As the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, your credit card’s APR is likely to increase as well. If you pay your balance on time and in full each month, an APR increase may not mean much to you. However, if you’re already carrying credit card debt, the rate hike means your debt is getting more expensive.
If you’re unhappy with the terms of your current credit card, you might think you’re stuck with the status quo. But credit card companies are often willing to negotiate certain terms, especially if you’re a good customer or if you have special financial circumstances.
Here are five things to negotiate with your credit card company.
1. Annual Percentage Rate: If you have a solid credit score, you can call to request a lower rate. You’ll want to describe your good payment history and have a few offers from competing credit card companies on hand to show your serious about taking your balance elsewhere.
2. Payment Due Date: Your monthly payment date is typically based on the date you opened your credit card. Many credit card companies will change the date to better fit your schedule.
3. Late Fees: If you missed a payment date by a day or two, your credit card company may have automatically charged you a late fee. If you have a long history of paying your bills on time, call and ask them to waive the fee. Most credit card companies will honor this request.
4. Credit Limit: If you have been a good customer you can ask to increase your credit limit. You can use a higher credit card limit to improve your credit score. The key here is to not increase your spending so you improve your credit utilization rate and increase your credit score.
5. Repayment Terms: If you’re having trouble affording your monthly payments your credit card company might be willing to help you figure out a debt repayment plan or lump sum settlement.
Negotiating with your credit card company shouldn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes and doesn’t require any advanced negotiating skills. It is simply about assessing your situation and figuring out what steps you should take to improve it.
If you have any questions about your credit card APR or think debt settlement is the best option for you, call me at (800) 822-7120.