Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A tip for the financially foolish

I am notoriously bad with money. Like "oops, my rent check bounced" bad. But, yesterday, I finally did something right. I called up my credit card company and told them that if they didn't lower my APR, I was going to do a balance transfer to a new card and close my account. In truth, it sounded much less assertive and more like this: "So, I was wondering about something. I noticed that my APR is really high, and I keep getting all of these credit card offers in the mail. I am considering about doing a balance transfer and closing this account. I thought I'd check with you first. Is there any way you could possibly lower my APR?"

BINGO! APR reduced from 18.99% (I told you it was high) to 9.99% - that's almost cutting it in half! It's going to save me like $300 a year in interest.

Yes, I do realize I should have done this years ago.

10 comments:

eileen said...

Do you know what word looks weird, even though I spelled it correctly?

"Assertive"

Liz said...

Deepa did that same thing after reading a book called "Women Just Don't Ask" about how women in general just assume they are being offerred the best deal available and are being treated fairly. Often its not the case and you can get a better deal if you just ask for one. (The truth is she only read the title and book description but that got the message across to both her and me.) Since then, we've both been asking and receiving... its amazing what you can get! I got an extra week of vacation.

eileen said...

Hmmm....I'll have to start doing more of this whole asking thing!

bigglesworth said...

i did the same thing, totally unintentionally. i had an extra credit card that i had in case i lost my main one (and i also use it for hookers so the charges don't show up on our joint account) and was going to close it, just because i never use it.

well the guy did all this wheeling and dealing and gave me some ridiculous rate with all these rewards. now i'm straight up platinum, bitch!

hooray for eileenion and her deficit reduction breakthrough

Tina said...

Bitch, I tried it. I even used your line--word for word and I got NOTHING. Well, not nothing. They told me that the "banking specialist department" was closed and that I should call back. You bet your damndest I will. Cross your fingers for me.
I really am trying to be more money concious/conscience (I always get those two words mixed up and sound like a big idiot). Doh.

Frances said...

Eileen,
3 years ago my husband and I had, like, $15,000 total credit card debt. We went to see a financial planner to figure out a plan to eliminate this debt. He told us that you should watch it EVERY month after you call and get it lowered. If it raises (and it will slowly over time raise again) call again and demand that they drop it back down again. I felt a little sheepish the first time I called too...but after a few times, it just became routine to me. (I am also pleased to say that as of 8 months ago, our debt was eliminated!)

Anonymous said...

tina, make sure when you call back if someone says "no" ask to speak to their supervisor and if that person says "no" ask to speak to the person above that person and keep going up the ladder until you get it lowered.

eileen said...

Frances, thanks for the tip, and congrats on the debt reduction! I've whittled mine down from $6000 to about $3000, but I'm hoping to get rid of it completely in a couple of years.

Tina said...

OMG, it totally worked!!! Thank you, thank you!!! I got it down to 7.99% (for nine months) orginally from 13.99%. HOLLER!!!

eileen said...

that's great, Tina! Down eith high interest rates!