Step 1: Write It Down
Many people do not know what interest rate they are being charged on their credit cards – or if they did know, it has since changed. The first step to eliminating credit card debt is to stop adding to the total amount with huge interest charges. If you feel like you are stuck in the credit card cycle where regardless of how much you pay, you never seem to have less debt, then you probably have very high interest rates.
The first step to lowering your interest rate is to find out what rate you are currently paying and write it down in a list. You can find the interest rate (APR) for purchases on your last statement or by calling your credit card company and asking. Make a list with the name of the credit card and the current APR that you are paying.
Step 2: Strategize
While this step may seem simple, it is one of the most important steps to lowering your interest rates. You need to look at your current rates and create a strategy to lower them. In Step 3, you will call the credit card companies, but Step 2 is where you figure out what to say to them.
There are two strategies that work very well when talking to credit card companies.
- Look at the lowest interest rate that you currently have and ask the other cards to match it.
- Look at the lowest offer you have received (even if you don’t have the card) and ask the other cards to match it.
Step 3: Call the Credit Card Companies
Now that you have your strategy, start with the highest interest rate card and call them first. Tell them that you think your interest rate is too high and that you would like them to lower it. If they hesitate, mention that you have a lower interest rate card (tell them the interest rate on it) and that you are considering transferring your balance to that other card if they can’t lower your interest rate.
This method will work the majority of the time. However, it has better success if you are always polite, don’t yell, and don’t get mad. If they do not offer to lower the interest rate the first time you call, call back a couple days later to see if you get the same response. If you’re interested in reading more, check out: Tips to Reduce Credit Card Debt.