You can ask for a reduced APR, but be prepared to negotiate.
- The annual percentage rate (APR) is your credit card interest rate, expressed as an annual rate.
- Some credit card issuers allow you to claim APR discounts.
- There’s no guarantee an issuer will approve your APR reduction request, but you can take steps to improve your odds.
If you’re like the majority of American adults, you have month-to-month credit card debt. Paying off card balances can take time, especially if your card has a high annual percentage rate, or APR. Fortunately, you can often request an interest rate reduction from your credit card company, but this may require some upfront work to improve your chances of success.
What is the APR and can I request a discount?
Some credit card companies allow you to call and ask for an interest rate reduction. The annual percentage rate of charge is the interest rate of your card expressed as an annual rate. This is the total cost you pay annually to borrow money. Your credit card’s APR is listed near the end of your monthly billing statement or in your online credit card account. Your card may have multiple APRs for different charges such as purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
Unfortunately, not all issuers honor requests. There is also no guarantee of approval. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying, especially if your card carries a high interest rate. Paying off credit cards is often difficult, especially when the balance seems to increase each month with expensive interest charges.
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How to request an APR discount
Calling your credit card company and asking for a lower interest rate can seem overwhelming. While your sender likes to make money, they also like to keep their customers’ business. He may be willing to lower your APR, especially if you’ve worked hard to improve your credit or are considering moving your business elsewhere if he doesn’t say yes.
Follow the steps below to request a lower APR from your credit card company.
There’s some important pre-work you need to do before you pick up the phone. Before you call, gather the following information:
- Your current interest rate
- Your credit score
- Your credit card balance
Research similar credit cards and compare available interest rates. If you find better deals than your current card, let your card company know when you call. Stick to the cards you qualify for based on your credit score. If you have fair credit, there’s no point in mentioning card offers that require excellent credit.
Ask for a price reduction
With your numbers in hand, it’s time to call your credit card issuer. Call the number on the back of your credit card and ask for a rate reduction. Explain your situation, including any positives such as an on-time payment history, being a loyal customer, or having an improved credit rating. Be prepared to negotiate, but be polite throughout your exchange.
You can also mention other cards with lower interest rates or 0% APR introductory offers that you can transfer your balance to if needed.
In case of refusal, find out how to benefit from a lower interest rate
If the customer service representative denies your request, ask what you can do to improve your chances or receive a reduced APR. You may just need to establish a longer history of on-time payments or improve your credit score to qualify.
Continue to make requests
Keep improving your situation and try again in a few weeks or months. There is no downside to making multiple attempts other than an additional time commitment.
Even if you’re approved for a lower rate, there’s no rule that says you can’t apply again. Continue to pay your monthly statement on time and in full. Monitor your credit score over the next six months to see if it improves. Then call your credit card company again and ask for another rate reduction.
Tips for requesting a rate reduction
Although there is no guarantee that your issuer will approve your application, there are steps you can take now that could improve your credit and your chances of success. These tips can also help if you’ve already been denied a rate reduction and you plan to try again.
- Pay your bills on time. On-time payments contribute to your credit score more than any other factor. Become known for a long history of timely and complete payments.
- Keep your balances low. Credit utilization, or the amount of available credit you use, makes up 30% of your FICO credit score calculation. Reducing your overall credit utilization rate can help improve your credit score.
- Check your credit reports. Review your credit reports, looking for errors or omissions that could negatively affect your credit history. If you find any errors, file a dispute with the credit reporting agency.
Other ways to lower your credit card interest rate
Asking for a rate reduction isn’t the only way to get a lower rate on your credit card. Consider the following alternatives if you want access to lower interest rates.
Low interest credit card
You may qualify for a credit card with a lower interest rate, especially if your credit score has improved. Low-interest credit cards won’t necessarily help you pay off current card debt, but could reduce fees on future purchases.
Balance transfer credit card
Balance transfer credit cards are a great way to pay off debt while saving on interest. You can apply for a balance transfer credit card with a 0% APR introductory offer. Make sure you can pay the balance before the end of the promotional period. Consider balance transfer fees to determine if it’s worth transferring.
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