Manage Debt

Negotiating a Lower Interest Rate on Your Credit Cards

One of the most depressing things about credit cards is the interest rates that you are charged. The interest rate you pay can make it harder to pay down debt and obtain financial freedom. If you are looking for a bit of a break, you can call your credit card companies and negotiate a lower interest rate. This will help you put more of your payment each month toward the principal, helping you achieve financial freedom.

How to Ask for a Lower Interest Rate

When you call to ask for a lower interest rate, it can help you have you have been a good customer. If you have made your payments on time, you are more likely to get help with a lower interest rate on your credit card. A good credit score is likely to help you as well. You might also get help with a lower interest rate if you explain that you are having trouble making payments, and that you plan to pay your obligation. Some things to keep in mind as you ask for a lower interest rate:

  • Be polite
  • Ask for someone who can work with you on interest rates, if the first person you speak with can’t help
  • Write down the date, time, who you spoke with, and what was promised
  • Watch your next account statement to see if the interest rate really was lowered

Also, know what you will do if you are denied. If possible, being able to walk away from the company can help. If you can pay of your credit card and close the account, that usually makes a good threat when you are negotiating. However, don’t tell the credit card issuer that you will walk if you are unable to carry out the threat.

Before you get on the call, know what outcome you desire, and what you are willing (and able) to do if your request isn’t met. Some credit card issuers have a policy of automatically lowering the interest rate by 1% to 3% for customers in good standing who ask.

Even if you aren’t in good standing, you might be able to negotiate a lower interest rate if the credit card issuer know that it is the best chance for you to repay what you owe is to lower the interest rate a little bit.

Bottom Line

It never hurts to ask for a lower interest rate. The worst that can happen is that you are told no, while the best that can happen is that you save money in interest.

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