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April 11, 2018

3 Ways to Negotiate a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated April 11, 2018

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Simple. Thrifty. Living.

For many of us, credit cards are a necessary evil, but when you see how much interest is added to your payment each month, it probably makes you ill. Believe it or not, you can actually negotiate with the credit card company to lower those high interest rates; this makes it easier to eventually pay off the debt! Some of the best ways to negotiate a lower interest rate include:

It goes without saying that you should always try to pay more than the minimum monthly payment each month. That, in itself, helps you avoid paying high interest rates for long periods of time. But, the most important issue is that even if you can’t pay more than the minimum, always make your payments consistently on time, and even a few days early, if possible. This raises your value in the credit card company’s eyes, because you’ll be seen as a good credit risk.

If you’re like most people with fair to excellent credit, you probably receive credit card offers in the mail frequently. Read the small print and notate their interest rates. Many will give you 0 percent interest rates for a period of time, such as a year or 18 months if you’ll apply for their card. You can also research competitive credit card interest rates online. This gives you ammunition when you make the next step in negotiating your high interest rate.

Tell them that you have difficulty making more than the minimum payments due to the high interest rate on the card. Explain that you’re considering switching to a 0 percent interest credit card that will give you a better rate than they have after the 0 percent interest trial period ends. Or you can tell them that you’re thinking of switching to a card that charges a much lower interest rate than on the card you have with them. The call center representative will probably be familiar with the current rates and have the ability to negotiate if you’ve been paying consistently and on time each month. Be pleasant, but persistent, in asking for a better rate. If the person states that he or she can’t lower the rate, ask to speak with his or her boss.

Negotiating the interest rate on your credit cards only takes a little bit of time and effort on your part, but it can save you hundreds of dollars over time. That’s money that you can put into savings or spend on something that is much more worthwhile than high interest on debts.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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