Many assume it’s impossible to lower their credit card interest rate. At first glance, it seems like something that is entirely in the control of credit card companies. However, in many cases, people don’t achieve lower rates because they simply never try to reduce them.

Before contacting a credit card company, credit card users should find out the rate they are currently paying. Even credit card users who already know their rate should double check, as companies have been known to spontaneously increase rates without notifying customers. Credit card owners can visit to determine whether their rates are competitive with the current national average.

1. Ask

The first method customers can try to lower their credit card rates is incredibly obvious, but surprisingly, it’s not always used. Calling a credit card company to ask questions and negotiate a lower rate is something every customer should try at least once. Those who are long-standing customers, always pay on time, and have never asked for credit increases or lower rates should jump at this opportunity.

Before making the call, an important number customers should have in mind is their credit score. Credit card companies are not supposed to charge high rates to those with excellent or good credit. Customers should be prepared to speak with several representatives before finding one who can approve the reduction. Most reps are trained to avoid this discussion, so reaching a supervisor is key.

2. Sign up for a Debt Management Plan

Those struggling with serious debt don’t have to do so alone. There are several companies that help with debt consolidation. These experts are more knowledgeable and experienced than customers, and thus better able to communicate with credit card companies. Customers who are going through a rough patch, such as unemployment or illness, are often eligible to have their debt “restructured.” This could result in drastically lower interest rates. If you are interested in debt consolidation, check out one of the top services, National Debt Relief.

3. Transfer the Balance

If a credit card company is overcharging, or if there is simply a better offer available, customers should consider a balance transfer. This will require some careful research to find a credit card that has favorable rates and terms. It is also important that customers read the fine print, ideally before even making the transfer. Some companies have hidden rules, for example: if a customer has a certain number of late payments, their rates automatically increase to over 20%.

By using one of these three options, customers can lower their credit card interest rates and save thousands.