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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Mirsad of Think Credit Cards a consumer resource that helps you find a card for your needs and also provides you with tips and strategies on how to reach credit card debt relief.
Did you know that the law in effect today only requires your credit card company to give you 15 days notice that they are going to raise the interest rate on your credit card? In addition, credit card companies are using tactics to send these notices that seem a little under-handed.
When sending you the latest news that your interest rate is going to be increasing, they often send these notices with other information such as ‘you are pre-approved’ for this offer or that offer. The notices that sent are often just a tiny piece of paper with print that is so small you cannot read it without a magnifying glass. Another way of raising your interest rates that you may not think anything of is by only raising it by a small percentage. When you see the amount you do not think that is much; however you should read the small print on everything that is sent to you from your credit card company. That small amount they are raising is going to be that much each month. Before you know it, you will have a very high percentage rate. How do you stop this? The credit card companies seem to think you will just go along and pay higher interest rates without complaint. If you ask why, they will give you a glib answer that is in effect not an answer at all. Basically what they are saying in a civil manner is that it is none of your business. You are the one paying the bill, so don’t you think it really is your business and you have a right to know why you are being charged more?If everyone would put their foot down when it comes to these increases, the credit card companies would have to stop and think twice about doing this. There are ways to stop it but sooner or later every one of them will get around to doing this. Check and see if you can find a credit card that has a low or no APR for a period of six months to a year. This will give you time to pay down what you owe without paying interest or only paying a small amount of interest. There are several that will waive the transfer fee if you have good credit.If you use this for negotiation leverage with your current credit card company, you may be surprised to find they will listen to you. If not, follow up on what you say you will do and transfer to another credit card. Always arm yourself with all the information you can get if you are planning to try and negotiate with your credit card company.Get a copy of your credit report and see if anything has changed. If your credit is actually looking better and they are still raising the interest rate, you stand a better chance of moving to another credit card if your current one is determined to charge you more.There is another option you can use if you do not want to transfer to another credit card. Call the credit card company, tell them you are refusing their new interest rate and are not going to be using the credit card anymore and stop using it immediately. If you use it after they tell you they are raising the interest rate, you are accepting the new terms.Pay off your balance by continuing to make payments as you previously have and when the balance is paid, the account with this company is terminated. You will be making payments on the old interest rate since you declined the new one.When you consider how many people have credit cards in this country, each increase even if it is only one-quarter percent can add up to a major amount of money. Multiply that by 12 for the ones that are raising it that much monthly and you will get an idea of how much money the credit card companies are making from furnishing you and thousands of other consumers credit.If you receive any correspondence from your credit card company, make sure you read everything. The best way to arm you against interest rates hikes is to know about them in the first place.
About the Author: Mirsad Hasic is the editor of Think Credit Cards a site where you will learn different strategies for credit card debt elimination and also learn more about different types of credit cards. You can check out his RSS Feed here.
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