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Negotiate Lower Interest Rates

What most people don’t realize is you can call your card issuer to negotiate lower interest rates. Let’s get you prepared for the call with a little guidance and motivation…

Credit card companies recognize that it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one and may be willing to cut your interest rates to avoid losing you to a competitor. Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t—card holders who call their issuer to ask for a lower rate are successful over 50% of the time. They may (or may not) do it willingly—after all, they like your interest payments—so you’ll have to negotiate.

Here’s how:

Know Who You are

Are You a Good Customer? If you’ve had your credit card for a while, paid on time for the last 6 months, and have a good overall credit score, you may be able to negotiate a lower interest rate from your credit card issuer. Remind your issuer that you’ve been a good customer.

Do Your Homework

It makes no sense to call your credit card company and say, “Hey, I want a lower rate.” You have to know what you’re asking for before you call. So take the time to look at some of the offers available to you. What are their rates? How much lower are they than the rates you are currently paying? Have those numbers by your side before you dial.

Make the Call

Negotiating a lower interest rate is as simple as making a short phone call. Call your credit card company and speak with someone in customer service. This may not be the person who ultimately lowers your rate, but it’s where you start. When you connect with a customer service representative, introduce yourself and let him/her know that you are a valuable customer who is looking for a lower interest rate. Let the rep know that you have received several card offers from other issuers with lower interest rates. Then, indicate that you’d be willing to transfer your card balances to one of those new cards if you can’t get a similar, or lower, rate from your current issuer. If the individual you’re speaking with can’t, or won’t, help you, ask to speak with a supervisor.

Be Willing To Walk

To make this negotiation work, you need to be serious about cancelling your cards if you don’t get what you want. If you say that you will close your account if the card issuer won’t lower your rate, you have to mean it. If you’re bluffing, they win. As a good customer, you can take your business elsewhere.

To get an example script, see success rates by issuer, and see how lowering your interest rate can affect your bottom line, use our rate negotiation calculator.

Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky

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