Get Gephardt: Tips for lowering your interest rates
SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — As interest rates go up, folks who are already feeling the pinch of inflation are finding it more expensive to borrow money. Ironically, it’s an effort to curb inflation that has the Fed raising rates which translates to consumers paying higher interest on everything from homes to credit cards.
But there are some simple things you can do to keep your interest rates relatively low says Jeff Wood, a financial planner at Lift Financial.
“Make sure that you’re calling your credit cards and asking them, ‘Can I get a lower rate?’” he says. “What are they going to say? No?”
If they do say no, be willing to leave. Credit cards often offer low, introductory rates sometimes as low as zero percent.
“You have the freedom to shop around and to be able to look at different cards,” Wood says.
The biggest factor in the rate you’ll pay is your own credit score. Anything you can do to build that up makes it easier to score a lower rate:
- Don’t max your cards
- Make payments on time
- Check your credit report for errors
- If you fall behind, talk to your credit card company
“Don’t just call it and say, ‘You know what, I guess I missed that one.’ Get a hold of the [creditor]. Let them know what happened. Ask, ‘Hey, can I make this payment still, can I get it taken care of?’”
Wood says the best way to beat rising rates is to pay off your bill at the end of each billing period. Do that and you’ll avoid being charged interest and don’t have to worry about it.
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