CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just about everything is more expensive these days, even credit card payments. Most credit cards have what’s called a variable rate. That means that rate can change, and there’s a very good chance it has.
According to the Federal Reserve, the average credit card interest rate in 2017 was 12.8%. Now, that average rate sits at 19.07%. That rate hike means people are paying more money per month if they’re not paying their credit card’s full balance each cycle.
For example, a balance of $1,000 a month at the 2017 average rate of 12.8% would cost $128 in interest per month. That same $1,000 balance using today’s interest rate average of 19% is now costing $190 in interest a month. That’s a $62 difference.
The good news is according to the personal finance website The Penny Hoarder, there’s a simple way to get an interest rate lowered: Just ask.
Pick up the phone and call the credit card companies and simply ask for a lower rate. While there’s no guarantee to get the rate lowered, the Penny Hoarder said mentioning these four things during the call should help:
- On-time payments history
- Loyalty as a customer
- The cards on the market currently offering better interest rates. (Note: This requires research so be prepared to spend some time doing that)
- The other offers recently received, if applicable, from competing credit card companies
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