Bang for your buck

Posted: March 10, 2009 in goals, misc

monopolyJust a quick tip. I subscribe to The Simple Dollar in my feed reader, and I read yesterday’s post about how to reduce the interest rate on your credit cards.

I called two of my credit card companies, followed the advice from The Simple Dollar, and in fifteen minutes reduced one credit card’s interest rate from 18.99% to 11.24%, and the other from 20.24% to 18.24% (not as big of a bang, but I received advice from the rep to call back every two months to continue to reduce the rate, as they base rate reductions off of payment history at a specific rate – basically, they’ll reduce it by 2% every time I call, every two months). There was no fuss, no argument, and the reps from both companies were exceedingly polite and happy to help. I do believe, in this day and age, they’re pleased to assist folks into a better financial position, if those folks are just willing to continue to pay their bills.

Head’s up, those interest rates can change at any time for pretty much any reason (late payments are the most typical reason, but my rates changed based on an adjustable calculation of prime plus x%), so you really need to keep close tabs on it to make sure you’re not getting burned.

There you go, my Public Service Announcement for the day!

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Comments
  1. Taoist Biker says:

    Now we know! And knowing is half the battle…

  2. Calvin says:

    Now we just need to call the county and tell them we are not going to pay the property tax amount they say we should.
    And do you think GM would lower our truck payment if we ask real nice?

    • Laura says:

      I’ll work on the property tax thing, though I have no idea what it *should* be. And I doubt GM will lower our payments, but here in a couple of months I can swing the bi-monthly thing we talked about. We’ll at least pay the thing off in half the time, that way.

  3. Aren’t we the Queen of Frugal now? Impressive! Interest on anything SUCKS!!!!

  4. angelcel says:

    This sounds like great advice for anyone with credit card debt and I wonder if they do the same over here.

    Can I now just ask the unthinkable and unsubtle? Why do you have *credit card* debt? We all need to borrow sometimes to make ends meet but credit cards have to be absolutely the last resort. Banks are, or at least *were* [who knows what’s happening at the moment] always happy to discuss overdraft facilities and loans at much, much lower rates. Credit cards can buy you time – as in payment at the shop and actual payment, in full, on the arrival of the first bill but should never, *ever* be used as an extended payment plan.

    Equally, for anyone struggling with credit card and other debts generally, banks are happy to discuss consolidating debt and coming up with payment plans that take into account your other essential outgoings – food, heating, petrol etc.

    Sorry, I’m sure you’ve realised this now. Bottom line is: don’t use credit cards as a way of borrowing money because you will be paying it back until Kingdom Come.

    • Laura says:

      ­čśÇ What Calvin said – we put things on credit cards because we are the King And Queen Of Instant Gratification. Eventually, we’ll learn! But we know better NOW.

  5. Calvin says:

    “Can I now just ask the unthinkable and unsubtle? Why do you have *credit card* debt?”
    This is an easy one. Simply because there are times when I see something I want and I do not want to have to save for months or years to get it.
    I sign on the line and then pay for it for months or years.
    Our issue is not that we can only afford to make minimum payments or live off the cards its that we get them to a zero balance and then see a new shiny thing that we just got to have.
    And for the record when I say we I mean ME!

    • angelcel says:

      Oh. Of course – I understand the instant gratification thing. I’m terribly impatient too. It’s just that when we have bought on the ‘never never’ before, the thrill of that shiny new thing rapidly wore off when we were paying for it a year or more later, the technology had moved on and it was no longer sparkling new. Then that debt can start to feel like a millstone around our necks. Worse still is to realise that we were are paying 20 -30% more than we strictly needed to. It’s different strokes, I know …

    • Laura says:

      Well, I contribute to the problem a LITTLE bit… like 90/10. ÔŁĄ

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