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Ask and you might receive, survey finds

Various credit cards are shown in this image

Various credit cards are shown in this image from Flickr. Photo Credit: frankieleon via Flickr

Sometimes you have not because you ask not. Make your desires known. According to a report from CreditCards.com, 89 percent of credit cardholders who asked for a late-fee waiver had their request granted, and 78 percent who asked for a lower interest rate got one.

CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz says people have more negotiating power with their credit card issuer than they think they do. All you have to fear is a big NO, but there’s a good chance you’ll get a yes.

There are all sorts of scenarios where you might save money or otherwise better suit yourself, simply by speaking up.

  • Play the switcheroo card. “Many consumer services — satellite radio, cable, and cellular — will lower rates if you contact them with the intent to switch to another company when you are out-of-contract,” says Thomas Nitzsche, a spokesperson for Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions in Manhattan.
  • Tell your sob story. Many creditors offer a “financial hardship plan” to lower interest rates and payments for customers during a legitimate time of difficulty. The same is sometimes true for home loan lenders, who may modify the terms if you experience a hardship, Nitzsche says.
  • Go for it. If you’re hoping your boss will give you a raise, you could be disappointed. Instead, do work that gets you noticed and helps when you walk in to ask for more money.
  • Do sweat the small stuff. “If you get in a pickle and must change your airline flight, if you ask, you might get the fee waived,” says Chantay Bridges, a financial coach in Los Angeles.

Make asking a way of life, because you never know.

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