Chances are, you have a credit card in your wallet right now. Maybe you use it for everyday purchases, or maybe you only use it when you have to spend a large amount of money and you don’t have the cash. It’s also highly possible that you’re paying more in interest than you care to or, more to the point, should be. You could look for another credit card. Or you can call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate.
Calling them might be intimidating, so there are a few steps you can take to make it a little easier and to be sure you know what you’re doing:
1. Before you call, make sure you have your facts straight. Know how much you are currently paying interest, then look online to find out how much you could or should be paying. A Google search should show how much the national average rate is for people with your credit score. The search should tell you what the “prime rate” is, so when they say how much they’re charging you plus the prime rate, you can know how much that should come out to. Also, searching using the exact name of the cards you already have should show you what your credit card company is offering to new customers.
2. With this knowledge, call your credit card company. Make sure you have some time, as this is not a quick process. Also, make sure the primary cardholder is there at the time.
3. When you call, expect that the person you’re talking to will say they can’t help you. Ask to speak to a supervisor. If the representative refuses, ask for their name and ID number so you can have a record of who you spoke to and insist they let you speak to a supervisor.
4. Tell them about your specific credit situation, including your credit score and what the competitors are offering to people with your credit score. Ask why your interest is higher than it should be and ask if they can lower it.
5. Pursue it. If you don’t get what you want, write a letter. Call again in six months whether they lowered it or not and see if they will lower it again. Keep an eye on the prime rate and your credit score and understand how they should correlate.
Credit card companies have lowered interest rates for customers before. If you are determined and know what you’re talking about, you should be able to get them to do it for you.
Kari discovered the magic of writing early, in elementary school, and has devoted every spare moment to it since. She writes fiction for her own amusement, and recently began writing articles for The Daily Tar Heel in Chapel Hill. Besides writing, she loves spending time with friends and family, reading, and drinking coffee. She defines herself based on her faith in God, her family roots, and her dream of one day publishing a best-selling novel.