Does anyone want to guess what this is?
For those of you who guessed, “A blurry photo,” you are correct! But it is also a stack of credit card offers, collected over a one-month period.
The thing that’s so sick about this stack is that the economy is in the toilet due to over-extension, yet here are the banks poking their heads through Bossy’s mail slot trying to suck Bossy and her family back in.
In the last Poverty Post, Bossy and her posse discussed whether it was better to pay yourself first, or pay down your debt first — and the discussion led to whether it was better to pay off the smallest balance first, or the balance with the highest interest rate. And if you missed any of this, here was the consensus: (crickets.)
One thing everyone did agree on, is how willing credit card companies are to negotiate your interest rate, assuming your credit rating is OK.
Most of the time, all you need to do is call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate. Or sometimes you need to threaten to take your business elsewhere, where elsewhere equals one of the thirty-five offers sitting in a stack below a blurry apple.
Later this weekend Bossy will outline a suggested script for requesting a lower rate. It never hurts to ask. Of course, whoever said It never hurts to ask obviously didn’t mind talking on the phone as much as Bossy.
Speaking of low interest rates, Bossy’s husband says their two credit card balances have fairly manageable rates. The largest interest rate is 8.99%, and this is the card they are closest to paying off. The other credit card holds a 3.90% interest rate for the life of the loan, which is approximately forever.
In addition, a few years ago Bossy and her husband refinanced their house, where refinanced equals signing a paper in an air-conditioned office and then going to a lamp store across the street. And during this refinancing, Bossy and her husband were able to take advantage of a 5% 30-year fixed mortgage.
All of their other loans seem to have manageable rates, for instance 3.49% on the home equity line of credit, and 3.80% on Bossy’s Honda which, lordsy, is nearly paid off a handful of years later and it wasn’t even purchased close to new.
And that is everything Bossy knows about her current interest rates, and she guarantees she has never typed ‘%‘ so many times in her life.
Check back later this weekend for that tutorial on phoning your credit card companies, but first: beware of Transfer Fees if you should decide to transfer your balance from one card to another.