Lower your credit card interest cost
How to lower credit card interest ratesStudies show that more Americans are using debit cards instead of credit for purchases and are paying off debt they've already accumulated. Even with this change in habit and the help of recent lending legislation, many consumers are still struggling to get on top of debt. If you're trying to dig your way out of debt, the easiest way to speed up this process is to lower the amount of credit card interest you pay.
Make the callOne way to pay lower credit card interest is to call your card provider and ask. It's common sense, but many people never think of this simple solution to their debt problems. In a 2002 study conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, more than half of consumers who asked for a lower rate received one.
The downside is that by asking for a better rate, you're also asking your lender to look at your credit report. If you've missed payments on other accounts recently, this could be a red flag. Your lender might decide to lower your credit limit as a result. If you already have a low interest rate or if you normally carry a high balance, these factors also negatively impact your ability to get a better rate.
Improve your credit scoreYou're more likely to be offered a low interest rate if you maintain a strong credit score. Luckily, it is never too late to improve your score. A full third of your credit score is based on how much debt you have compared to the amount of credit available. In simple terms, this means that lower balances improve your score. The quickest way to change this ratio, then, is to ask for higher card limits. Your balances remain the same, but your credit score increases. Other factors, such as paying your bills on time or the length of your credit history, take time to change. Changing your debt-to-credit ratio is a fast fix.
Get a new cardIf you're trying to get rid of credit cards, it might seem that opening a new card is taking a step backward. But if that card has a lower introductory rate, it can help you reach your goal. Many credit card companies are vying for the same customers. Many try to attract new customers by offering a very low interest rate for a short time. If you get one of these cards and transfer the balances from your higher interest cards, you'll save time and money. Bankrate.com can help you find a credit card interest rate that's lower than what you're currently paying.
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