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How to Reduce Your Credit Card Debt

February 9th, 2009 posted by · 5 Comments

We all know credit card debt sucks! If you’re fortunate enough to pay off your bill every month, then you’re in the minority, because most credit card holders only pay the minimum balance, or slightly more each month. The average rate of interest on a credit card is 19.75%. Ouch!

If you aren’t making enough money to slap down a good chunk on your credit card each month, here’s a little advice to take some of the pain away when incurring those high interest charges.

Did you know you can ask for a lower interest rate? Yep. You can just ask your credit card company to lower it for you.

Recently I called my two credit card companies (Visa and MasterCard) to ask for a lower rate. I’ve held both cards since 2004, so I have a bit of seniority with each one. I recorded each call I made and you can read the transcript below as a guideline for when you call to get your rate lowered.

This is the transcript from when I called Visa, and it’s almost the exact same as when I called MasterCard.

Visa: Thank you for calling Visa Canada. My name is Julie, how can I help you today?
Chris: Hi, Julie. My name is Chris Jacobson. I’ve been a card holder of yours since 2004.
Visa: Hi, Chris! How can we be of assistance to you today?
Chris: I’m calling to inquire about lowering my interest rate on my Visa Classic card.
Visa: Let me take a look. Can you verify your home address for me please, Chris?
Chris: XXXXXXXXXXXX
Visa: Thank you. Just one moment, please.
(1 minute, 34 seconds on hold)
Visa: Hi, Chris. I also want to inform you that this call may be monitored and/or recorded.
Chris: Okay.
Visa: Thank you. We see the current interest rate on this card is 18.5%. We’re prepared to offer you 13%.
Chris: Oh, you know my MasterCard gives me 11%. (It’s actually 19%, I hadn’t called MasterCard yet. hehe)
Visa: 11%? One moment, Chris.
Visa: Okay, we can match your 11% rate. Is this acceptable?
Chris: Yes, that’s fine.
Visa: Alright, just give me one more moment, please.
(30 seconds on hold)
Visa: Okay, thank you for your patience. I’ve lowered your annual rate of interest to 11% effective immediately, sir. The new rate will be reflective on your next statement, following the end of this month.
Chris: Great!
Visa: Is there anything else I can assist you with today, Mr. Jacobson?
Chris: No, that’s everything.
Visa: Thank you for calling Visa Canada.

See how simple that was! You just saved myself a few bucks a month — given you only pay the minimum balance. Many people don’t know you can do this, or are too lazy to do it.

If you’re swimming in debt and want a little assistance, even if it saves you a few dollars a month, give your credit card company a call.



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5 Comments so far
  1. Janrafi - Earn Money Online MyAvatars 0.2

    LOL i chuckled there. You had to give a white lie just so they can lower it to 11%. I wonder if you can get it at less than 10% if you mentioned something like that.

  2. Chris Jacobson MyAvatars 0.2

    I’ve heard they can’t go lower than 11%, but maybe you can try 10% and see what they say. 🙂

  3. Germz MyAvatars 0.2

    I’m 15, I have no debt!

  4. Chris Jacobson MyAvatars 0.2

    Wait three more years when you can get a credit card. :p

  5. Mitch MyAvatars 0.2

    I learned many years ago that you can call credit card companies to ask for lower rates, and if you have a pretty good payment history they’ll give it to you. The only thing they can say is no, and if they do then they have to send you a letter telling you that, and you get to request a free credit report. So, you can’t lose by trying.