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3 Fail-Proof Strategies To Cut Your Credit Card Interest Rates

3 Fail-Proof Strategies To Cut Your Credit Card Interest Rates

Credit card debt is a fact of life for many of us. This article isn’t about stating the obvious — avoid credit card debt, stay within your budget, don’t be late. It’s about how to make a bad situation better.

Regardless of the reasons you’re stuck with credit card debt, there are things you can do to ease the pain. In fact, we’ve found a few ways for you to turn the tables on the banks and have them pay you to borrow their money instead of the reverse! Seriously — keep reading to find out how.

Balance Transfers: Go Surfing

This is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce the interest on your existing credit card debt. All you have to do is transfer your high interest balances from your existing credit cards to a new credit card with a low interest balance transfer offer. There are several balance transfer promotions in the marketplace that offer 0% interest rates for 12 months or more.

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The banks are so hungry for new customers that they’ll lend you their money for free for a year or more in the hopes you’ll stay a customer with them over the longterm. But in this case, loyalty doesn’t pay.

Thousands of people surf from one 0% balance transfer offer to the next, never paying any interest on their credit card debt. This is true in the U.S., U.K., and even for balance transfer offers in Canada. Just make sure to never make a late payment and watch out for hefty balance transfer fees.

0% Purchase Rates: Pump & Dump

If you’re about to make a purchase that you know you’re not going to be able to pay off right away, get a new credit card with a 0% interest rate on new purchases.

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Again, banks are more than happy to offer you 0% rates for 12 months or more on new purchases. But remember: they only do so because more people screw up than not. Know the rules, stick to them, and you’ll have those fools funding your 0% rates. Break the rules and you’ll be the fool.

We have one Golden Rule to stay out of trouble: use automatic pre-authorized payments to pay down your debt. Find out your minimum monthly payment and the due date. Set your pre-authorized payments to meet or exceed the minimum payment and you’ll never have to think about your loan again. All your payments will be automated, taking away the risk of a late payment, and losing your 0% rate, out of the equation.

Renegotiate

Let’s say you already have credit card debt and you can’t get approved for a balance transfer. Not all is lost. Believe it or not, banks are just as scared about you defaulting as you are.

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Call your bank and ask them to lower your credit card interest rates. Not every request is granted, but there is absolutely zero downside to asking. The worst that can happen is that they say no. Big deal.

That said, there is a technique that will increase the likelihood that the bank says yes. First, ask the bank if they can lower your rates. See what they offer. Then, let them know you’ve received several 0% offers from competing banks Y and Z. Tell them you’ve been a customer of theirs for a long time and would prefer not to go through the hassle of applying for a new card if they can match the offer. If that doesn’t work with the first customer service representative, politely ask to speak with their supervisor — supervisors often have more authority to offer lower rates.

Conclusion

Just because you’re stuck paying high interest rates on your credit card debt doesn’t mean you have to do so forever. Put a little effort in and you may have the banks competing to offer you 0% for the privilege of servicing your debt. When the rules don’t work for you, sometimes it’s best to change the rules or start a new game. Here’s your chance to have the banks lend you money on their dime!

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Featured photo credit: Republica / Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Marc Felgar

Marc Felgar is an aging, health & senior care expert focused on improving the lives of mature adults.

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Published on July 4, 2018

Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

Don’t want to overspend your budget, swipe your credit card too many times, and feel like a financial mess? Instead of beating yourself up for the bad financial decisions you’ve ever made, create a new plan!

The solution is simple, save more and spend less. But, we all know it’s easier said than done.

One problem is finding quality apps that save you time and money, and aren’t just hype.

Luckily, there’re many great money management apps available at your fingertips. Here are 10 reliable money management apps that can help you save money, and crush debt.

1. Personal Capital

    When was the last time you’ve tracked your net worth? Probably months ago or maybe never. Personal Capital allows you to easily track your net worth and plan for retirement.

    Here are some of its main features:

    • Sync many investment accounts, and expenses (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) in one place
    • Discover hidden fees and how much they’re affecting your retirement plan
    • Wealth management for investors requiring a long-term strategy

    With Personal you’re free to track your expenses and net worth.

    Available for: iOS and Android

    2. Mint

      If your smartphone could only install a few apps, Mint would be one of them. Why? Because Mint tracks all your balances and bills in one place.

      Here are some of its main features:

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      • Effortlessly track all your bills and balances in one dashboard
      • Categorized expenses to understand where you spend your money
      • Uncover hidden fees, and determine your investment style with sophisticated retirement tools.

