Pros Of Personal Loans
- Lower interest rates: Personal loan rates are usually lower compared to credit cards. This could save you money on interest charges and even help you pay off your loan faster.
- Fixed monthly payments: Personal loans generally have fixed interest rates, which means your monthly payments will stay the same throughout the life of the loan.
- Options for poor or fair credit: While many personal loan lenders require good to excellent credit, there are others that offer personal loans for bad credit.
How To Lower Credit Card Interest Rates: 4 Options
There are a few possible ways to pay less interest on your credit card, such as asking your card issuer for a lower rate or consolidating your debt with a personal loan.
Edited byAshley HarrisonUpdated October 1, 2021
Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”
A high-interest credit card can be a major burden on your finances. The average credit card interest rate was 14.75% as of February 2021, according to the Federal Reserve which could translate into steep interest charges if you only pay the minimum payment each month.
However, there are ways to potentially lower your credit card interest rate, which could help you save money while paying off your balance.
Heres how to lower credit card your interest rate:
How Apr Affects The Credit Card Bill
If you are unable to pay your credit card bills in full every month, it becomes even more important for you to choose the lowest APR possible.
The APR has a significant effect on how much money you need to shell out to cover the cost of your loan over the long term.
For example, you have a balance of $1,000 on your card and the minimum required payment is only $20.
It may look attractive on paper but the truth is you are actually paying more than you bargained for.
Consider a credit card with 15% APR.
If you make only the minimum payment every month, it will take as long as six years to pay off the entire debt.
In addition, you will need to pay an additional $546.18 to cover the cost of interest and other charges.
Your $1,000 debt ballooned to $1,546.18.
Just imagine what you have to pay if you use your credit card for a regular monthly charge of $1,000.
The scenario is worse for individuals with bad credit.
As you continue to be late on your payments, your credit rating worsens and your credit card APR increases.
And this does not even include the credit card fees, over limit fees, and late charges that will be charged on your bill.
You need to research on the most current APR by calling the customer service of the card youre interested in, checking the card companys website.
Ask a Question
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Dos And Donts Of Negotiating Credit Card Interest Rates
Lets take a look at the numbers. If you have $5,000 in credit card debt with a fixed interest rate of 18%, youll end up paying more than $2,900 in interest alone if you only submit the minimum payment each month.
Now, lets say your interest rate is reduced to 13%. In this same scenario, youd pay about $1,800 in interest, which is a difference of $1,100. Better yet, if you have an interest rate of 10%, youll end up paying a little more than $1,200, a difference of $1,700. Thats a significant savings for any household.
Whenever possible, we recommend paying more than the minimum monthly payment. Yet this example gives you an idea of how a few percentage points can impact your total debt amount. We cant guarantee every consumer will be able to lower their interest rates with a phone call, but its certainly worth a shot with thousands of dollars on the line.
In this part of the Take an Interest in Your Interest series, were offering valuable dos and donts for negotiating credit card interest rates.
What Are The Usual Ranges Of Credit Card Apr
Credit card companies will thoroughly review the credit report of anyone applying for one of their cards. Theyâll need to conduct a âhard inquiryâ into your credit and look for any potential red flags. Depending on your credit score, you could wind up with a dramatically different APR.
The reason for this is that credit cards are considered unsecured debt. Since you wonât be putting up anything as collateral, the credit card company is on the hook for any debt that you default on. A higher credit score would indicate that youâre less likely to default and leave the credit card company covering your debt.
Here is a rough estimate of the APR that you can get based on your credit score:
- 750-850 usually has an APR of 15.99% or lower with an average of 13.1%.
- 700-749 usually has an APR of 18.99% or lower with an average of 18.84%.
- 640-699 usually has an APR of 23.99% or lower with an average of 23.05%.
- 300-639 usually has an APR above 24% with an average of 28.56%.
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Have A Strategy Before You Call
When you’ve compiled your evidence and are ready to make your case, start calling your card issuers one by one, using the customer service number printed on your card. There’s no need to plan every word you’ll say, but it’s a good idea to have a general outline of what to say and do:
- Give the customer service rep a brief recap of your history with the company: how many years you’ve been a cardholder, how long you’ve been making monthly on-time payments, and so on. Tell them you’re seeking an interest rate reduction, and briefly state the reasons you think you deserve one .
