I have a credit card that's charging me 29% interest. I called, and I haven't been able to get them to lower the interest. I'm carrying a $5200 balance on it, and I don't have any other cards that I could transfer the balance to. What can I do to get the interest rate lowered?
2 Answers from Attorneys
If you are severally overextended perhaps there is a bankruptcy in your future. See a local bankruptcy attorney now.
I would not file bankruptcy over $5200. It will cost about half of that to file bankruptcy and pay the attorneys fees (depending on what the going rate is in PA).
Although you do not have any other credit cards, why can't you apply for one that has a much lower rate? Are you a credit union member? If not, have you looked around and found one that offers a lower rate card? If so, become a member and transfer the balance onto a lower rate card. Just do not use the card until you pay off the balance and keep the higher rate card only for emergencies. Do not close the card though as it will lower your credit score.
Bankruptcy will negatively affect your credit. So will stopping any payment, although bankruptcy will affect it for 7 to 10 years. If you don't mind lowering your credit score, then stop paying. After 90 days, the credit card company will suddenly be willing to help and may start making you some deals. Also, what about credit counseling? Many credit counseling agencies (which are non-profits) have arrangements with credit card issuers and will help lower your interest rate. You will still have to pay the full balance though. There is also debt settlement - it will be possible at some point to settle for anywhere between 20% and 80% of the balance depending on the creditor and the stage of litigation (pre-lawsuit or post judgment).
And the credit card company can be a major dick and does not have to lower your interest rate. Some will but most will not help you at all until you are at least 90 day's delinquent. Its stupid but that is how the game is played.