I was raised by a very strong and financially organized woman. She taught me very early about the importance of good credit and paying your bills on time. I have student loans and the other typical things you may find even on the most responsible 20-something’s credit report, but I feel like I’ve done a good job of keeping my credit looking good.
This year one of my goals is to pay down my credit card debt. This can be hard when you have a high interest rate or annual fee. Yesterday I decided to call and see what my options are. Because you never know till you ask. I learned a long time ago just because you’re eligible for a better service doesn’t mean that a company will tell you. I’ve saved thousands of dollars by picking up the phone and just taking 15 minutes to see if I had options.
I’ve had my credit card for almost 8 years. This means I’ve been subjected to the same APR% as my 18-year-old self, who had no credit history.
APR or your annual percentage rate is the yearly interest rate. Basically, if you charge $100.00 and have a 15% interest rate, the interest rate charged on the $100.00 would be $15.00 if not paid in full by the due date.
[bctt tweet=”Are you paying too much interest on your #CreditCards? ” username=”Diadoll”]
It’s common knowledge that if you are a good customer (meaning you pay your bills on time and are in good standing), customer service representatives are trained to do whatever they need to do to keep your business.
I called and very politely said, “I’m getting my income tax back soon and am thinking about paying my credit card off and closing [the account]. I’m just not a fan of the annual fee and I feel like the interest rate is too high, but I wanted to call first and see if you could do anything.”
Notice how I said “soon” and “thinking about”…. this way they aren’t expecting me to do it today. Also in case they call your bluff and say they can’t do anything, you don’t feel obligated to pay and close your account (Which can hurt your credit).
She said the cookie cutter response I’d hoped for, “Well I appreciate you giving us a chance to keep your business, let me see what I can do.”
Within a minute she told me that I was eligible for a different program that permanently removed my annual fee, lowered my APR to 4% and signed me up for rewards I wasn’t previously getting!
These options were just sitting on my account, screaming “You’re eligible!”
If you are trying to save money or pay off debt, I strongly recommend calling the different service/account providers to see what you may be eligible for annually or every six months if possible. I use this technique on my credit cards, cable, internet and phone. So stop over spending and start saving!
Do it for love,
Edited by M.L. Scarbrough