Living Down Bad Credit History
This guy thought that he could get a lower interest rate on his credit cards because he’d become somewhat financially “respectable”
But, I reasoned, I make good money now. I have a mortgage. They will have to respect me. Just to be on the safe side, I applied for a credit card with 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months, and 7.9% thereafter. I only have a couple thousand to pay off, but still, the APR makes a difference to me. And besides, I’d never missed a payment, never been late, and long ago stopped adding to my credit debt. So, they’d be sure to oblige this time, right?
Nope. I was informed that “There isn’t another interest rate that we can apply to your card” as though 1 and 7 were the only numbers on her keypad, and bygummit, they could only be entered in that exact order. I asked to speak to a manager, and an equally unmovable person got on the line to inform me that there was no way in which my rate could be lowered.
It’s really hard to erase old credit history, though.
How can you lower your interest rate on your credit card?
The bank representative doesn’t want to waste time any more than you do. So be upfront with your request a lower APR and the reason you should be given one. Tell the credit card company representative that you got a competing offer for a lower rate, for instance. The person at the other end of the line has to fill in a blank on their computer screen that explains why they gave you a break.
You need confidence going in!
Here’s a catchy “script” to use on the bankers…
You: Hello, my name is , here’s my account  number.
Clickity clank typing.
Credit Card Agent: How can I help you?
You: I’ve been a good customer over the years. I just got an offer for a new credit card with a rate of 6%. I’d like to stay with you, but I’m paying 19% on my balance. Since I’ve consistently paid the minimum balance I’d like you to lower the interest rate on my credit card.
More clickity clank typing. Yeah, the agent is looking over your payment history. Stay strong.
Credit Card Agent: I’m sorry. This is the best we can do with this rewards credit card. You’re getting our best rate.
You: Please put me through to your supervisor.
Enter annoying elevator music. La, la, blah, blah.
Supervisor: How can I help you?
Repeat the previous script. Be polite. You may not get your uber-low ask, but you could score a rate far lower than your previous number. It’s likely the supervisor will counter with a better rate. If so, take it.
It may take far more repetition…
Then we have the con artists…
Rachel is part of a scam to steal your money. Her recorded voice offers to lower your credit card interest rates – but later in the call, customers are asked for an up-front payment. Countless consumers have been affected by this scam. Jill from Cobden, IL says:
“I work at home. Robocalls interrupt my work with my students. I need to be able to receive calls from students so it is not as simple as leaving the phone off the hook. I would like Rachel at Card Services to never call me again. I pay no interest, she cannot lower my interest, please make her stop. . . . Maybe Rachel or Ann would like to try getting the student with a particularly short attention span back on task after the lesson has been needlessly interrupted.”
This never is surprising.
People in search of debt settlement or credit relief can be easily conned by these phone criminals.
The authorities are trying to stop this nonsense.
The feds have been cracking down. In 2012, the FTC got restraining orders against five alleged scammers, and last summer it settled with the defendants, banning them from making robo-calls and seizing assets from one.
Technology can help, too. A free service called Nomorobo (www.nomorobo.com) analyzes calls in real time, shunting actual calls to your line while consigning robo-calls to oblivion. Bandy said the FTC is working with phone industry experts to improve anti-spoofing measures. (I’m amazed at the chutzpah of some of these charlatans. In December, a scammer was making calls that appeared to come from the Maryland attorney general’s own office .)
But there will always be sleazebags!