Lowering your credit card interest rate could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If you owe $15,762, the average amount for a household in the United States, then you could save nearly $300 just by lowering your interest rate by 2 percent.
The more you owe and the higher your current rate is, the more important it is for you to negotiate for a better interest rate. Many people find that they can lower their rates by following these four tips.
Boost Your Credit Score
Your credit card company is more likely to lower your interest rate if you have a good credit rating. If you have a score under 700, you might get lucky with a slightly lower rate. If your score is over 700, however, there is a very good chance of lowering the rate by several percentage points.
There are several easy ways to improve your credit score quickly:
- Pay off as much debt as possible to lower your credit utilization ratio
- Make all your payments on time
- Keep accounts open after you reach a zero balance
- Remove inaccurate information from your credit report
Do Research Before You Talk to Your Company
Your credit card company won’t lower your interest rate unless you can make a compelling argument. Doing research is the best way to prepare for this conversation.
Some things you need to know are:
- The average rate for people with your credit score
- Lower rates offered by other credit card companies
- How your financial situation has improved in recent years
- When you talk to a customer service representative, mention this research as evidence that you deserve a lower interest rate.
Remain Firm and Polite
Your credit card company might not want to lower your rate immediately, so you need to remain firm throughout the discussion. It is equally important to remain polite. You won’t get anywhere by raising your voice or insulting the representative.
If the person you talk to can’t, or won’t, lower your rate, ask to speak to his or her supervisor. Managers usually have more flexibility, so they can make deals that regular customer services reps can’t offer.
Use a Negotiation Script
If negotiating makes you feel uncomfortable, you might want to rely on a negotiation script that will lead you through the conversation.
You can find dozens of negotiation scripts online that can help you plead your case effectively. Review your options to find one that matches your situation well.
Negotiating with your credit card company will take a little effort. Considering how much money you could save, though, it’s well worth the time.