Lowering credit card interest rate

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pete01
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Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby pete01 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:56 pm

Hello

I am having trouble (I'm sure this is a common frustration) with an extremely high interest rate on my AmEx card. I've had it for several years now, and although my intentions were good to keep a zero balance, it's been building more and more.

I'm at a point now, where I can barely afford the finance charges and am looking for opportunities to lower the rate. I've tried calling to have it lowered (apparently I'm at the highest rate possible), but they said they were unable to help and to call back in 2 months. I'm sure if I am able to lower it, it will be negligible.

I've heard about consolidating debt, is that an option for me here? Perhaps it would be ideal to transfer the AmEx debt to a couple of other cards? Do I have any other options?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

k11
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby k11 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:25 pm

Can you share the rate.

CC companies sometimes cannot lower beyond a certain point, unless under the hardship program, where they will close your cards and put you on payment plan.

I work for one of CC companies, (ofcourse not Amex) we have reduced rates for many.

If you are at 20+% then there might be some hope.

But lets say if you are at 12.99% then they cannot reduce it.

pete01
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby pete01 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:50 am

The APR on my account is 27.24%

DoingHomework
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby DoingHomework » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:05 am

Pete, I think you need to aggressively pay that debt down. That rate is so high that it is clearly a punitive rate you earned by making late payments or otherwise not using your credit responsibly. That's not a judgment, just an observation. AMEX thinks there is a high chance you will default so they want to collect as much from you as possible until that time. They will not lower the rate until you have a solid record of on-time payment and low utilization with all your creditors. In other words, a good credit score. It would be quicker just to pay off the AMEX.

How do you do that? Read some of the debt repayment posts on this forum. There are plenty of people on here who have impressively paid off huge debts in a relatively short time. It requires commitment and cutting back on your living expenses while paying everything you save toward your debt.

Perhaps if you post some information about your income and expenses we can help you come up with a plan.

Good luck.

k11
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby k11 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:32 am

The interest rate is crazy high. Were you late 2+ months?
Amex is probably the worst card to carry the debt.

Try to move your debt to other cards.

Also try debt consolidation loans, look at Lending Club and Prosper.
Check up your local credit unions too.

pete01
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby pete01 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:28 pm

I wasn't late two months, although it would seem that way. Apparently they can raise the rate even if you've been a cardholder for years, never missed a payment, and are late by a day.

What are the implications of consolidating debt? Does it affect your credit score to move around debt like this?

I think the best advice really is to pay the debt off, but it's a difficult task! I'll read through the debt repayment posts and see if I can come up with my own plan. Thanks for all the feedback.

LeRainDrop
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby LeRainDrop » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:16 pm

I actually just found out that credit companies can raise your interest rate just because they want to -- Yesterday I received a notice from the company backing the Pottery Barn credit card that my new interest rate will be 22.80% beginning next month, up from the original 19.00%. This despite never having been late on any credit payment ever (except two about nine years ago on a different card when my Dad didn't pay his portion on time) and having "excellent" high 700s credit! Perhaps it's because I opened the card two years ago for the benefits when I was buying a fair amount of things, but have barely used it since.

k11
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby k11 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:43 am

Store cards are generally the worst. High interest rates and low lines.
They also affect your overall credit profile. Try to avoid using them.

Go for mainstream cash-back cards.

k11
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Re: Lowering credit card interest rate

Postby k11 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:46 am

pete01 wrote:I wasn't late two months, although it would seem that way. Apparently they can raise the rate even if you've been a cardholder for years, never missed a payment, and are late by a day.

What are the implications of consolidating debt? Does it affect your credit score to move around debt like this?

I think the best advice really is to pay the debt off, but it's a difficult task! I'll read through the debt repayment posts and see if I can come up with my own plan. Thanks for all the feedback.


Debt consolidation can affect negatively sometimes. If the lender (card issuer) does not report the account as paid in full, you might have a big impact.

Have you looked at personal loans. Lending Club and Prosper are really good.

You do not get an inquiry (soft pull) for rate check and the funding is fast.

I liked Lending Club.


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