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If Bankruptcy Is Not an Option – Negotiate Your Interest Rates

Americans are up to their ears in high-interest credit card debt, but, if bankruptcy is not an option, there is a way to decrease your monthly burden.

But before you start your journey – here is a sample of some recent surveys:

Experian: The typical American has a credit card balance of $6,375.00, up nearly 3 percent from last year.

Federal Reserve: Total credit card debt has reached its highest point ever, surpassing $1 trillion in 2017

Bankrate: Credit card interest rates are at a record high, at an average of 17 percent.

WalletHub: With the Federal Reserve’s latest quarter-point interest-rate hike, credit card users will pay roughly $1.6 billion in extra finance charges in 2018. Most credit cards have a variable rate, which means there’s a direct connection to the Fed’s benchmark rate, and as interest rates increase, card holders will continue to get squeezed.

But as balances and rates rise, one method has proved extremely effective in getting cut some slack.

If you ask your credit card issuer to drop an annual fee, waive late charges or reduce your interest rate, your credit card company is highly likely to say work with you, according to a recent survey from CreditCards.com.

The success rate, while good across the board, varied based on the type of request cardholders made:

85 percent who asked received a higher credit limit.
84 percent had a late-payment fee waived.
70 percent got their annual fee dropped or reduced.
56 percent received a lower interest rate.

Despite a high chance of success overall, only a small number of cardholders are making each type of request, mostly because they aren’t aware it’s an option.

Some preparation for your credit card negotiations will also help. Collect a few competitive card offers to use as leverage and stressing your own positive credit history and on-time payments. Then seriously consider switching cards if you can do better elsewhere. Most importantly – if you don’t ask, you will not get any relief…Good Luck.

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