Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate Now!

Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate Now!
With today's credit card companies, there are many opportunities to get your cards rate of 21% or more reduced. The higher the amount of interest your card charges will cost you more for a simple purchase and ultimately may take you years to pay off instead of months, should you make the minimum payment allowed. People often just pay the minimum balance as a way to improve their credit rating; this couldn't be a more dangerous way to increase your credit score. Leveraging the credit card company to say "Uncle" to your ability to switch over is easier than you think.
The switch over tactic
If your credit card interest rate is over 20% you should definitely seek relief in several ways. One of these ways is to let them know you are thinking of moving to a competitor's credit card because they are offering a lower rate. They will move promptly to earn your dollars and interest. Let them know how unsatisfied you are about their ability to reduce your percentage rate commensurate with your ability to pay your bill in a timely manner. They will probably put you on hold immediately and speak with a manager to get your rate reduced.
Don't be afraid to move to another credit card company
Some credit card companies will not budge when it comes to reducing your rate: even if you threaten to leave them. That is when you look for another credit card that meets your immediate financial needs. Shop around to the major credit card companies and seek out the best possible rates. You can also search on the Internet for sites that give the best credit card ratings. This will allow you to make a financial decision that can save you hundreds if not thousands in the long run.
There are a dozen reputable credit card companies in the market who are willing to sign you up to earn your interest. These cards will even offer to assume your previous credit card debt to help reduce the interest you are bearing on those accounts.

Negotiating Rates with Your Credit Card Company

Negotiating Rates with Your Credit Card Company
Ok, let's face it, everybody hates high credit card rates, and they drain hard earned money out of your wallet. As a valued consumer, it is apparent that you learn how to negotiate to get the absolute best rate that you possibly can. The good news however is that it doesn't have to be a difficult or time-consuming process. In fact, it can be very easy indeed if you know what you're doing. In this article we will discuss the ins and outs of credit card negotiating to ensure that you get the best possible rate with the least amount of effort.
First and foremost, you should figure out if you even want to continue using your current credit card company ( http://www.the-credit-card-centre.co.uk/best-credit-cards.html ). Are you pleased with the overall service that you are receiving? Do you like their benefits? If the answer is yes then you can proceed. If not, you should stop reading this article and start looking for a better company.
Second, you should evaluate your paying history and make sure that it is positive before you call to negotiate. If it is positive then you have power and if it isn't then you'll be negotiating from a position of weakness and that might not be good. Instead, you should wait until it is more positive before you call them to negotiate rates.
Third, if you have a good history then remember this when you call. In essence, you'll have extremely high negotiating power. The company needs your business in order to be successful and with clients they lose big time. Therefore, you should always display this "take them or leave them attitude" while conducting your negotiations.
Draft up a script and memorize it. It can be as simple as "Hello, my name is Bill and I have been a cardholder for X years and I consistently pay my bills on a time. Well recently I have been receiving all types of credit card offers from XYZ bank indicating that I qualify for an extremely low interest rate of X and am considering leaving you and going there if you can't offer me a lower rate. Is this something that you can help me with?
Practice, practice and practice some more with your script until you are completely and totally used to it. Once you are, contact the company. Read your script and see what happens.
If you get a hard nose customer service representative then don't threaten her. Be agreeable and ask to speak to his/her supervisor. If that is not possible, be nice to her and try again she may have some leeway. If you like your present company, you can even try negotiating interest rates, annual and even those yucky late fees.
However, if you're fed up, have an alternative company in the wings, and your current company won't budge with their rates then be willing to take your business elsewhere. After all, you hold the power so don't be afraid to use it! They key however is to not bluff but to follow through with your threat. Close the account, ask for them to send you notification in the mail, cancel the credit card and use another card.
In conclusion, you can be successful with the negotiating process if you follow the above mentioned tips. If your current company is unwilling to cooperate then you should simply take your business elsewhere. You're better off with another credit card company that values your savvy negotiating skills!