- If the rep tells you they can’t change your interest rate, ask to speak to a supervisor who might have greater authority. Be polite but firm and persistent. Negotiating your interest rate is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
- If you’re told a rate cut isn’t possible, consider asking for a temporary reduction. This can be an especially effective and helpful tactic if you’re seeking relief from a financial setback.
- Consider telling the issuer you’ll cancel the card if they’re unwilling to work with youbut only if you’re prepared to follow through on that promise. Note that the account will need to be paid in full before you close it, so this approach may ring hollow if you have a high balance on the card. Also keep in mind that cancelling a card reduces your total borrowing limit and will increase your overall utilization if you have outstanding balances on any other cards.
Studies Show That Most Apr Reduction Requests Are Approved
If you dont ask, youll never know. This expression applies to everything from job raises to loan applications. It is also very relevant to ask your credit card company for a lower interest rate. A recent survey by Lending Tree found that seven out of ten credit cardholder requests to lower the account interest rates were granted.
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Cash Advance Fee Waivers
The least successful of all concession requests on the Lending Tree survey had to do with cash advance fees. Although up 8 percentage points this year over last year, still barely half of such requests were successful at just 53%.
The riskiest of any credit card transactions for the card company, cash advances dont provide these businesses with any leverage should the transaction go poorly or the cardholder fail to repay the cash loan. There is no merchant to work with to figure out how to minimize such possibilities in the future. Instead, the card company would just be out of luck when it comes to the cash they advanced the consumer.
Cash advances on your credit card will set you back not only with the typical 3% to 5% fee but also with the far-higher-than-normal interest rate. Most APRs for cash advances are nearly ten percentage points higher than those on standard purchases.
If your circumstances are such that you feel a cash advance is your best option, then, by all means, ask your credit card company for a waiver of the fee. It may only be $30 to $40 on a $500 advance, but in the end, it works out much better than a payday loan, a car title loan, or a pawn loan whose fees equate to APRs in the 100% to 500% range.
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Does asking for a lower interest rate affect my credit score?
Talk With The Company Supervisor
Transferring card balances from one card to another does not solve the whole credit problem.
You should do what you can to decrease your balance to the lowest possible level.
Pick up a phone and start dialing your credit card company.
Your call will be answered by a customer service representative who doesnt have the authority to give you a better deal.
Ask them to transfer the call to a supervisor.
You need to talk with someone who can lower your APR and waive the annual fee.
However, be prepared for the representatives objections because most are unwilling to transfer these types of calls to their higher-ups.
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Your Script For Seeking A Lower Apr
YOU: Hello. My name is ____, and Ive been a customer for years.
I feel Ive been a good customer over the years, and Id like to keep doing business with you, but my APR seems high and Id like to talk with someone about that. Is that something you have the authority to change?
CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: No.
YOU: In that case, could I please speak with a supervisor?
CSR: Just a moment.
YOU: Hi, my name is _____, and Im interested in talking with someone about lowering my interest rate. May I ask whom Im speaking with?
S: This is Jerry.
Lowering Your Apr Might Be Easier Than You Think
Many Americans are walking around with a balance on their credit card because of high interest rates, or annual percentage rate charges for unpaid balances. It’s best to pay off your balance in full but if you don’t or can’t, a higher APR makes your debit grow faster. What most people dont realize is this APR can be negotiated to a lower rate.
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Cons Of Balance Transfer Credit Cards
- Balance transfer fees: Most cards charge a balance transfer fee generally from 3% to 5% that could increase your balance.
- Higher interest rates: Credit cards generally have higher interest rates than personal loans. While you might be able to take advantage of a 0% APR introductory offer depending on the card carrying a balance beyond this period could lead to steep interest charges if you dont pay off the card by your due date each month.
- Might be tempting to rack up a balance: A balance transfer card is still a credit card. Even if you pay your initial balance off, it could be tempting to rack up a balance again.
