How to Outsmart Skyrocketing Interest Rates

By ccflyers on January 28, 2008

This year, according to financial forecasts, is going to be a rough one. Some of credit card interest rates can jump to 30% or even higher. Even if you are a good credit owner you cannot be 100% safe from possible interest rate soar. Even your most beneficial cash back credit card will not make it up for the losses you might incur. Unfortunately, you will not be able to prevent this from happening, but if the financial experts’ predictions turn out to be true, you, at least, will be in the know.

Having learned about this, I did some simple math, and the total amount of money I would owe my creditors nearly made my eyes pop out of my head. So, I have looked through several financial articles on this issue and made some sort of a summary in order to warn you against possible money problems.

Here is a couple of tips that I am going to try out myself if that promised rise happens.

Get to the Bottom

Even having a good credit rating you can get an interest surge up to 30% if you are one day late with your monthly credit card payment.
In case you bounce your check, miss your payment, or go over your credit limit, your bank can accrue a default fee, which is about 32.24%, to your card deal. Not to pull a blooper you are to get the low-down on your due dates, the length of your promotional period, APR, and all other features.
Remember, your due date is a dead line that you should bear in mind. In order to protect yourself from any frictions with your credit card company, you should carefully read your card deal’s terms and conditions from the first word up to the last. Pay special attention to the information given in the fine print.

Learn to Understand the Lingo

And once again let’s clear up what an APR is. It is your annual percentage rate. If you carry a balance on your credit card a bank charges you this interest. The rate is attached to your outstanding credit card balance every month.
Now that the Fed has been trying to apply interest-cutting policy, the APR on credit cards with variable interest rate is decreasing. According to the last minute information, the average interest rate has gone below 14% this week.
But be prepared to the events of 2000. Back then credit card companies set the lower possible limit of interest rate. So, we can face that situation again. “No lower than” is the word combination you are to look for. Probably, you will find it in the mid-year already.

Make a Move

First, you need to contact your credit card company and ask them whether it is possible to change your interest rate back to the original one. If you have established a reputation of a responsible and diligent credit card holder, the company will consider you request and might make such a concession.

If you get rejected, offer them to change your rate back on condition that you make on time payments for the following 6 months.

Another action you can take is a rate freeze. Ask your creditor to freeze your interest rate while you pay off your balance below the default fee rate. Not all credit cards will let you do that, but if you succeed, you will secure yourself from further interest rate rise. However, in this case you will most probably be unable to use your card for purchases.
And of course, if you will not manage to do anything about your skyrocketing interest rate you can always get a new credit card. A low interest credit card, for instance.
And before applying for a new plastic you can do some online forum-surfing in order to find out what people say about this or that card. This information will be much more helpful, as personal experience is more valuable than ads.

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3 Responses to “How to Outsmart Skyrocketing Interest Rates”

  1. Ann Smith said:

    I don’t like the situation on the credit market because I don’t know what to be ready for. Fortunately, I have only 1 credit card and I can manage my debt without any problems.

  2. evvy said:

    I know that you can call your credit card company and ask for a lower APR if you have had a credit card for at least one year, are not maxed out or close to your credit limit, and make your payments on time. Otherwise, asking for APR reduction is just like asking your boss to raise your salary because you are a nice person.

  3. PaulRoman said:

    Pay off your debt in full every month, that’s the secret. And then no APR rising will affect you!

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