|by Brooke Kaelin|
One of our readers, Suzette, had this question:
Can a cc still charge late fees and interest on a closed account?
Thanks for your question Suzette!
Yes, credit card companies will still charge interest and apply late fees to closed credit card accounts. Even though the account is closed you will still have to make your payments normally. If you want to pay the card off now that it is closed, you will need to make more than the minimum payment each month – as much as you can afford. Even if it’s only $20 more than the amount due. This will help you not only to pay down the card quicker, but to avoid as much interest as possible while you do.
If you are in collections with this account, then you can call and have the late fees removed. Any collections rep can do this for you as long as you make a payment with them that day. If your account is not currently in collections, you can still have the fees removed, but you will have to speak to a manager because the normal customer service reps will not be able to do it for you.
Thanks for your question!
We also had a reader, Akshay, ask this question:
Hi, i was using a standard chartered credit card in April 2007 which had $50,000 limit, i had used the card to a limit of $57000, the bank did not sent me bills for first 3 months, but after that one fine day suddenly i got a call saying me $3,000 as minimum due payment as they had rounded up my outstanding balance to $60,000. This payments of $3,000 went on for 4 months after that i was out of my job and all this continued for 4 months and because i was out of salary i didn’t paid the minimum amount. They called me last month and said me that i have to pay them $90,000, which is impossible for me to pay, is there any way for me to compromise on principal amount as its very tough to pay all this amount
Thanks for your question Akshay!
The first thing you will need to do is sit down and figure out how much you can pay on this credit card each month. Get a repayment plan together, and make sure it is one that you can stick to no matter what.
Once you have your repayment plan ready, call the collections department of your credit card company. The number should be on the last bill you got. If you cannot find the number, then call the phone number listed on the back of your card, and ask to be transferred to the collections department.
Now, the good news is collections reps are trained, and have a large amount of power to alter your account! The first thing that you are going to have to deal with is the fee removal. Make the collection rep remove every single fee on that account. Explain to them that the fees are killing you, and you need them to remove them. I say this because if you do not ask for this specifically, they will not offer to help you in any way. Ask, and be like a pitt bull! Do not drop it. Make them go get a manager if they have to, but get those fees removed.
Your second step is to set up a payment plan with them, and make the first payment that day. If you cannot pay the minimums they are demanding, then tell them what you can pay, and how often. They will work with you, I promise. Just be honest about what you can and cannot do, and stay calm.
Now, once you have this payment arrangement set up, you cannot miss a payment, ever. If you do, all bets will be off, and you will see the fees tacked right back on, and your balance will go up again.
As a final note, if this strategy does not work for you, then your best bet is to hire a credit counseling agency and allow them to negotiate for you. Credit counselors can sometimes negotiate better than individual people can. This is because credit card companies are used to dealing with credit counseling agencies, and they have special programs with reduced balances and interest rates that they can put you into.
The easiest thing is to take care of things yourself, but if you do not feel you can do this, then there is no harm at all in hiring someone to do it for you. It should not hurt your credit score for you to use the services of a credit counselor.
I say should not because not all credit counseling agencies are created equal. Some of them will withhold your payments for several months so that they can negotiate better terms with your credit card company.
If you choose to hire a credit counseling agency, then make sure you read these two articles first. They will help you discover which credit counseling agencies are legitimate, and which ones will hurt your credit if you use them.
Thanks for your question, and good luck as you work through this account. Just be calm, and persistent and you will be able to get it resolved.
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