When it comes to personal finance, there are some tried and true strategies that help you boost your financial health. Some of these strategies include things like building a budget, avoiding lifestyle inflation, and building an emergency fund. Somewhere in the middle of all this personal finance planning are credit cards.
Credit cards can prove a useful tool, but they come with the drawback of charging interest. Like most people, you likely wonder how you can get low credit card interest rates. Not sure how you can achieve that goal?
Keep reading for our credit card interest rates tips.
Boost Your Credit Score
One of the main bits of credit and interest rates advice is that you should boost your credit score. It’s not the only thing that credit card companies consider when deciding on the interest rate, but it plays a big role. If you can move your credit score up from fair to good or good to excellent, you should see a low credit card rate or at least lower ones on the offers you receive.
A few ways you can boost your score include:
- Paying your bills on time
- Paying down existing debt
- Limit the number of times you apply for credit
In terms of that last one, each application for credit means a hard inquiry. Hard inquiries lower your credit score and stay on your credit report for around two years.
Use Your Credit Card Sparingly
When it comes to the credit card vs. debit card decision, credit cards are a big temptation. You can put off that payment and pay it down over time, right? The problem is that those charges add up.
The more of your credit limit you use, the higher your credit utilization ratio. That makes it look like you can’t use credit responsibly. That, in turn, can make credit card companies increase the interest rate in your card offers.
Ask for a Lower Rate
Most people avoid calling their credit card company for any reason other than an emergency, like a stolen card. Yet, credit card companies maintain customer service lines for regular inquiries just like any other big business. You can call your credit card company and ask them to lower your rate.
Before you do that, though, make sure that you’ve had the card for a while. Also, make sure you’ve made prompt payments on your balance every month. The company may say no, but they may also say yes.
Getting Low Credit Card Interest Rates
Getting low credit card interest rates isn’t something most people can achieve overnight. If you get card offers with high interest rates, it probably means you made some financial mistakes along the way. You must take steps to repair that damage.
That typically means taking action to improve your credit score, like on-time bill payments and reducing your total debt. It also means keeping your credit utilization ratio low.
Looking for more personal finance tips? Check out the posts over in our Finance section.