I’m 49 and married.
Credit card is with Capitol One and I’ve had it for at least 6 years.
No late payments.
I don’t remember what my interest rate used to be, I think around 18%, but they raised it a couple of years ago to 24%!
A few months ago my limit was raised from $3000 to $6000, and I stupidly used it for stupid things and the balance it now $5119.00.
Every month I try to pay $400 to $500 split up one mid-month and one at the end of the month.
I have called to ask them to lower my interest rate and was told by an annoyingly condesending young man that my account didn’t “qualify” for a lower interest rate. I asked why my account didn’t qualify, after being a good customer for so many years? He couldn’t tell me. He just said that I should make 2 separate payments each month.
My husband thinks my balance is still around $3000.
I did call and ask them to lower it but the answer was no, with an attitude.
So my questions to you are:
Do they ever do that with just a phone call, or did I just happen to get to a world class jerk when I called?
Is customer loyalty ever acknowledged by these companies with, say, a lower APR?
Also, do you think I can do this on my own without the help of some sort of credit debt service?
Thank you, any advice you can give me is truly appreciated.
Your experience in requesting your interest rate be lowered is not uncommon. If you are paying on time there is generally no incentive for a bank to limit their profits voluntarily. It is not until you show some sign of financial distress that payment reduction plans are revealed to you as an option. This would generally mean falling behind with payments. This of course can damage your credit if 30 and 60 day pays are reported.
You may have reached a jerk. That happens. His ability to offer you some form of payment reduction through an interest rate reduction is more bank policy than his refusal. He could not offer anything to you if he wanted.
Do not expect loyalty to come into play with credit card issuers. The goal of the lender is to secure returns for its investors. You may reduce things to a personal level, but they generally do not.
A credit counseling company could possibly assist you in reducing the interest rate on the card and establish a payback period over 4 or more years. If you would like to discuss your situation with a counselor I would recommend you connect with an AACC member who offers debt management plans. There are currently 3 AACC members who do so.
Have you reviewed your budget in order to identify if you can make accelerated payments towards your debt(s) and pay them off aggressively while not making credit purchases? If not, this would help identify what you can do and will also prepare you for any consult you may pursue with a debt relief service provider.
If you do look at your budget, or speak with a credit counselor, please update me with what you learn in the comment section below.
Michael Bovee has worked with financially challenged consumers for the past 17 years and is a recognized expert in his field. Michael founded Consumer Recovery Network (CRN) in 2006. CRN offers debt settlement services and educational resources nationwide. He has served as its president since 2006.
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