Lowering credit rate, debt and stress: 6 tips for negotiating card rates

Published: Monday, Dec. 3 2012 11:55 a.m. MST

Credit scores can be lowered by calling and talking to the company. Even though lowering a credit score isn't always possible, there are tips to use when calling to negotiate.

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For those deep in debt, trying to negotiate a lower credit card rate can save a lot of money and there are ways to get a lower rate, according to an article by Bible Money Matters.

"One thing that I’ve learned over the past few years is that it never hurts to ask a company to help you out," Peter Anderson, a financial writer for Bible Money Matters, said in the article. "Whether it’s asking your bank to remove an overdraft charge, your TV provider to remove a fee increase or negotiating a lower amount on your medical bills, it never hurts to ask."

Even though lowering a credit rate isn't always possible, Anderson offers six tips on things to do when calling to negotiate:

Competitive cards

Research the best credit card offers with lower rates than your current card and 0-percent introductory rates. Use them as starting points and tools to help lower your original rate.

Talk to the supervisor

It's not necessary to talk to the supervisor, but make sure the rep you're speaking with has the authority to lower your rate. If not, ask to talk to a supervisor.

Manners

Be polite and courteous. "As the old saying goes, you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I’ve always found that I have better success getting what I want when I can be nice and get the rep on my side, instead of being threatening and angry," Anderson said.

History

Point out the number of years you have been a good customer and that you want to continue being a customer. Show a good payment and credit history if you have one.

Match offers

Whether it's offers from other companies or the same company, ask the company you're with to match them. Ask what to do to qualify for a lower rate.

Hardship or workout programs

Ask the company what hardship or workout programs they have available and if you can qualify. Sometimes this requires closing the credit card and converting debts to an installment loan, but the rate reduction can make it worth it.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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