By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Paying down credit card debt can be difficult, especially when you are dealing with large fees and high interest rates.

But as 3 On Your Side’s Jim Donovan explains, there may be a few things you can do to pay off your credit while keeping  more of your money in your wallet.

Many credit card users assume a late payment means an automatic late fee, but not necessarily.

According to a Creditcards.com report, 87 percent of cardholders who asked for a late fee to be waived were successful.

“People have a lot more power in negotiating with their credit card issuer than they think they do,” said Matt Schulz with Creditcards.com

All you have to do is look at the back of your card and call that 800 number. And it’s not just late fees — ask your card company to lower interest rates, waive your annual fee, or raise your credit limit.

“People would be stunned at how successful you could be at these requests. For example, about 90 percent of people who asked to have their credit limit raised got that request granted,” said Schulz.

That can boost your credit score and end up saving you money.

“If you are a little nervous about making the call to the bank, just remember the worst thing that can happen is they tell you no. But the best thing that can happen is that you get to keep some of that hard-earned money in your pocket instead of handing it over to the credit card company in the form of fees or interest,” said Schulz.

And don’t forget to check your credit report periodically for mistakes. Mistakes often result in people paying higher interest rates than they have to.

Free Credit Report: www.annualcreditreport.com

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