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What You Need to Know When Negotiating for a Lower Credit Card APR

By Nathan Hamilton and Michael Douglass - Apr 6, 2017 at 7:25AM

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Are your debt balances taking too long to pay off?

Anyone having stared down a pile of credit card debt can attest to how difficult it can be to pay down balances at double-digit interest rates.

But indebted cardholders have several options to get out of debt quicker, ranging from applying for a balance transfer credit card with a 0% intro APR to choosing to stay with their issuer and negotiating a lower APR.

In the previously recorded Facebook Live video below, The Motley Fool analysts Michael Douglass and Nathan Hamilton answer a user-submitted question about negotiating for a lower APRI with your credit card issuer.

Michael Douglass: Got a question from Joe. How hard is it to get your credit card company to lower your interest rate?

Nathan Hamilton: I don't know personally, but based upon various research ... I don't know what the odds are, but it's an opportunity that you definitely can go after. It depends upon the certain situation.

If you missed a payment and you're late, it's going to be hard to negotiate it, but if you've got an established relationship with your card, if you've paid off your balances like clockwork, if you've proven that you are a good card holder, the bank will be more amenable to actually reducing your interest rate because if you think about it this way, they want high quality credit card holders, people that pay off their balances. They know they can earn interest income from them. They're not going to lower your interest rate if they know you're a high risk because then there's an increased risk that you're going to charge debt to the card and not pay it back. The bank loses the money.

Douglass: On the flip side of that is that, as you said, if you're an attractive person for them ... It's kind of like if you're lucky enough to live in a place that has both Comcast and Verizon internet -- I do --

Hamilton: I do not.

Douglass: It only recently happened in my building. It's sort of, "Hey, the other guys are offering something better for me. Can you work with me because we have a relationship? This is your chance to keep me." Depending on your circumstance, that can be actually a very productive conversation, and I've been able to keep my internet bills low. Hopefully some of the same stuff can happen with your credit card. Joe, good luck!

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