How To Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate
It is surprisingly easy to lower your interest rates with your credit card companies. You may run into difficulties if you have a history of late payments, but you may be able to work out something with the credit card company anyway. It is important to be persistent. The credit card companies wants to continue to make money off of your account, so generally they will not bring your interest rate down to zero. However, they want to prevent you from transferring all of your debt to a lower interest credit card, so they will decrease your interest rate if you ask.
Check Your Credit Card Statements
You should gather your credit card statements together. On the statement you should see a customer service number. You should call the number and key in the option to speak to an operator. Although this may seem to be a time consuming process, you should realize that over the course of several months you might save several hundred dollars with this one phone call. It is also important to note your current interest rate so you can negotiate.
Ask to Have the Credit Card Interest Rate Lowered
Once you speak to the representative you should ask him to lower your interest rate. You may want to mention that you always pay on time. You should always be polite when asking for an interest rate change. They are doing you a favor. They do not need to lower the interest rate, and so you should be polite. If you yell or become belligerent, then the customer service representative will not be as willing to work with you on the matter.
Ask for Information on Qualifying for a Lower Interest Rate
If they will not lower your rate you may ask them why. If it is because of late payments, ask the representative what you can do to qualify for a lower interest rate in the future. You may simply need to wait a few more months and make payments on time in order to become eligible. If they say no, try to call again in a few weeks. By calling consistently, you are more likely to get your rate lowered. You may want to mention that you have a zero percent or other low interest card that you can transfer the money to.
Try Again if Needed
Try again in a few months even if they do lower your rate, because they may be willing to offer an even lower rate. If you have an initial rate of eighteen percent they may lower it to twelve percent. When you call again they may lower it to nine percent. Eventually you may be able to get the credit card interest rate to five percent or lower. This may be dependent on the current financial climate if interest rates are low because of the economy, you might have an easier time when compared to a time when interest rates are higher overall.
Make Your Payments in Full and On Time
Always make your payments in full and on time. Credit cards can raise your rates if you fail to pay another bill on time. They will be less likely to lower your interest rates if this is the case as well. It is very important to consistently pay your creditors on time for that reason. If you are considered a credit risk, you will not qualify for a lower interest rate. The steps to qualify are similar to raising your credit score. You should focus on making your payments on time and work on getting your balance lower so that you are not too near the credit limit.
Tips and Alternatives
- Don’t give up if you don’t immediately lower your interest rate. You should keep trying about once a month to lower your rates. It does take a little time, but it will be worth it. Working on improving your credit score will help you overall.
- Always speak in a respectful manner. Be polite when you ask for them to lower your interest rate. Remember the customer service representative is only doing his job, and you should treat her with the respect you would like to receive at work.
- If all else fails you can open a new credit card account with a low initial interest rate and transfer your credit card balance to your new account. You can switch accounts when you receive offers for a zero interest introductory rate. Some banks may offer a lower interest rate if you switch bank accounts. You may also take out a personal loan to get a better rate. Be sure to look for ways to save interest on the loan.