      Feel at ease with managing your money by a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere.

      Available for: iOS and Android

      3. YNAB

        Everyone needs a budget, there’s no way around it. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an easy to use app that will change the way you think about money. Their motto is to “give every dollar a job”, and you’ll quickly discover why.

        Here are some of its main features:

        • Easily sync all bank accounts in one place
        • Visually see your debt paying progress with eye-catching charts and notifications
        • Customized categories setting saving goals

        The best part about YNAB is the community that comes along with it. You can hop on the YNAB forum to receive support, listen to the YNAB Podcast or stay tuned for their weekly videos.

        Available for: iOS and Android

        4. Wealthfront

          Albert Einstein once said “compound interest is the eight wonder in the world”, and for a very good reason. The problem is, most people are scared or unwilling to learn the basics of investing. This is why Wealthfront is the perfect solution for the hands-off investors.

          Here are some of its main features:

          • Variety of investment account options including IRA, Roth IRA, and more
          • Your portfolio composed of 7 different asset classes
          • Automatically rebalanced portfolio
          • Daily tax loss harvesting

          Wealthfront is perfect for people requiring investment guidance, or prefer a hands-off solution.

          Available for: iOS and Android

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          5. Clarity Money

            If you’re staying on top of your budget but want to take your finances to the next level, Clarity Money can help you. Clarity Money helps you stay under budget and build a personalized savings plan.

            Here are some of its main features:

            • Easily cancel subscriptions with one click
            • Synchronize bank accounts fast
            • Transfer money effortlessly between different accounts

            Clarity Money isn’t an app that does it all. But, it does make transferring money and canceling subscriptions fast and efficient.

            Available for: iOS and Android

            6. Acorns

              What if there was a way to quickly gain confidence in investing your money, without too much risk? There is, and Acorns is your solution. With Acorns’s technology, you’re able to make investments as small as $5.

              Here are some of its main features:

              • Automatic contribution option
              • Customized portfolio tailored to your needs
              • Low management fees ranging from $1-$2 per month

              Stop wasting dollars on expensive coffee. Instead, invest them towards a brighter financial future.

              Available for: iOS and Android

              7. Albert

                Do you budget by only subtracting your expenses from your income? If so, how would you discover any overpayments or extra money you could save? This is where Albert shines, and it does it all free.

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                Here are some of its main features:

                • Receive notifications for overpayments, hidden fees, and low balances
                • An Automatic budget that’s built around your spending and income
                • Easily track debt and set new financial goals

                While Albert does offer a paid option, most of its core features are FREE. So, what better option to save?

                Available for: iOS

                8. Prism

                  Have you recently forgot to pay a bill because life got in the way? Prism automatically tracks your bills and syncs your bank accounts in one place.

                  Here are some of its main features:

                  • View all your account balances in one glance
                  • Bill due dates are automatically pulled and tracked
                  • Receive early reminders for upcoming bills

                  If your budget is on “fleek” but can’t seem to stay on top of your bills, Prism is your go-to app.

                  Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon

                  9. Mvelopes

                    Remember hearing about people using envelopes to budget their money? Well, Mvelopes is the new envelope system for this generation. Easily create monthly budgets and track your saving goals.

                    Here are some of its main features:

                    • Connect unlimited bank accounts
                    • Real-time budgeting with auto transaction syncing
                    • Low monthly $4 fee or $40 annual

                    Mvelopes can help you crush debt, save more, and help you stop overspending. With its low monthly fee, it’s worth a try.

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                    Available for: iOS and Android

                    10. Wallaby

                      Most people don’t have time to track their credit card’s changing rewards and interest rates. Because of this, you need help reaping the most of your credit card’s rewards. Wallaby is the app that will help you do just that.

                      Here are some of its main features:

                      • Automatic recommendations for the best credit card to use for each transaction
                      • A friendly user interface, displaying credit cards with their corresponding images
                      • Free to use

                      If you’re using the same credit card to make your purchases, you may be leaving money on the table. Give Wallaby a try if you’re ready to maximize your credit card’s rewards.

                      Available for: iOS and Android

                      Take control of your finances and experience financial freedom

                      Picture yourself staying on budget and saving more money than you’d ever imagined.

                      It took hard work and dedication but you’d finally learned how to manage your money. You have to start taking control of your spending and saving habits.

                      You now have a list of reliable apps that can help you build better money habits, what are you waiting for?

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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