How do I Negotiate a Low Credit Card Interest Rate?

Be polite to customer-service representatives when asking for a lower interest rate on credit cards.

Be polite to customer-service representatives when asking for a lower interest rate on credit cards.

Paying off credit card balances, maintaining low balances and being responsible when using credit may get you a lower interest rate on credit cards. Interest rates are typically based on your credit report, which lists your credit history, current balances and ability to make regular monthly payments and your credit score. Contact credit card companies to lower the interest rate on credit cards. State your case by citing your current credit score and overall credit history.

Step 1

Obtain copies of your credit report and credit score from all three credit-reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). Knowing your credit score in advance helps when negotiating with credit card companies as those with credit scores above 750 typically receive lower interest rates than those with credit scores under 650. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for information about obtaining free credit reports.

Step 2

Research current credit card interest rates. Current rates for consumers are between 14 percent and 16 percent (as of November 2010). Use this information to ask for a realistic interest rate or to determine if the interest rate offered is on par with the average rates of consumers.

Step 3

Contact credit card companies. State your case by referencing your credit score, record for making payments on time and the average credit rates to those with credit scores similar to yours. Tell the customer-service representative that you are happy with your current service, but would like a lower interest rate for being a good customer.

Step 4

Ask to speak with a supervisor if the representative cannot honor your request. State your case again to the supervisor and stress that you do not want to switch credit card providers but that you are considering your options.

Step 5

Negotiate a lower interest rate if the customer-service representative or the supervisor agrees that you qualify for a lower rate. If the new rate seems high, ask for a lower rate. If you agree to the lower rate, ask for the rate adjustment in writing.

Tips

  • Always remain calm and respectful when talking to customer-service representatives and supervisors. If you are denied a lower interest rate, call the creditor back at another time to speak to a different representative.
  • If denied a lower interest rate, ask for the reasons for the denial in writing.

Warning

  • Credit card companies are not obligated to grant lower interest rates to any customers. While you may have a solid case for a lower interest rate, you may not necessarily be granted one.

About the Author

Based in the Washington metro area, Jessica Jones has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in business topics. Her fiction has also been featured in publications such as "The Jamaican Observer Sunday Literary Supplement" and at websites including HackWriters. Jones earned a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing from Lesley University.

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