How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate

Credit & Debt, Living & Spending
on May 29, 2012

Although credit cards are generally seen as evil because they lead to large amounts of debt, they can actually be a valuable purchasing tool to have when you use them correctly. Regardless of how wisely you use your credit card, you could always enjoy a lower interest rate on your account. If you believe that the interest rate on your credit card is too high, there are a few different strategies that you can use to lower the rate that you pay.

Look at Your StatementThe first thing that you need to do when trying to get a lower interest rate is find out the exact interest rate that you are currently paying. If you don’t know how much you’re paying, you really don’t know what a good deal is. You have to be able to know where you are if you want to know where you’re going. Get a copy of your latest credit card statements and check out the annual percentage rate that you pay. It should be spelled out for you in plain English on your statement. You should also read the terms and conditions of your credit card account to make sure that you aren’t paying a promotional rate that is due to end at some point in the future. Some credit cards charge a nominal introductory interest rate and then jack up the price later on.

Ask for a Lower Rate

When you want a lower interest rate on your credit card, try asking for one. Sometimes, all it takes is you asking nicely to get a lower interest rate on your credit card account. Your history with the credit card provider will have a lot to do with whether they grant your request or not. For example, if you have always made your payments on time and you have never had any problems with the credit card company before, they are much more likely to give you a lower rate.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower interest rate from your credit card provider. Many people get their interest rates lowered every day simply by asking their credit card companies nicely. Sometimes, the person on the other end of the phone will not be able to offer any help. In that case, ask to talk to that person’s manager and then ask again.

Sometimes, it can help to mention that you are considering transferring your balance to another credit card account at some point in the future. Many credit card companies don’t want to lose your business and they are willing to match other credit card company offers in order to keep you.

If you get someone on the other end of the phone to agree to a lower rate, make sure that you ask for it in writing. Sometimes, the necessary changes to your account will not be made and you are stuck with the same interest rate that you originally had. If you get it in writing, you can prove to the credit card company later on that they authorized the change to your interest rate.

Do a Balance Transfer

Another way to get a lower credit card interest rate is to simply transfer the balance from your existing credit card account to another account. If you’re like most people, you probably get multiple credit card offers in the mail every week. Most of the time, these offers have some pretty sweet interest rate deals to get you to switch over. If your existing credit card provider is not willing to give you some kind of a discount on your current interest rate, do not hesitate to switch over to a new credit card provider.

Credit card companies usually make it very easy for you to transfer a balance from one of their competitors. As soon as you sign up for a new account, you can typically tell an account representative on the other end of the phone that you want to transfer a balance or multiple balances. The account representative will ask for your other credit card information and can facilitate the balance transfer for you. Most credit card companies also will send you a book of checks that you can use to start a balance transfer. All you have to do is write a check to your old credit card company to pay off the balance.

When doing a balance transfer, make sure that you are not being charged large balance transfer fees. Most credit card companies today have some kind of balance transfer fee that is based on the amount of the balance that is being transferred. These fees can really add up and offset most of the savings that you realize from the lower interest rate if you are not careful.

Whether you do a balance transfer or simply get your existing interest rate reduced, you can save quite a bit of money every year and keep more in your own pocket.

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