SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) —

Your credit card issuer and your own behavior may be piling on fees, but there is something you can do about it: Ask your bank to stop it.

Dennis Bartels is from San Francisco and still uses a couple of credit cards he got while in college. The cards charge him an annual fee.

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I told him if he calls and asks to have the fee waived, more often than not the credit card company will do just that.

“You’re kidding,” Bartels said. “That would be wonderful.”

A new study by creditcards.com found that just by asking, credit card issuers will drop many fees.

Ted Rossman is a credit analyst for creditcards.com.

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“It’s important to mention that just because a card has potential fees doesn’t mean you have to pay them,” Rossman said.

Ted said the list of fees – annual fees, over the limit fees, foreign transaction fees and others – is more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule.

I asked Lisa Peters of San Francisco if she had ever paid a late fee.

“On a rare occasion and we hate ourselves for it, ” Lisa said. “Very rare.”

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The rarity gives Lisa and you leverage. Just call and ask your credit card company to waive the fee.

“If you occasionally slip up and incur a late fee, about 85 percent of the time you’re going to get that late fee waived just by calling up and saying, ‘Hey, I made a one-time mistake. Could you cut me a break?'” Rossman said.

Ask to waive each and every fee. It won’t always work, but not asking doesn’t get you anywhere.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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