The interest rate is of the utmost importance when it comes to credit cards. Your credit might be great at the moment, but it’s possible it wasn’t so great at the time you got your card, causing you to get a high-interest rate. With the average credit card APR being between 17 and 24 percent and still steadily rising, it’s a good idea to start looking into how you can lower your interest rate. Here are a few things to try out.
Do Your Homework
Negotiation plays a big role in lowering your interest rate. As a customer of your credit card company, you have an advantage in that they likely won’t be happy losing you and your business. The first thing you likely want to do is figure out what your current existing balance is, as well as how much interest you paid the year before. If you have this information in your back pocket, you’ll have an easier time convincing them that they should offer you something better. Another great strategy is to research other lower-interest-rate cards that are currently on the market so you can reference other offers you’ve received.
Improve Your Odds
Since credit card companies often don’t enjoy losing business, you might think that’s all the leverage you need. The problem with this way of thinking is that sometimes a company might not consider you a good enough customer to consider what you’re asking. You may have a rocky history as a cardholder so you might want to take a step back and see what you can do to improve your odds. It’s important to think about if you have a strong credit score. Having a strong credit score is a sign that you’re skilled at handling debt and will likely continue handling it properly. Beyond credit score, they’ll also look to see if you have a long history of making your payments on time.
Call and Ask
It may seem obvious, but one of the best things to do is to pick up a phone, call your credit card company, and just ask them about lowering the interest rate. Once you’ve prepared for negotiations and feel you’re able to display your value as a customer, give them a call and see what happens. If you’re rejected, hang up and try again. You may get a different representative who is more helpful. You can also try asking for a manager, as they typically have more power in these types of situations. If you’re ultimately still denied, don’t give up. Sometimes they’re able to give you temporary or promotional rates. If they continue to not budge, let them know that you’re willing to close your account once you’ve paid your balance off so you can go to a competitor. If you can mention a specific competitor, that might be exactly what you need to persuade them.
While negotiating a lower interest rate can be frustrating, it can have a great payoff. If you do your research, you can likely get a good deal out of your current company. If you’re really aching for that lower interest rate, pick up the phone and call your company. You will likely not regret it.