How Creditors Measure Your Credit Rating

How Creditors Measure Your Credit Rating
Creditors will measure your credit rating based on the following three main things.
The three "C's" show creditors your:
"Capacity" or income to pay the debt
"Collateral" or assets to secure the obligation
"Character" shows your compliance to repay the debt
1. Capacity
The very first question is whether you have sufficient income to repay the debt. Creditors will definitely check to see if your income exceeds your expenses so that you ca comfortably pay the debt. A creditor will then want to know:
Your income - from all sources
Your fixed expenses
Your other debts
The amount remaining from your total net income, after deducting your fixed monthly expenses and other debts, is your capacity. If your net income is $3,000 a month and your total living expenses is $2,500, then your credit capacity is an amount that requires no more than $500 in monthly payments.
If you now pay $400 a month for other credit obligations, then your remaining capacity is a $100 a month, and a creditor should extend you that amount of credit.
There are three techniques that will allow you to maximize your income:
Increase your income
Decrease your expenses (easier to do than the first one)
Reduce your other debts
2. Collateral
A lender or creditor can be secured or unsecured. Secured lenders hold a lien against specific assets, such as real estate, an automobile, or boat. If you fail to pay, the secured lender can sell the pledged asset to recover debt owed. Secured lenders seldom loan more than the auction value of the collateral.
Secured credit, is an almost guaranteed way to rebuild your credit. Even with poor credit, a lender may advance your credit if you ca secure the credit with a lien against some valuable asset. Many creditors extend credit entirely on the strength of the pledged assets.
Other credit considerations are either ignored or carry comparatively little weight in the credit decision.
What can you use as a collateral to secure your debts and rebuild your credit? You may be appreciably wealthier than you think. Add the value of your various assets (property that you own) and subtract any existing mortgages or lies against those assets. The difference is your equity or net worth in the asset.
This is what you have available to secure a loan. Do not overlook any asset:
Investment real estate
Stocks, bonds, mutual funds,
Boats, planes, recreational vehicles
Notes and mortgages due you
Art, jewelry, antiques
Pensions, IRAs, and Keoghs
Royalty income
Income from trusts
You may have other assets to pledge. The point is that collateral gives you a borrowing power approximately equal to your equity in your assets. Regardless of your credit history, if you have collateral worth a solid $100,000, you should be able to borrow close to that amount.
3. Character
Creditors next consider your character. How important this is depends upon the type of credit, and who your creditors are. Asset based lenders rely chiefly on collateral, and they are less concerned with your character than are unsecured creditors who can only rely on your prior reliability for honoring your obligations.
When creditors check your character, they basically look at how you satisfied your past obligations. Meaning they want to know:
How many credit defaults have you had?
What was the reason for the defaults?
How recent are they?
Do you own your own home?
If you rent, for how long have you rented the same apartment or house?
Do you have a checking account?
Do you have a savings account with regular deposits?
Do you have a payroll savings plan at work?
Do you have a telephone in your own name?
Do you have a criminal record?
Have you filed bankruptcy?
Positive answers to these nine questions will often offset an otherwise negative credit report. Basically your credit character boils down to your credit history in the past. In the eyes of creditors, if your past credit character is good, there is no reason to believe why your future won't look promising.

