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KILZ FILLZ

Financial Deciscions • credit, investing, etc

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I have a ton of questions and no one really to ask. I'm hoping you guys won't mind helping. Instead of opening with a list of questions I'll start with one that I hope will be pretty simple to answer.

 

•How do I get credit cards with lower interest rates?

 

Do I just wait until I get mailed something with a great rate or is there something proactive I can do? Both of my cards charge me about 17-18% interest. I feel like I can get something better than this but don't know how. My credit score is mid-high 700s.

 

Thanks in advance.

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call them and ask for a lower rate

if you havent been shitty with making your payments they should give you one.

capital one did for me (they did jack it up 6 months later, however)

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Usually calling them is the best. Also, if you are able to, threaten to pay it off and close it if they say no. Key is to pay it off and ask to be transferred to someone else to close your account.

 

The game has changed these last 2 years and is still changing, so who knows what they will do.

 

Be wary of temp rates that go higher after a few months or variable rates which are a scam.

 

I think the best you can do in todays environment with a new card from a reputable place is 9%.

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best thing to do is not use credit cards period.

the only reason to do so is if you need to buy something on line or need buyer protection. pay the bill off every month and the interest rate matters not. buy the best, pay cash and take delivery. if you cant afford to pay cash, you probably dont need it (with only a few exceptions.)

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I dont know if it is the same in the US as it is here, I dont hold ccredit cards but do know about them (used to work for a bank)

 

Basically you should only hold a credit card for as long as the initial credit free offer runs (generally 12-18months) after that point you should transfer the balance of that credit card to another one offering 0% on balance transfers.

 

I would ring the credit card company and tell them you are thinking of leaving and transferring to a competitor and see what they can offer you to stay with them.

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i purchase plane tickets often, and i'm not paying for those in cash. i also reserve cars and hotel rooms with a credit card, practically impossible without one, unless you own a hotel.

i'm laughing pretty hard right now, let me compose myself.

 

 

ok. i agree, gotta make some phone calls.

i have excellent credit, it's nearly perfect.

 

interest rates won't matter if you pay your bill off every month

the credit card co won't like you very much, but it's a great way to use the cards

(don't forget, do not use them for purchases you don't want the world knowing about)

 

i have pretty dirt cheap interest rates, but as i said, they don't matter since i pay every bill off in entirety every month

 

i think you might have a hard time getting your rate below 15%

since the regulations were tightened, they have to make money somehow and it's the best way to do it. you can try applying for an american express card, sometimes fancier cards have better rates.

 

decyfer also has a good suggestion; if you threaten to take your business elsewhere they may cave. transferring balances is only ok once or twice: the more cards you have, the worse credit score you will have, and it is extremely difficult to close a credit card account permanently.

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This is a mistake people make when transferring balances, once you have transferred the balance close the account, you then wont have the credit liability sat on your financial records. People seem to think it is ok having 4 credit cards with 10k limits because they don't have any money on them, you still have 40k worth of potential liability on your record which will affect your credit rating. The amount of times I had to explain that to customers in my last job was just silly!

 

Why is it hard to close an account down? Maybe it is different in Ammerica, but here if you ask to close it and you have transferred or paid your balance the company has no legal right to refuse to close the account, if they refuse you go staright to the financial ombudsman and you will be getting compensated by the credit card company for refusing to allow you to close the account, plus the credit card company will be fined by the FOS.

 

Another option is look at the deals they offer, some credit cards give your airmiles or cashback on bought items, if you pay the bill of you are not paying interest on the amount but with the cashback offer you are actually saving money on the initial purchase cost.

 

I wish I had a good credit score, sadly I ruined it when young and irresponsible and it will affect me forever so I cannot really have any credit facilities.

 

I would also say you will be hard pushed to get a limit below 15%, even customers with top rate credit scores wouldnt have gotten much below 15% at my last job.

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i purchase plane tickets often, and i'm not paying for those in cash. i also reserve cars and hotel rooms with a credit card, practically impossible without one, unless you own a hotel.

