How Do You Get A Lower Rate on Your Credit Card

lower rate on credit card

Ask to Get a Lower Rate on Your Credit Card

So just how do you get a lower rate on your credit card? Ask, Ask, and ask again.  Yes – straight from the RichMama Secrets files – here’s my personal story of getting the APR on one of my credit cards lowered dramatically.  It’s an all too familiar story – mama shops, spends and puts it on plastic – with the intent of paying it off one day…Well that one day comes and RichMama got serious about getting rich…by working with what she had.

One of the first tasks (after figuring out where all the money was going) – was attacking those credit card balances.  After discovering that I was paying almost $800 on minimums and interest payments every month I decided to eliminate credit card debt forever.

So I pulled out those cards, figured out the balances, the monthly payments and the current interest rate or APR – and I realized that for someone with great credit, and a perfect repayment record I was paying an APR that was too high – 22% – on one of the cards.  No wonder this card – with its relatively small balance – compared to the others – never seemed to go away.

The Different Debt Repayment Approaches

When deciding to pay off credit cards there are a few approaches – the first is the debt snowball, where you take your smallest debt – no matter what the interest rate is – and pay it off as fast as possible (while still paying the minimum on all your other debts).  You throw everything extra you have at this small debt and pay it off – hurrah – you feel pretty often and one payment is gone (at this point, if you haven’t already you should freeze the card, or cut it up – you don’t have to cut up the account – but just do something to that card to ensure you never, ever use it again…)

You then take the money you were throwing at that card and move onto your next smallest debt and pay that one off – and so on. You do this regardless of the interest rate on the debt because you want your debt payments to be like a giant snowball rolling down the hill in one of those old Scooby Doos – the amount of money you put towards debt repayment snowballs – and you pay off your debt.

On the other hand, other people say you should take the debt with the highest interest rate, regardless of size and pay that one down first – since the higher interest rate is costing you more bucks the longer you wait.

Pick Your Debt Repayment Methods

I say – be smart about it – there is something very satisfying about paying off a debt completely forever as quickly as possible – and then attacking the next one and so on.  I would say if you can pay off a small debt in a reasonable amount of time – say 2 -3 months – then the sense of accomplishment is more important than interest rates.

In my case  – the smallest balance and the highest interest rate were on the same card. So one day when the kids were in school (except for the littlest one) I got on the phone.  Now I know most banks or credit cards have 24/7 service, but in reality, when it’s nighttime in the US and you’re calling at 4 in the morning, you’re not likely to get onshore support.  So if you can, do this during the day.  In my case, there were dirty dishes in the sink and crumbs from breakfast – but it was worth it.

Lower The Rate On Your Credit Card – Ask, Ask and Ask

So you call and you politely say that you’d like to get a lower rate on your card.  You mention you have been a good customer and you have several offers in hand for 0% balance transfer with an ongoing rate of 10%. Always shoot for a lower rate than you want to accept.

To make this more believable, either pull out one of your offers that you received in the mail or check out bankrate.com for some names to drop.

The first person will say they can’t help you – you say “Great – may I speak to someone who can – your supervisor. please?” U

You will speak to the supervisor who will say she can’t help you  – don’t give up – ask to speak to someone who can – keep asking and even if you get passed around, keep pushing – I spoke to 5 different people before I reached the end of the line.

Lower Rate on Your Credit Card – Be Ready to Walk

And at the end of the line, I got this story – my account was already under review and within 2-3 months I might be notified that I was eligible for a rate decrease – so while the account was under review, there was nothing anyone could do…HUH?

So this is where the ulimatum comes in – I said,very politely – “That’s unacceptable.  If there is nothing you can do RIGHT NOW, then I will close the account, RIGHT NOW – do you really want to lose a good customer of X years because my account is under review?”

And that my fellow mamas – was the secret sauce – by threatening to close my account, I got an instant answer – in fact it was if all of the other excuses I had been given earlier evaporated.  My rate was reduced to 15% from 22% – not the 10 or 12% I had been hoping for  – but a big reduction and one that ultimately made it a lot faster for me to pay off that debt – and then take that payment and put to the next one on the list.

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