How to Dispute Credit Report Errors

How to Dispute Credit Report Errors
Your credit report--a type of consumer report--contains information about where you work and live and how you pay your bills. It also may show whether you've been sued or arrested or have filed for bankruptcy. Companies called consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) or credit bureaus compile and sell your credit report to businesses. Because businesses use this information to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, and other purposes allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it's important that the information in your report is complete and accurate.
Some financial advisors suggest that you periodically review your credit report for inaccuracies or omissions. This could be especially important if you're considering making a major purchase, such as buying a home. Checking in advance on the accuracy of information in your credit file could speed the credit-granting process.
Getting Your Credit Report
If you've been denied credit, insurance, or employment because of information supplied by a CRA, the FCRA says the company you applied to must give you the CRA's name, address, and telephone number. If you contact the agency for a copy of your report within 60 days of receiving a denial notice, the report is free. In addition, you're entitled to one free copy of your report a year if you certify in writing that
(1) you're unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days,
(2) you're on welfare, or
(3) your report is inaccurate because of fraud. Otherwise, a CRA may charge you up to $9.00 for a copy of your report.
If you simply want a copy of your report, call the CRAs listed in the Yellow Pages under "credit" or "credit rating and reporting." Call each credit bureau listed since more than one agency may have a file on you, some with different information. The three major national credit bureaus are:
Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; (800) 685-1111.
Experian P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013; (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742).
Trans Union, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022; (800) 916-8800.
Correcting Errors
Under the FCRA, both the CRA and the organization that provided the information to the CRA, such as a bank or credit card company, have responsibilities for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To protect all your rights under the law, contact both the CRA and the information provider.
First, tell the CRA in writing what information you believe is inaccurate. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item in your report you dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and request deletion or correction. You may want to enclose a copy of your report with the items in question circled. Your letter may look something like the sample below. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the CRA received. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.
CRAs must reinvestigate the items in question--usually within 30 days--unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all relevant data you provide about the dispute to the information provider. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the CRA, it must investigate, review all relevant information provided by the CRA, and report the results to the CRA. If the information provider finds the disputed information to be inaccurate, it must notify all nationwide CRAs so they can correct this information in your file. l Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your file.
If your report contains erroneous information, the CRA must correct it.
If an item is incomplete, the CRA must complete it. For example, if your file showed that you were late making payments, but failed to show that you were no longer delinquent, the CRA must show that you're current.
If your file shows an account that belongs only to another person, the CRA must delete it.
When the reinvestigation is complete, the CRA must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or removed, the CRA cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies its accuracy and completeness, and the CRA gives you a written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the provider.
Also, if you request, the CRA must send notices of corrections to anyone who received your report in the past six months. Job applicants can have a corrected copy of their report sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes. If a reinvestigation does not resolve your dispute, ask the CRA to include your statement of the dispute in your file and in future reports.
Second, in addition to writing to the CRA, tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute an item. Again, include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider then reports the item to any CRA, it must include a notice of your dispute. In addition, if you are correct-that is, if the disputed information is not accurate-the information provider may not use it again. Accurate Negative Information When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal. Accurate negative information can generally stay on your report for 7 years. There are certain exceptions:
Information about criminal convictions may be reported without any time limitation.
Bankruptcy information may be reported for 10 years.
Credit information reported in response to an application for a job with a salary of more than $75,000 has no time limit.
Credit information reported because of an application for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance has no time limit.
Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. Criminal convictions can be reported without any time limit.
Adding Accounts to Your File
Your credit file may not reflect all your credit accounts. Although most national department store and all-purpose bank credit card accounts will be included in your file, not all creditors supply information to CRAs: Some travel, entertainment, gasoline card companies, local retailers, and credit unions are among those creditors that don't. If you've been told you were denied credit because of an "insufficient credit file" or "no credit file" and you have accounts with creditors that don't appear in your credit file, ask the CRA to add this information to future reports. Although they are not required to do so, many CRAs will add verifiable accounts for a fee. You should, however, understand that if these creditors do not report to the CRA on a regular basis, these added items will not be updated in your file.
Sample Dispute Letter
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Complaint Department
Name of Credit Reporting Agency
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute are also encircled on the attached copy of the report I received. (Identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.)
This item is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or request another specific change) to correct the information.
Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.
Your name
Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing)

Can You Acquire Good Credit Overnight? You Bet

Can You Acquire Good Credit Overnight? You Bet
Your credit file may not reflect all your credit accounts. Although most national department store and all-purpose bank credit card accounts will be included in your file, not all creditors supply information to credit bureaus : Some travel, entertainment, gasoline card companies, local retailers, and credit unions are among those creditors that don't.
If you've been told that you were denied credit because of an "insufficient credit file" or "no credit file" and you have accounts with creditors that don't appear in your credit file, ask the credit reporting agency to add this information to future reports.
Although they are not required to do so, many credit bureaus will add verifiable accounts for a fee. However, understand that if these creditors do not report to the credit bureau on a regular basis, the added items will not be updated in your file.

