You may have heard that you might be able to call your credit card lender and ask them to renegotiate your account’s interest rates. But should you believe it?
The short answer to that question is, “Yes.” But it’s not just anyone who can call up a credit card company and ask for this type of an accommodation. Lenders won’t necessarily lower a borrower’s interest rate just because they ask.
To maximize your chances of being granted a lower interest rate on your credit card account, you’re going to have to do your homework. The first step is to order a copy of your credit report and your credit score. If it’s anything less than top-notch, you’ll have a challenge getting the lender to budge. But that’s where your credit report comes in; oftentimes, these documents will contain at least one entry placed on your account erroneously that may be lowering your rating. Successfully disputing these mistakes can boost your score.
You’ll also need to know what other interest rates your lender is offering to consumers with credit standings similar to yours. Do some research online and see what you would be able to qualify for if you were opening a new account, and perhaps even check with some major competitors. Having a general idea of the average interest rate given to people in your situation might help you get yours cut.
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Another thing you might want to do is be mindful that, even if the customer service representative is willing to give you a lower rate, it might not be as low as the one you’re looking for. And in these cases, you might want to consider asking to speak with their supervisor, who will have greater authority to make changes to your account in an effort to keep you as a customer.
Of course, when you’re calling, you also need to be able to threaten to pull your account from your current lender and go to a competitor, and mean it. Knowing competitors’ introductory offers and ongoing account details is key here as well. If they really think they’re about to lose your business, they may be more willing to make changes.