Fees and charges you should always fight

Life is expensive enough as it is. The last thing your budget needs is unnecessary fees. While many fees and charges are non-negotiable, there are a few that you should never pay without a fight.

Over-limit fees

You need to agree to over-limit protection on your account before you’ll even be eligible for over-limit fees, so a good first step is simply opting out of that protection. If you prefer to have over-limit protection, however, it’s a not a bad idea to give your creditor a call the first time you go over your limit. If you’re a good customer with no prior overages, there’s a good chance they’ll be happy to waive that first fee.

Also, keep in mind that over-limit fees are usually capped at $25 for the first offense and $35 for additional overages. The fee should never be larger than the amount you exceeded your credit limit. If your fee is too high, be sure to speak to your lender.

Late payment fees

Creditors are willing to waive late payment fees, presuming you aren’t habitually late with your payments. A recent survey from CreditCards.com discovered that 90 percent of consumers who asked for a late payment fee to be waived received the waiver. It’s just a matter of asking.

Annual fee

Some credit cards come with an annual fee, but many do not. That’s leverage you can use to your advantage, because if that annual fee doesn’t come with any clear benefits, you may want to close the account and open a new card without an annual fee. But before you do that, give your creditor a call and ask them to waive the annual fee. Chances are good they’d rather accommodate you than lose you as a customer.

Court fees

Court fees can be very costly – even if you win your case, you may end up with sizable fees. If you are presently on any type of government assistance, including welfare, food stamps, or Supplemental Social Security, or if you simply don’t make enough money to make ends meet, you may be eligible for a waiver. Ask your court clerk for a waiver application and if you qualify you may have the majority or all of your court fees waived.

SAT fees

If you’re in the 11th or 12th grade and come from a low-income household, you may be eligible to take the SAT for free. Be sure to check with your school counselor for more information on eligibility and the application process.

College application fees

If you qualified for an SAT fee waiver, you likely also qualify for four application fee waivers to over 2,000 participating schools. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity if you qualify and ask your school counselor for more details.

Hotel fees

Hotel charges often go beyond the room itself to include a few extra, slightly hidden fees. When you check in be sure to ask for an itemized list of fees. If any of the fees are associated with services that you don’t plan to use, ask to have those fees removed. As with any fee, it’s always worth your time to at least ask.

What did we miss? Are there any fees you always asked to have waived?

Jesse Campbell photo.

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI, with over ten years of experience creating valuable educational materials that help families through everyday and extraordinary financial challenges.

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