How To Invest and Save Money
Watch Out for Automatic Renewals
By Britt Erica Tunick
When it comes to saving more money for retirement one of the easiest things you can do is to cut unnecessary costs, and one way of doing that is to take some time to carefully comb through your credit card statements. If you’ve ever agreed to any sort of subscription or membership, from magazines to pricey gym memberships, Internet security or even amusement park memberships, the odds are good that you are making payments for at least one thing on your credit card that you aren’t even aware of.
According to a recent survey from CreditCards.com, 35% of Americans have made automatic payments for something they were unaware of many on a repeat basis. Not surprisingly, nearly half of such charges stem from free trials that people forget to cancel. Another problem is that cancelling such charges can often be difficult and time consuming, leading many people to postpone efforts to end such subscriptions, only to get distracted and forget about doing so.
If you are being billed for some service you no longer want or, worse, one you never even realized that you signed up for to begin with, it is important to address such charges as soon as possible. In many cases, retailers now use auto-renewal policies where consumers will continue to be charged for a product or service until they specifically opt out which can often be time consuming or difficult to do. If you find yourself in such a situation and a quick call to the company levying the charges doesn’t end the problem, you are not without recourse. If the charges are made by a company where you never agreed to them to begin with, contact your credit card company and they should be able to handle things for you.
Don’t just assume that shutting down a credit card will be the end of things if you have somehow unwittingly agreed to a company’s renewal terms and they can prove that a credit card company has the ability to continue levying charges to a credit card that has been closed. Even worse, if such charges continue to mount and go unpaid for a long time there is a chance that your account could negatively impact your credit rating and that you could find yourself pursued by debt collectors.
Britt Erica Tunick is an award winning financial journalist who has spent the past 17 years writing about virtually every aspect of finance. She has mastered the art of boiling down complicated financial topics for readers to understand.
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