Is your credit card interest too high? Do you carry large balances on your credit cards? Do you want to apply for a new credit card? Many people struggle with these issues everyday. However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Interest rates can be lowered, or eliminated and a higher percentage of each monthly payment can go to the principal amount on your credit card. This can be accomplished by adhering to the following process.
First, gather all of your credit card bills together. List them in order of the highest percentage rate to the lowest percentage rate you are paying. Once you have this list compiled, you can see how much money is wasted on interest every month. You might now be asking, “What can I do about this?” You are now going to call the customer service number from the card that was first on your list (the highest percentage rate you are paying). Ask to be connected to a customer account representative. When connected, ask the representative if your interest rate could be lowered. Tell the representative how long you have been a customer, you always pay your bills on time and you never are late with your payments. (If you have been late or missed a payment in the past, your bargaining power is reduced somewhat, but still ask for the interest rate reduction anyway – The answer is always “No” unless you ask.) The representative will most likely put you on hold and come back in a few minutes with an answer. If that answer is “Yes”, then congratulations! You have just saved money. If the answer is “No”, thank the representative for their time and end the telephone call.
After you have called all of your credit cards and had your interest rates lowered, we now want to call them back and ask for a balance transfer. (This is assuming you have more than one credit card. You should wait at least two weeks from the time you made your first call.) A balance transfer will transfer the balance from one credit card to another. The advantage of this is that a balance transfer normally receives a lower interest rate. You may be able to get as low as 2.9%. When you speak to the account representative, ask if you qualify for a balance transfer, what the interest rate would be and the length of time the balance transfer rate will last. It is also important to ask what the balance transfer fee will be. It can be as much as $75 if you don’t ask for it to be waived. Negotiate with the representative to lower or eliminate the transfer fee. (It still might be worth transferring your balance if you have to pay the fee.) If you qualify, you can transfer the balance from your higher interest card over the phone. If you don’t want to transfer the balance over the phone, ask the representative for balance transfer checks to be sent to you in the mail. You may then use the balance transfer checks to transfer the balance to the lower interest rate card.
The last phase of lowering your credit card interest rates might be to apply for new credit cards. We all get numerous credit card applications in the mail everyday. Don’t just blindly throw these away. Many new cards offer 0% interest on balance transfers. What this means is that you will be paying zero interest. Each payment you make will go directly to pay off the principal amount on your card. You should be aware of the following before you apply for a new card. Do not apply for a card with an annual fee. The credit card company makes too much money as it is and they don’t need an extra annual fee payment from you. As mentioned earlier, try to avoid paying balance transfer fees. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but if you negotiate, you may eliminate the fee altogether.
Credit card debt can be a huge burden. You can, however lighten your debt and pay less interest (or none at all) if you follow the steps in this article. Good luck on your interest-lowering journey.