To kick off our “Save $100 in 10 Minutes” section, here is a 10-minute tip that could actually save you hundreds of dollars over the year.
Your Credit Card
Like everyone, I’ve got credit cards and sometimes run my bill higher than I’d like (even as a money blogger!). That’s a normal part of your financial life. Spending is easy – especially with credit.
To keep your spending and credit card habits in check, there are a ton of budgeting tips and financial techniques, but have you thought about simply paying less interest on the money that’s riding on your credit card? It seems like a crazy concept – or one the banks would hate – but in reality, with some simple steps and a phone call, you can cut your payments down with relative ease.
Take Me For Example
Credit card companies have 24/7 phone support from representatives who have access to your accounts – and your rates and available cash. Think of them as people working for you and not Visa/Mastercard.
I was getting a pretty standard 19.97% interest charge on my Visa card – it’s the same rate as when I signed up three years ago. After hearing about some other friends’ success stories, I decided to try and get my rate lowered.
I spent about 2 minutes looking over my previous bills and statements, realizing that I had paid most of my bills on time – especially over the last three months.
I picked up the phone and made a quick call to Visa, explaining that I have been a long time customer – one that is getting much more financially responsible (“Just look at the last three months”). I asked if they could do anything about lowering my rate – especially because I have seen lower cards advertised at other banks.
After sitting on hold for five more minutes, the representative came back on the line and offered to drop me down to 18.95%. This is great news!
The ~1% change could really help out. In the future, if I accidentally miss a payment, or need to carry over a balance, that’s a significant difference.
Any adjustment made to your credit card interest rate enables you to pay less on the credit you use – leaving you with more cash to pay off debt, or have a little fun for yourself.
If they decline, you can always try again after more positive payments. That five-minute phone call could translate into big financial moves over time.