Beware of Bogus Credit Repair Companies!

Beware of Bogus Credit Repair Companies!
So-called "credit repair" companies claim they can remove negative information from credit reports. Advertising as "Credit Advisors," "Credit Rating Correction Services" or "Credit Consultants," they trumpet variations on this message: "Turned down because of bad credit? We can help!" Many of these companies charge hundreds if not thousands of dollars for the promise to "clean up" bad credit reports. But the truth is, these companies can only do what you could do yourself--at no charge.
Nobody can remove negative information that is accurate from your credit report. No company has a "secret" ability to remove all negative information.
But this doesn't stop their claims. This deceptive quote is from a credit repair company brochure: "Charged-off accounts, collection accounts, judgments, tax liens, repossessions, and even bankruptcies can be removed from your credit records in less than one year (five to seven month average)."
One tactic is to bombard credit reporting agencies with requests to verify information. If a credit reporting agency cannot verify an entry within 60 days, it will remove the information from the report. But if the information is later verified to be accurate, it will go back in the report.
Before you even consider signing a contract with a company that promises to repair your credit, remember these facts:
You may obtain a copy of your credit report on your own.
You have the right to dispute entries in your credit report.
Beware guaranteed credit offers!
Credit repair and other companies often claim they "guarantee" to get you a credit card, regardless of your credit history. In fact, these companies do not always honor their guarantee. Sometimes, they'll just take your money and run--you will not get any credit, regardless of what they promised.
If they get you a card at all it often will be a "secured" bank credit card, with high up-front "application" fees, that requires you to deposit and keep several hundred dollars in a savings account, or a card that only allows you to buy items in a catalogue from a business that you probably never heard of. (You can apply for a secured credit card by yourself. For a free list of banks that do not charge application fees for secured cards, see the information from Consumer Action in the "For More Information" section below.)
Credit repair companies often advertise on television, in newspapers and even on matchbooks. Sometimes they require consumers to dial a "900" telephone number to get more information. Calls to 900 numbers can cost $2 or $3 a minute, so listening to a few minutes of information about the cards can be expensive.
Some companies try to get people a credit card by having them apply using financial information of other people with good credit histories. It is a criminal act to apply for credit under someone else's name--do not do business with one of these companies.
Law enforcement agencies have shut down many credit repair outfits, but it is hard to stop a fraudulent credit repair outfit unless people complain about it. Therefore, be careful about responding to credit repair ads and be sure to complain to the agencies listed below if you think a credit repair company took advantage of you.
For more information
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes information for consumers on the subject of credit and enforces federal laws on credit. For a list of free publications, write to the FTC's Public Reference Department at the address given below. While the FTC does not handle individual cases, it can act when it sees a pattern of possible law violations develop. Complaints about credit reporting agencies and credit repair scams must be in writing. Send them to: FTC Credit Practices Division, 6th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
Contact your local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General's office. Many Attorneys General have toll-free consumer hotlines. These numbers may be listed in the "self-help" or government sections in the front of your phone book. These agencies can offer you advice and may also be able to help resolve your complaint.
Consumer Action's free complaint/information switchboards offering non-legal consumer advice and referrals can be reached from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. Chinese, English and Spanish are spoken. Call either (415) 777-9635 (San Francisco office) or (213) 624-8327 (Los Angeles office). Consumer Action has a free list of secured credit card banks that do not charge application fees. To receive a free copy, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Consumer Action Secured Credit Card Survey, 717 Market St., Suite 310, San Francisco, CA 94103. (Available in English only.)
The Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) assists consumers who have problems in paying their bills--before their good credit ratings suffer. Your local CCCS office can help you work out flexible payment plans to make debt repayment more feasible. Call (800) 388-CCCS for an interactive recording that will provide you with the phone number of the office nearest to you. Spanish-speakers can call (800) 68-AYUDA (800-682-9832) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. central time.
Before you sign a contract with any company, check it out with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB), a non-government service which advises consumers on fraud prevention. Call your local BBB. If you cannot find a local number listed in the phone directory, call the Council of Better Business Bureaus at (703) 276-0100 for a referral to the office nearest you.