 

true, which is why i said pay cash unless you need to do things like this.

although, if you dont need to reserve a hotel room, you can easily pay cash in person.

 

 

interest rates won't matter if you pay your bill off every month

the credit card co won't like you very much, but it's a great way to use the cards

(don't forget, do not use them for purchases you don't want the world knowing about)

 

i have pretty dirt cheap interest rates, but as i said, they don't matter since i pay every bill off in entirety every month

.

 

true dat.

 

for conversation purposes, i consider 'paying cash' equivalent to paying off a credit card bill each month

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If you are sensible you can really use credit cards to your advatage, it is sad that very few people do. I'm always saving my mum money on her cards and finances etc

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Probaly 99% of hotels will not let you stay at them without putting a credit card down, even if you end up paying in cash.

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Probaly 99% of hotels will not let you stay at them without putting a credit card down, even if you end up paying in cash.

 

thats odd, because i havent used a credit card to pay for a hotel room nor put one down in 5 years

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I know over here the vasst majority will need a credit card, if not that then a debit card, mainly for proof of who you are and incase of any problems. Smaller independant hotels may be different, I am talking major chains.

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B&H - is there a reason you are looking at Credit cards? Do you currently have a balance on a credit card? Are you planning on making a larger purchase and maybe using the credit card for that?

 

Just a few questions back at your to deterrmine your usage and what might be benficial for you.

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I know over here the vasst majority will need a credit card, if not that then a debit card, mainly for proof of who you are and incase of any problems. Smaller independant hotels may be different, I am talking major chains.

 

only thing i've had to do to cover the 'damages' aspect was give them a 200$ refundable deposit on one occasion. just because its not common to pay cash for these things, doesnt mean its not possible.

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I stay in hotels for work at least one week or more a month. Reputable places want a card incase of damages. I am staying in chicago all next week and will ask when I check in.

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B&H - is there a reason you are looking at Credit cards? Do you currently have a balance on a credit card? Are you planning on making a larger purchase and maybe using the credit card for that?

 

Just a few questions back at your to deterrmine your usage and what might be benficial for you.

 

Yeah I have 2 with under 2k on each. Not a large debt. I'm in the process of paying them off. I was doing good and paying off the balance each month then I got in a situation where I had to use them for things I'd rather not have (gas, food, etc) it was a short amount of time but shit added up and now the interest is showing it's ugly face.

 

Been paying about $200 to each/mo. Doesn't seem to be very effective in getting these things down as quickly as I'd like. Maybe I'm impatient lol. Should I start paying 300 to one and 100 to the other? ... Kinda working at getting one down first instead of both at the same.

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It's hard to pay down because compound interest is a bitch.

I assume you probably have high rate (15-20%??) on both.

 

Ideally you want to....

- find another card that allows balance transfers - i.e. so you can transfer your debt over to the new card, and cancel the old cards

- preferably the new card has a very low rate on balance transfer - look around and you'll find deals. some banks here were offering like 0% for 6months

- then you pay that entire debt off whilst the low rate is in effect

- never have to do this again

 

You just need to be careful with fees, other charges, rates that explode ridiculously high if you stuff up, etc.

 

Good luck.

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i guess for me, i don't want a hassle.

hotels i stay in will usually hassle me if i don't present a credit card.

 

i also like the protection a cc will get you. i have after all had to dispute charges before and my cc co has sided with me.. so if i buy something really pricey i might put it on the amex for extra warranty

 

i also shop at costco, they only accept one cc but the rewards are good.

between them and discover i get about 2% back on most things i buy.

 

..........

 

decyfer, i once learned that 'no credit card transaction is ever truly final'

sorta fucked, but in most instance places are reasonable and would never go back and alter a transaction. plus, if that happened, you would dispute the charge and likely be credited.

but this can and has happened

 

it's one of the dangers inherent in credit cards and one reason the account is never truly closed

 

 

(just like a danger inherent in money, if you must carry a lot to purchase things, it may get lost or stolen and be impossible to recover, unlike a credit line...)

