How Can I Lower My Interest Rates or Eliminate or Consolidate My Credit Cards? – Anna

“Dear Steve,

I own a t-shirt printing/embroidery co. I used credit cards to expand because I couldn’t get the money I needed for cash flow. I was doing well and seem to be turning around but last year was difficult and I fell behind on a few payments & had late pays.

I am collecting things to sell also making my lists of “to do”. We are changing our biz. strategy for 09. But I feel like I am going in circles just paying interest and late fees. I would liquidate my company but I have a lease obligation that I can not get out of (3 more years) and I have a great client base and staff. I’ve been paying at least the minimum and a few hundred more on each card when possible. I have mistakenly paid the wrong card at the wrong time (I have 3 AMEX cards) making 1 a late pay. I now only use 1 card and I pay it off each month.

How can I lower my interest rates, and or eliminate or consolidate my credit cards, I am not behind but I’m paying high rates on a few cards.


Dear Anna,

Being a busy entrepreneur it is easy to mess up juggling the bills. It happens to a lot of people in the same position. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

I’m wondering if you could sell your company and let the new owner take over the lease obligation, with the consent of the leasing company of course? A thought you might want to explore with them. Ask them if they will consider transferring the lease if the new owner qualifies with the leasing company. I’ve seen it happen before.

Lowering your rates isn’t as easy today as it once was. In the past you could call up your credit card company and ask your current company to lower your rates, and they would. These days, in these uncertain economic times, the credit card companies appear to be doing more to turn customers away than want to retain them with lower rates. You can always call American Express and ask them if you are eligible for lower rates and see what they say. It won’t hurt.

Now depending on your credit report and credit score, you can still get some decent balance transfer deals. Click here for credit card deals and see what is currently available. I just took a quick look and there are some interesting offers that will allow you to transfer the balance at 0% and then charge you a low rate of interest moving forward.

Since your primary creditor is AMEX and they are usually the most difficult to deal with in a debt management program, I think you’re better of switching two of your cards over but keep the one AMEX that you’ve had the longest so the length of credit boosts your credit report.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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