Cardholders with debt may be best off taking actions to disrupt their finances and going beyond baby steps to pay off debt. This includes budgeting better to pay off more credit card debt monthly and even negotiating for better credit terms with your issuer. Short of moving your debt to a balance-transfer credit card, lowering your existing APR could help you fast-track paying down debt. But what's the best way to ask your credit-card company to lower your interest rate?
Motley Fool analysts Michael Douglass and Nathan Hamilton discuss this topic in the video below and offer up a few tips to help you plead your case.
Michael Douglass: Dan asks, "What's the best way to lower your credit card interest rate?"
Nathan Hamilton: Call up your issuer.
Douglass: Yeah, and try to negotiate.
Hamilton: If you can prove, if you can plead your case and say, "Here's how you make money, I'm helping you make money by taking action, I'm using my card frequently," they make money off of every time you swipe the card, that's a benefit. If you're incurring interest charges, that's where banks make the most of their money. If you can make the case and say, "OK, I'm paying a lot of interest, what can you guys do to work with me?" Whatever you can do in those scenarios to plead your case is going to help out, and it's just a simple call to your issuer.
Douglass: Yeah, that's one of the amazing things, how easy it really can be to ask.
Hamilton: Credit card companies will work with you. They will.
Douglass: Yeah. And not just credit card companies. Cell phone providers, cable providers. There's actually a lot more flexibility than you would tend to think in a lot of these things, with people being like, "Yeah, OK, since you asked, we can do that. Let's just make this easy." You have to keep in mind, they have the metrics, too. They want to keep your business. The person who's on the phone with you is probably looking to hit a certain call number for the day, and hit some saves. Their metrics also make them want to work with you, not just institutionally, but individually as well.
Hamilton: Yeah, it's astounding, if you look at the numbers behind what credit card companies pay to acquire members ...
Douglass: It's a ton. All that junk mail costs money.
Hamilton: Yeah, all the direct mailers cost money, the ads online and so forth. So, they want to do, if you are a good credit card holder or member, they want to go out of their way to make sure that you stay, and retain you as a customer. So, definitely would be open to asking. It'll generally be granted, depending upon your request.