Looking to get a break on your credit card interest rate? Most people are. Times are tough and sometimes you have to carry a balance, but it doesn’t mean that you have to pay an outrageous rate that the credit cards love to charge you. Here are 5 simple things you can do to get a lower rate.
Step 1 – Ask for a lower rate
You have the number right on the back of your card so why not call and ask for a lower rate. Believe it or not, this is one step that will keep many people from ever getting a lower credit card interest rate. Yes, it can be intimidating because you don’t know what will happen, but if you don’t ask for a lower credit card rate, it’s a guarantee you won’t get one. Face it, the bank is not going to call you an offer you a lower rate. Sometimes by simply calling and asking you can get a better interest rate. Just make sure you are prepared before you call.
Step 2 – Review Your History
Review your payment history with the credit card company. It always helps to demonstrate your ability to pay your payments without late charges and over limit charges and that you use the card. Show them that you are one of their preferred customers and let them know you want to keep their credit card but need a better interest rate.
Step 3 – Know your FICO Score
Knowing your FICO score can be helpful too. If you have a high score mention it to the credit card company. These companies can verify your score in minutes so don’t bluff. The credit card companies want to keep their good customers. Higher scores reflect a lower chance of you defaulting and in the long run means more profits for them. They want to keep your business. The higher your score the better your credit card interest rate can be.
Step 4 – Shop credit card offers
Every week you probably get a few new credit card applications in the mail without even asking. Save a few of the best ones and use them to negotiate with your current credit card company. Sometimes you will even get an offer for a new credit card with a lower interest rate from your existing credit card company. These seem like a no brainer, just call and have them change your current rate right? It’s not always that easy. You may get the run around.
Step 5 – Request Account Retention
When all else fails and you seem to be getting nowhere with the current credit card representative ask to be transferred to the Account Retention Department. Sometimes you need to talk to the people who have a job to try and keep you as a customer. Often the account retention department has the final say on what your credit card rate can be lowered to. Keep in mind, you may have to repeat the first 4 steps again, but in the end if you get a lower interest rate it will be worth it. Be nice, but be persistent.
Is this really worth the time? Who knows? If you can get your credit card interest rate reduced by 5% and you have a balance of $5,000, does it add up enough to make it worth it? Of course it does! Five percent on a $5,000 balance is $250 in a year. Let’s say it takes you an hour to go through all of this with your credit card company, that’s like making $250 in an hour. Where else could you do that? Give it a try.
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