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How to Cut Down Your Credit Card APR

by Genevieve Adams
  • Overview

    Cutting down the APR on your credit card can lower your required monthly payments and save you money over the life of your card balance. This is helpful especially if you are on a budget or are having trouble making your credit card payments. Lowering your credit card APR can be accomplished in one of two ways; requesting a reduction in your interest rate from your credit card company, or transferring the balance on your card to a new account with a lower rate.
  • Requesting a Lower APR

 
  • Step 1

    Call your credit card company using the customer service number printed on the back of your card.
  • Step 2

    Navigate the phone menu until you reach a person. Many credit card company phone lines will transfer you to a person if you say "representative," or dial "0."
  • Step 3

    Explain your situation to the customer service representative, making sure to explain any financial hardships you currently have. Financial website BankRate.com recommends asking specifically for a hardship plan that might include a lower rate. Simply asking for a lower rate and threatening to close your account could cause the credit card company to pull your credit report, which might result in adverse changes to your account.
  • Step 4

    Listen to the representative, and negotiate your rate respectfully with them until you are satisfied. Getting angry or threatening will only dissuade the employee from helping you.
  • Balance Transfers

    • Step 1

      In the event that your credit card company will not lower your rate, search for a credit card with an APR lower than the one on your current card. Credit card offers can be found in abundance online or through offers mailed directly to you.
    • Step 2

      Compare the features of different cards, including interest rates, fees, balance transfer offers and rewards programs. Look specifically for cards with 0% APR balance transfer rates and low, fixed interest rates. Pay attention to the amount of any fees for completing a balance transfer. Select a card that will best meet your needs.
    • Step 3

      Contact the credit card company offering your chosen card, and apply with them in person, over the phone or on the Internet.
    • Step 4

      During the application, mention that you wish to complete a balance transfer from another credit card. Tell your new credit card company the number from your old card and the financial institution that issued it, as this will allow them to pay off your debt.
    • Step 5

      Monitor your old credit card until you see that the payment has been made. Then contact your old credit card company and request that the card be closed out.
    • Step 6

      Make payments to your new credit card as you normally would.
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    References & Resources