my bill and was charged a late fee. I was wondering if there's any way I could get that waived just this one time? I've been a customer for a long time* and have NEVER forgotten to pay a bill like this**! I'm so embarrassed! Could I get that fee waived this time?"

Customer Service: "Hold on one second, let me check your account"

{10 seconds later}

Customer Service: "Sure, I can waive that fee for you as a one-time courtesy."

*only say this if you have been a customer for a long time, obviously

**only say this if it's true, obviously. I'm sure they can see all your info and know if you're a perpetual late payer.

 

(a reenactment of the face I made when they waived the fee)

 

 

I realized after the fact that I should have inquired about whether it would affect my credit score... but I forgot. So I would recommend also asking about that. From googling around it looks like as long as you pay within 30 days your credit score should be unaffected?

 

I hope that you never have to experience this (PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME, PEOPLE! autopay is your friend!) but if you do get charged a fee, try to get it waived! What's the worst that can happen-- they say no?

 

(and here's another article with a slightly different script that you could try!)

 

 

Have you ever tried to get a late fee waived?

Do you now distrust any advice I give you because I got a late fee?

hahahaha. so embarrassing. At least I admitted it, and it makes for a good blog post? ;)