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January 08, 2014 | Ben Heisler | Comments 0

Tips for Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rate

interest rates on credit cardsThe amount you pay in credit card interest can really add up, especially if you are carrying high balances. While you can’t eliminate your interest rates all together, there are steps you can take to lower your interest rates.  These steps are outlined in a recent Equifax Finance blog article, “Four Ways to Help Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate.”

You should first know how much interest you are paying. Check your credit card statements for your annual percentage rate or APR, which will be listed either at the top or bottom of your statement. Then, find out your credit score by checking it with one or more of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.

Step One: Once you know our credit score, you can research what your APR should be using websites like bankrate.com and credit.com to find out the APR that card issuers are offering to other consumers with your credit score.

Step Two:  Visit the websites of your credit card companies to see what they are offering to new customers. Many credit card companies offer deals and perks to new customers and you can use that to your advantage. Make a list of the deals your credit card company is currently offering, like single-digit interest rates for the first year, bonus cash-back points, airline miles and more.

Step Two: Contact your credit card company and let them know what you’ve researched. Let the customer service representative know that you would like a lower interest rate. Be persistent and let them know that you can take your business elsewhere. You may have to speak with a supervisor. Keep in mind that if you have missed payments or are a relatively new customer, you may not be able to get a lower rate.

Step Four: If your credit card company will not offer you a lower rate, the article suggests you consider transferring your balance. Many credit card companies offer limited time single-digit interest rates for new balance transfers. These rates are for a limited time only, though, so you have to be able to pay the balance off in a given time period or may end up paying an even higher rate once the time period is up.

Getting a better rate requires some research and patience on your end, but can pay off in terms of savings over the long-run. Read the full article on the Equifax Finance blog, where you can get lots of helpful tips on personal finance topics from credit cards to building your credit score, saving money, taxes, identity theft protection and more.

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