Money Talk Monday: Credit card debt reduction sound too good to be true?

I received a phone call from a company guaranteeing they could reduce my interest rate on my credit card for $300. I gave them all my information and they said they could reduce it up to 5%. Should I pay them?

In further speaking with the student, she stated that she had previously tried to get the lender to lower the interest rate, her credit score was good and her card was about 92 percent maxed out. Her lender would not lower the interest rate, so she thought this might be a good idea since they “guaranteed” it to be lowered some, so she proceeded to give them all her information. First, never give anyone all your information over the Internet or over the phone. Banks and the IRS never ask you to verify numbers over the Internet. Those are scams and you should notify your bank that you got an email, then delete it. Do not even open it!

Second – why did she think they could lower it when she couldn’t?

Yes, the company may be legitimate, but why would you want to pay someone $300 for something you can do? If your credit score is good – which means you have been paying all your bills on time, and you have had that card for sometime – then you can call them and ask to reduce your interest rate.

Your conversation would go something like, “Hello, I’d like to talk to someone about reducing my interest rate. Could I talk to someone in charge of that, please?” The person you speak to may be able to help you. If they say they can’t help you or they say they don’t do that, then ask to speak to someone else.

Explain that you have been a loyal customer and have been paying on time, and you think your rate should be lowered. You do not need to pay someone to do this.I think what hung her up in no reduction was that her card was 92 percent maxed out. This is considered a credit risk and they are not inclined to lower the rate with a credit risk. Having your credit cards that maxed out can also be hurting your FICO score. Experts suggest that your credit cards not have more than 10 to 12 percent of your total limit on them if you want your score to rise, not fall.

And, of course, make those payments on time!

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