Negotiating Lower Credit Card Rates

By Valencia Higuera

  • Overview

    Some credit card companies charge up to 30 percent interest. But if you have good credit, there's no reason why you should pay more than 15 percent. There are many ways to obtain a lower interest rate. And in most cases, it's only a matter of asking. While some creditors are eager to offer a reduced rate, others aren't as enthusiastic. To obtain a lower rate, you might have to use a few negotiating tactics.
    • Step 1

      Order a copy of your credit report. You can't negotiate a lower interest rate with bad credit. Visit the Annual Credit Report website and request a free copy of your credit report. To improve your chances of getting a reduced rate, take steps to boost your credit score. Submit timely payments and don't apply for new lines of credit. If your credit report reveals a low credit score, postpone negotiations until you've increased your score by 20 points.
    • Step 2

      Pay the creditor on time. Credit card companies are not interested in helping people who skip payments or submit late payments. If you're serious about getting a reduced interest rate, pay your credit card statements on time.

    • Step 3

      Contact the credit card company. Once you've checked your credit and improved your payment history, it's time to request a lower interest rate. Call the credit card company and ask to speak with an account representative. State your desire to obtain a reduced rate, and draw attention to your excellent history with the company. If the representative cannot help you, ask to speak with a supervisor. Inquire about short-term rate reductions, which offer a low rate or 0 percent interest for 6 to 12 months.
    • Step 4

      Threaten to cancel the credit card. Credit card companies want to keep your interest rate high. This is how they earn money. Still, they're more interested in keeping their loyal customers happy. And they would rather reduce your rate than lose your business.
    • Step 5

      Maintain a good payment history. Credit card companies can increase your rate at any given time, and missing a single payment usually voids a low-rate agreement. To keep your low rate, you must maintain a good record with the creditor.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Credit report
    • Credit card statements

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