Similar to any other type of financial loan, credit card companies charge you an interest rate to borrow funds. Unlike most home mortgages or auto loans, credit card interest can vary widely. Because of the fluctuating interest rates credit cards carry, consumers can negotiate better interest rates at times. To do this, here are some careful steps you should follow to ensure you get the best rate based on your credit.
Review your credit report. Reviewing what’s in your credit report can be a good start before negotiating a better credit rate. Understand how your credit report reflects your borrowing habits and how credit card companies might use this to offer you higher or lower interest rates. If you’ve made some credit mistakes in the past, show that you can be responsible with your money by pointing out your ability to make payments on time and in full.
Make the CallCall the credit card company directly and ask to speak with an agent who can help you with your credit card rates. Be patient as you might need to speak with a few customer service representatives before you reach someone with the authority to help you. It’s usually best to communicate by phone in these situations, as requests my email or letter can often take longer or go unanswered.
State Your CaseWhen you reach the agent with the authority to change rates, state your case calmly and accurately. Show evidence that you are a loyal borrower with a good track record that should be rewarded. Politely reference competitor offers and ask if the creditor would match or lower the rate. Suggest a lower rate that you feel would be fair based on the facts you shared with the agent.
Sometimes, the answer will be yes – and you’ll have your request for a lower rate granted. At times, however, the answer will be no. If that happens, be sure to ask why they’ve declined your request and what you would have to do to qualify for a better rate in the future. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll have a better understanding of how to negotiate better credit card rates in the future.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. © 2013 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.