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

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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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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

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Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

Break Free of Your Finances

Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

2. Plan a Monthly Budget

This is a great opportunity to get serious.

Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

3. Cut-up Credit Cards

Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

4. Increase Savings

There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

5. Invest Wisely

Consider investing in funds.

Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

6. Invest in Gold

There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

7. Stash Emergency Funds

Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

Make it hard to get your cash.

Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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8. Find Fabulous Mentors

Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

9. Be Extra Patient

Patience is the key of financial success.

Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

Financial Freedom for All

Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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