NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It looks like consumers could use some help paying their credit card bills on time — and getting onerous late fees waived when they fail.
According to CreditCards.com, the average credit card debt per adult is $4,878. For cardholders with a balance due on their credit cards, the figure rises to $8,220.
Americans don't like to discuss all that credit card debt; 85% of survey respondents to a recent poll said they were either "unlikely or somewhat unlikely to talk with a stranger about credit card debt - a subject more taboo than religion, politics, salary and love life details," according to CreditCards.com.
With all that debt, and that reluctance to seek help, advice or guidance on credit card use, it's no wonder so many of us have trouble paying our card bills on time each month.
But it's highly likely you can get a late fee waived — you just have to ask. Almost nine out of 10 cardholders who asked that a late fee be waived were accommodated, data from CreditCards.com shows.
"We were surprised with the success rate," says Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com's senior industry analyst. "It's probably the best time in years to ask credit card issuers for a break. I don't think cardholders realize how good of a chance they have at being successful. It's as simple as that."
"What it tells you is that when in doubt, give your credit card issuer a call. You've got a good chance of working it out," he says.
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