Stay calm, be courteous and consistent in your quest for a lower APR.Monday Mar 29, 2010
So, you applied for that student credit card? That’s great. You need to get one sometime so you can establish your credit, i.e. credit history. But, now that the new credit card legislation has passed to protect consumers, what can you expect? Well, I don’t know everything you can expect, but I do know one thing you should look out for, your APR. Some companies, if not all of them, will be raising your APR. You need to pay attention to it closely. I like to refer to it as ‘scrubbing your credit.’
What do I mean by this? Well, you need to look at all of your accounts and check on the APR over time. Has it risen? Have some risen and not others? Is there is a disparaging difference between what you are paying between different accounts, all is not lost. You can negotiate a better rate. Many people do not realize that they can call their credit card company and do this.
There are some things you need to consider before you do call, however. Number one, have you been on time with your payments in the past? Payments that are on time will only reflect better on your argument for a lower rate. Number two, when you negotiate, and if you are offered a lower APR rate, don’t accept the first offer. More often than not, the first offer that you are given from the customer service rep will be a ‘promotional’ rate. This means that many people are given the same rate, but that rate will raise again in the future and you’re right back where you started.
Number three, do not lose your temper. Losing your cool will be counterproductive and you will not achieve your end goal. Number four, if you keep steady in your cool, and reiterate the fact that you are a good customer with a great payment history, you are an ideal candidate for a lower APR. Eventually, you can ask for a manager. Be courteous and eventually, you will be able to get a ‘contract’ rate, one that isn’t ‘promotional’ and won’t fluctuate, that is lower and better for you.
In the end, stay calm, be courteous and consistent in your quest for a lower APR. You may be surprised with the results.
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