SuperCharged Secret 2, Credit Card Utopia

SuperCharged Secret 2, Credit Card Utopia
Note: The following is part 2 of a 5 part series, Over the course of these 5 articles, I am going to introduce you to several methods for maximizing the use and benefits of the best Credit Cards and offers on the market today. This information, when used in conjunction with one another, is unlike anything you've ever seen before. I like to call this approach, the "5 SuperCharged Secrets to Credit Card Utopia."
Without further Ado, let's continue with Secret #2:
1) This secret method isn't for everyone.
I would venture to say that this turbo-charged low rate secret is really for those with reasonably good credit.
But with that said, you may have good ENOUGH credit, and it doesn't hurt to TRY. If you don't succeed, then you've been blessed with the one thing most people don't have, and that's a GOAL?
You know what you want, better credit, and there are TONS of resources out there to help you get from point A to point B, much faster then you can imagine.
When you get there, this method is for you for sure! Work towards this! It's worth it.
2) If you have pretty good credit, it's time to use it to your MAXIMUM ADVANTAGE.
Do you like to shop at Costcoฎ? I do. I LOVE shopping at Costcoฎ. I know it costs me a membership fee every year, but I save money like CRAZY!
Why? Because Costcoฎ can buy in bulk, and get huge deals from their merchants.
You see, there's safety in numbers. Costcoฎ Members enjoy the benefit of pooling together their buying power, and extracting huge savings from vendors and suppliers.
3) And here we go! Secret #2 revealed: Take that concept, and apply it to Credit Cards! Interest Rates beware, because there's safety in numbers!
I'm talking about the big BLUE! I'm talking about American Expressฎ.
Now, most of us who have not yet climbed on board to AMEXฎ are comfy with having a Visaฎ/MasterCardฎ in our wallets. I know. I was one of you at one time. You think it's better, because Visaฎ/MasterCardฎ are more widely accepted. Right?
I'll grant you that in some smaller "ma/pa" operations, you may not be able to swipe your BLUE. But other than that, AMEXฎ is widely, widely accepted everywhere?Worldwide.
4) Go check it out for yourself.
AMEXฎ is generally available at all nationwide chains like department stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and many, many other fine establishments. My wife and I spend money, just like you do. We use AMEXฎ as much as we can, and we don't have a problem with the ability to swipe it virtually everywhere.
5) I believe, firmly, American Expressฎ is using the concept of pooled membership, to give you KILLER interest Rates, and amazing perks too.
I believe that the benefit of this pooled power is passed on to you, as a member of American Expressฎ.
How do I know this? Because I'm a member, and I can attest that the interest rates are low, low, low!
For example, as of today's date, my American Expressฎ Blue (no annual fee, by the way) is carrying a 9% interest rate (I also get balance transfer checks all the time?See Secret 1.)
6) Are there lower rates out there?
Well, maybe. But, I don't care. I like the fact that I don't have to go shopping for a low rate. I just KNOW that American Expressฎ IS the lowest, if not one of the lowest.
It's just so much less work for me as a consumer, to be a member of AMEXฎ. No more shopping around.
7) Go with the Credit Card Company that takes care of the CONSUMER FIRST! .
I don't mean to sound like a commercial. I also have a Citibankฎ, and other fine credit cards in my wallet, and our website provides information on ALL major credit card companies, not just AMEXฎ, so I have no vested interest in one over another.
But the secret knowledge here is that American Expressฎ seems to have the BUYING POWER to consistently give consumers some of the lowest interest rates on the market, and that's what makes them the BEST.
8) Check it out for yourself. Do your own research.
Don't rely solely on this writer's testimony. Go look around. Compare all the benefits, and the rates, and the rewards programs, and you'll see. AMEXฎ has no competition. Not for the consumer, anyway.
And in Credit Card Utopia, we always go with the best. As powerful consumers, we come first. We NEVER settle for less.
We've enjoyed providing this information to you, and we wish you the best of luck in your pursuits. Remember to always seek out good advice from those you trust, and never turn your back on your own common sense.
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