I’m Making My Minimum Payments But It’s Getting Tough. – Barbara


“Dear Steve,

What can I say. With the ecomony the way it is it seems that prices for everything continues to rise but my paycheck doesn’t. I am grateful to have a job but the interest rates on my cards are making it extremely difficult to balance my family needs such as, groceries, car and just day to day life. I am not late on any of my cards nor have I defaulted on any loans. But each month it gets harder and harder to meet the minimum payments

I have contacted the credit card companies requesting a review to lower my interest rates but they tell me there is nothing they can do. What can I do next, to get them to lower the interest rates?

Thank you.


Dear Barbara,

What we have here is a situation that can easily tip out of balance. Creditors generally do not offer any sort of assistance until you demonstrate you are behind on your payments.

If you are not behind and struggling to make just the minimum payments, it is unlikely that an intervention like a credit counseling program is going to provide much relief. While it may reduce the interest rates on the cards, it will not lower the monthly payments very much. I know, it sounds ironic but that’s the way it is.

If you have not taken a look at your income and outgo, this would be a good time to do that. You can find the process to develop a spending plan for you beginning on page 81 of my free e-book “Eliminate Your Debt Like a Pro.”

If you can review your financial obligations and find a way to reduce your costs, this may give you some breathing room. And in combination with enrollment in a credit counseling or debt management program, that might be all that you need to do to pull back from the cliff.

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There is nothing you can say or do to force your creditors to reduce your rates if they don’t want to. Think about it like this, your financial situation is on fire, the creditors are pouring gas on the fire by not lowering your rates. Logic would tell everyone that pouring gas on the fire is a bad thing. But the creditor won’t stop pouring the gas on your fire unless someone up the corporate food chain creates a corporate policy to stop doing it. And if the creditor is making a profit from pouring on the gas, they won’t pour less, they’ll pour more. The key goal here, from the creditor point of view, is not to put out the first, it is to maximize the immediate profit.


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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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