 

...............

BOATS

paying down debt.

 

you gotta listen to someone like suzy orman

you are not paying enough on those debts. you simply must step it up

 

that may mean sacrifice: can you get a cheaper place? can you get a cheaper car? cheaper insurance?

can you use less energy? can you get rid of cable? can you get a cheaper phone or get rid of it? get rid of internet? stop buying: clothes, restaurant food, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, entertainment

 

get another job. you have to increase the income if you can't slash expenses

 

seriously, the debt will kill you at the rate you are paying it, and one year of hard sacrifice (second job, no car, no internet at home, no cable, extra roommate) to pay it off is totally worth it

 

then start saving for a safety net

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Alot of that is either in effect or not in option.

Just moved into a new place signed a year lease so I can't move, 1bdrm apt so no room mate, own my car, a 91 sedan and my insurance is dirt cheap, already have no cable/Internet, don't smoke or go out or buy clothes except a hat every couple months, already working 50+ hrs/wk and second job isn't an option because I go to school at night.

 

I buy a case of beer/ paycheck not gonna give that up

iPhone bill is up there but wont give it up because it's my Internet

 

I have savings I COULD throw down on this, but I'm sitting on it incase my car craps out on me.

 

Fiscal is coming up at work so I'll be doing 70+ hr work wks pretty soon here. I'm going to knock a large chunk of this out with that.

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It's hard to pay down because compound interest is a bitch.

I assume you probably have high rate (15-20%??) on both.

 

Ideally you want to....

- find another card that allows balance transfers - i.e. so you can transfer your debt over to the new card, and cancel the old cards

- preferably the new card has a very low rate on balance transfer - look around and you'll find deals. some banks here were offering like 0% for 6months

- then you pay that entire debt off whilst the low rate is in effect

- never have to do this again

 

You just need to be careful with fees, other charges, rates that explode ridiculously high if you stuff up, etc.

 

Good luck.

 

I've had a couple offers for this come in the mail but figured there was a catch so paid them no mind. I'll check out the next one that comes around.

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well if you look at it logically, at the moment savings rates are awful, I dunno how bad they are in the US but most standard savings accounts are only paying around 2% interest. I wouldnt advise using all your savings but if you are paying a rate of say 17% on your credit card but only getting 2% interest on your savings, I would use a chunk of the savings to clear some sums off the credit card but leave yourself enough savings if something does happen.

 

Not only are you clearing the credit card but if something did go wrong on your car you are then in a position to barter down your interest rates on your credit card as you would have almost paid it off and can threaten to leave the company for (their main) competitor.

 

Your would be surprised the deals you can get if you deal with a financial institutions retention teams.

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BOATS you can consolidate the debts and get a loan

then pay it all off with the loan, then pay the loan with a low interest rate

 

as kmart is mentioning it's also possible to do that with a credit card, but i'd only do that if you have a GUARANTEE that the rate will not increase within a certain time (then pay that bitch off before the interest rate explodes, which is likely)

 

savings rates are shit, but if he is worried about the car it might make sense to protect oneself against a complete vehicle failure. public transit may not be an option, and i know most people cannot or will not ride a bike to work

 

BOATS if you are willing to ditch the car, that might be ideal... you;d pay the debts off and ride a bike sans insurance and gas.. but i know this is likely impossible.

 

my bff did a consolidation loan for 7k of debt, but she's been awful about paying it off, so now, 5 years later, she is almost done, and has builkt another 1500 in cc debt back up. don't make that same mistake. only consolidate if you are really going to work to pay it off fast

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I know in the bank I last worked at that if you said a loan was for consolidation of debt they would hike the interest rate on it. The best rate I think you can get over here on a loan is about 7% but that is for people with real good credit ratings.

 

I think I need to look into how American finance companies work, I can only really talk from a UK perspective.

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yeah, we have organizations like Consumer Credit Counseling that can help you find a consolidation loan for low interest, like my bff did (she had to have a cosigner)

 

american finances are off the rails dude, unregulated and extremely cutthroat

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