Take Out A Personal Loan
Another option is taking out a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt a process known as debt consolidation. Personal loans often have lower credit card interest rates than credit cards, which means you could save money on interest charges while repaying your debt.
If youre struggling to get approved, consider applying with a cosigner. Not all lenders allow cosigners on personal loans, but some do. Even if you dont need a cosigner to qualify, having one could get you a lower interest rate than youd get on your own.
If you decide to take out a personal loan, its important to think about how much that loan will cost you. This way, you can be prepared for any added expenses. You can estimate how much youll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
Checking rates wont affect your credit score.
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Take An Inventory Of Your Financial Health And Credit Standing
Your best path forward will depend on your monthly income and budget, your , your total amount of debt and your lenders credit card policies.
If you havent done so already, check your credit score to gauge how lenders view your financial health. Your credit history is critical to determining what options are available to you. So dont move forward until you know where you stand.
Its also a good idea to pull a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. That way, you can check to make sure or unauthorized accounts arent dragging down your score.
Finally, look over your credit card statements and tally all of your balances. Then check the APRs for each open card. The debt on your highest rate card is the most dangerous to your budget, and so thats the card APR and balance you should ideally tackle first.
One: Convert Apr Into A Daily Rate
For most credit cards, the interest will start kicking in the day after the billing cycle grace period has ended. Youâll need to convert your APR from an annual rate into a daily one.
You can do this by dividing your APR by the number of days in the year . Letâs say you have an APR of 21%. That means that you would divide 21 by 365 to get 0.057%. This number is your daily percentage rate.
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American Express Interest Rates By Card:
To avoid paying interest on American Express cards, pay off the entire statement balance by the payment due date every month, or keep the account balance at $0 by not making any transactions on the card. American Express cannot charge interest on an account in either case.
If you have an American Express credit card with an introductory 0% APR on purchases, you can also avoid paying interest as long as you pay off the entire balance before the 0% rate expires. Several American Express cards, such as the read full answerBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, offer promotional 0% rates on purchases for a specified timeframe.
Next Step: Understand The Total Cost Of Borrowing
When considering a new loan or restructuring your current debts, remember to consider your borrowing costs. Extending the term of your loan may lower your monthly payment, but you may pay more in interest over the life of the loan, increasing your total payments.
Only one qualifying relationship discount may be applied per application. All loans are subject to qualification. To learn which checking accounts qualify, please consult a Wells Fargo banker.
Personal Loans: To qualify for a customer relationship discount, you must maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account and make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo deposit account. If automatic payments are not selected at account opening, or are canceled for any reason at any time after account opening, the interest rate and the corresponding monthly payment may increase.
Home Equity: To qualify for a customer relationship interest rate discount, you must maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo consumer checking account or mortgage relationship and make automatic payments from a qualified consumer deposit account.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.
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Consider A Balance Transfer Credit Card Instead
Balance transfer cards may provide you an alternative for getting a lower interest rate on your current credit card debt. This may allow you to consolidate your existing balances from multiple cards onto a single, new card.
Youll want to use a credit card with a 0% introductory annual percentage rate, or APR, offer for balance transfers to save money on your debt repayment. Here are some cards to consider.
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The Next Best Way To Reduce Credit Card Debt
The method described above is considered the best because its the most cost-effective overall. However, that doesnt mean its the best method in every financial situation. If you have large amounts of debt to eliminate with limited cash flow, the steps described above may not work. This is especially true if your biggest balances are on your highest APR credit cards. Its easy to get exhausted by a lack of progress, and you may stop altogether.
For example, lets say your biggest balance is $7,000 on a reward credit card at 22% APR. You only have $500 in extra cash you can put towards that debt. Even with fixed $500 payments, it would take 17 months to pay this debt off in-full. Its almost a year and a half before you clear off that first balance so, its not exactly easy to stay motivated.
However, lets say you have two credit cards that each have a $1,000 balance. If you put $500 to those, you could finish paying each off in three months . This would clear out two bills, giving you extra motivation and extra cash. Now, instead of $500, youd have $550 because you dont have to pay two $25 minimum payment charges.