Credit cards are nothing new to American consumers. Everywhere you look, Americans are constantly being asked to apply for a new credit card! Now, you probably know what the selling point is with most cars, THE INTEREST RATE! This is because the interest rate or APR on your credit card delegates how much money you will have to pay back over the life of the loan. A lower interest rate means that you are going to pay less back! Due to this commonly known fact, I am asked the same question tmtg checks time and time again, “How do I get lower interest rates on my credit card?” Unfortunately there is not a vague one size fits all answer to this question. The answer really depends on a few key factors. First off, how good is your credit? Also, how many late payments did you make over the last year? Have you experienced a financial hardship? What is your debt to income ratio? Can you even afford your credit card payments?
People in all walks of life want a lower interest rate however, it is hard for me to give one piece of advise and have it fit everybody’s financial situation to the tee! It just doesn’t work that way. What I can do however is give you a few different ways to reduce your credit card interest rates and allow you to pick which one will best fit your unique financial situation!
When I am asked how one of my clients can reduce their credit card interest rate, one of the first questions I’m going to ask is “How good is your credit?” The better your credit score is, the more options you have to reduce your credit card interest rate. If you have good or excellent credit, one of the best ways you can reduce your interest rate is by getting a balance transfer credit card. Balance transfer credit cards are ones that allow you to use one credit card account to completely pay off the other.
Lets say you are something like a great majority of American consumers and your credit isn’t all that great. This is completely understandable, if you don’t have excellent credit, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to deal with a horrible interest rate. There are ways to get a lower interest rate other than using balance transfer credit cards. These include do it yourself interest negotiations, financial hardship programs, debt consolidation, debt settlement, and much more! I’m going to explain to you how to use balance transfer credit cards, negotiate credit card interest rates, apply for a financial hardship, and decide if debt consolidation or settlement is your best option.
OK, so you have pretty good credit and you seem to make all your payments on time. You’ve never went over your credit limit and you don’t see why your interest rate is so high. You’re starting to get frustrated with the amount of money you are spending in interest and finance charges so you do a little research. You’ve heard a thing or two about balance transfer credit cards but you don’t know exactly how they work or what is the first thing you need to do to get started. That’s OK here is everything you need to know.
First off, when looking for a balance transfer credit card, it is important to remember a few crucial steps to keep your financial information safe. When filling out an application, make sure that the application page is a secure web page. As far as most credit card websites are considered, the whole website won’t be secure because there is no need for it to be. However, never fill out the application if the application page is not secure. This may put your personal information in jeopardy. It is very easy to tell if a web page is secure or not. When you get to the application page, take a look at the address bar at the top of your browser. If the web address starts with http://, this page is not a secure page. However, if the application pages url starts with https:// this is a secure page and your information is safe.
The next thing you want to look at is the introductory interest rate that the credit card offers. Due to huge competition in the credit card industry, most balance transfer credit cards offer you a 0% introductory period for balance transfers that lasts anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Make sure that the balance transfer credit card you decide to use has a 0% introductory APR as well. If not, I’m sure you can find a better offer.
Also, make sure you understand how much money the transfer fee will be. Yes I said transfer fee! Banks don’t do anything for free anymore. In most cases the fee to transfer a balance will be anywhere between 3% and 5% of the amount of the overall transfer. It is important to be aware of this fee but not to let it scare you off. Even though there is a fee for the transfer, if you are receiving a 0% APR for 12 months, you can consider this fee as the interest rate on the account for that first 12 months. In most cases, it will still be less than your current interest rate.