24% APR Crushes Reader To Death

Timothy is getting raped with a 24% APR on his credit card and wants help getting it lowered. He writes:

I have a card with one bank (that I am trying my hardest to pay off ASAP) that is 24% APR. It is killing me. A week or two ago, you had an article about a woman who paid off all her credit card debt over the course of 20 months or so. Good for her and it was a good story. One thing about it had me wondering though. She said that she negotiated with her lenders to get lower interest rates on her cards. How do you suggest I do that?

Here’s what:

24%?! Good god man, get the heck out of there. You tell them to lower it or you’re transferring the balance to another card with a better rate and canceling the account. Find a better credit rate at billshrink or bankrate. You may even qualify for an 0% balance transfer.

Here’s what you say:

“I think I’ve been a good customer. I’d like to stay with you, but I really want you to lower the rate on my card. Can you help me?”

If they say no, ask to speak to a supervisor and say the same thing. If they still say no, plug in your research into the following statement:

“____ and ____ and ______ credit card companies are offering me rates of ____ and _____ and _____. Can you match them or do better? Otherwise, I think I might have to take my business there. I really want to pay off this debt, but it’s hard to get ahead with the interest rate you’re charging.”

Skeptical? CBS News approached 10 random shoppers in a mall and had them read the first script. 6 of them were able to get their rates lowered right on the spot.

(Photo: Getty)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.