Want a Lower Credit Card Interest Rate? Ask for It
Maybe you’ve begun wondering how to lower your credit card interest rate. Are your monthly credit card payments draining you and even eating into your savings? Feel the constant shadow of overwhelming debt? We get it.
And we’re saying you need to get out there and ask for lower rates outright.
Wait. I Can Do That? For real?
For real. Your interest rate is not set in stone. It’s likely a variable interest rate, and that means changes can be made. But they won’t be made if you don’t take action and ask. Credit card companies aren’t going to volunteer to make less money. They will listen to your story, though.
And the credit card company competition is a fierce battle. You have more power than you think. Some consumers don’t even know they can do this. But you can. And you should.
Call, and politely ask. Be ready to negotiate, though. Go into the call with a plan for what to say.
Call and Ask for a Lower Interest Rate
That’s right. Call the credit card company. Ask to speak with someone about your request. Here’s a pro tip: Start with the credit card you’ve had the longest. You have a history with them. And you can leverage that. But don’t stop there. It’s a great idea to do this for every credit card you have.
Understand that the company isn’t required to say yes. But in this case, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You’ll probably have success with getting your rate lowered if you have a history of on-time payments. Plan to be open about financial hardship as well, such as unemployment or other recent personal setbacks.
What Does This Conversation Look Like?
Lowering your interest rate can help you on a couple of levels. It can free up more money for other bills. But it can also assist you in climbing out of debt faster. If you have a high-APR card, most of your payment heads directly toward those interest fees instead of your principal balance. This makes it tough to see a real, encouraging difference in your monthly and overall dues.
So, yes. Lower interest rates are worth fighting for. How do you plan for this conversation?
Let your credit card issuer know why you’d like to lower your interest rate. They’ll want to hear specifics about your circumstances and goals. Have you lost your job or encountered unexpected medical bills? Is your young family growing by one this summer? Maybe you’ve gotten offers in the mail that advertise those dreamy lower rates. Perhaps you’re ready to tackle your debt in a big way, and you need their help.
Mention your loyalty.
If you’ve been making payments on-time for several years, bring that fact to light. This shows your reliability. The reduction in rates could certainly be seen as a kind of loyalty reward. Also, let them know if your credit score has recently gone up. That increase speaks for your financial character, too.
What If They Say “No?”
If you can’t secure the lower interest rate indefinitely, try asking for a temporary reprieve. Even if they can lower your rate a few percent points over the course of a year, that would help.
Should You Persist If the Initial Response Is “No?”
Yes. But not immediately. Keep good notes of your conversation with the credit card rep. In 3-6 months, try back. Keep making on-time payments in the meantime. This will only help your case.
If you’ve been able to secure lower rates with other cards, tell the credit card company. Let them know how much it’s helped you in your financial journey.
Oh, and there’s always a chance that you’ll get to talk with a different customer service rep. And honestly, that can make a difference.
The point is: don’t give up!
A Final Word: Resist Canceling Your Card Immediately
As you negotiate, resist the temptation to cancel the card – especially if you don’t get the rates you seek. You can feel like giving up altogether. You can feel like kicking that unmoving and seemingly heartless company to the curb. Hang in there, though. Because…
If you cancel the card, your available credit with that company disappears. This, in turn, drives up your credit utilization rate (debt-to-credit ratio). And that will no doubt hurt your credit score.
It is okay, however, to let the credit card company know that once your debt is paid, you’ll likely be moving your business elsewhere. You want to borrow from understanding lenders. They probably won’t like hearing that you’re switching over to a competitor, and this could help you in a sort of “final attempt” to sway them and secure your new, lower rate.