Managing your credit card correctly can help you save cash, and even elevate your financial status. One of the most important entities that can help you to accomplish these tasks is you credit card issuer. If you experience any problems in managing your credit card account, you should never hesitate to ask questions and to be patient until you receive a reasonable answer that actually solves your problem.
Unfortunately, some of us are more reluctant than others to ask these critical questions. According to a recent survey of more than 1200 respondents, women are more likely to avoid negotiation and confrontation with their credit card issuers. Apparently, it’s not uncommon for people to become hesitant when it comes to asking questions about credit card use and the fees associated with everyday budgeting transactions. Aside from these natural hesitations, many people are simply unaware that it is actually possible to ask a credit card issuer for better terms.
Regardless of the reasons, it is definitely worth asking your credit card issuers about the options you have available. Here are some Budget Tracker tips to help you get the crucial information about your credit card finances.
Ask if APR can be reduced
One of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of credit card budgeting is that clients can actually be granted an APR reduction. If you are a good client (i.e. someone who makes sure to pay on time), and you are carrying a balance, you could ask your credit card company to reduce your interest rates.
Depending on the company, reductions can be as much as 6 percentage points and the effects of these important payment differences can be monitored using budget tracking tools. This is a win-win situation for clients because as such, they will be able to pay their credit card faster and avoid potential default.
Ask if you can extend due dates
Asking for an extension in due dates is not only applicable in school requirements but in credit cards, too! If you think you are likely to forget a payment date or are unable to do so during at that time, you can actually ask your credit card issuer to place a grace period on the balance until it is a more convenient period of time. Always remember that you might be charged additional financing fees as your extended balance continues to accrue interest.
Ask about their penalty rates
After asking about the APR, another important topic to inquire about is the penalty charge for late payments. Penalty rates (which may range from 18% up to 35%) are charged when a client violates the terms and conditions of a credit card (i.e. failure to pay on time). Instead of a penalty rate, some credit card companies charge their customers with a penalty fee. Fortunately, some credit card companies do not actually charge penalty rates or penalty fees. However, it is also important to note that missed payments and penalties can be reported to the three main credit card agencies, and this can negatively affect your credit score over time.
If not used correctly, credit cards can result in the accumulation of huge debt and rising interest rates. Just like the old saying goes, good communication is the key to a healthy relationships. In the case of credit cards, this is the absolute truth. A healthy partnership will always pay dividends and reduce our budgeting costs. Of course, you might not be all granted the things you asked for, but who knows, you might get something even better. The worst response that you can get would be a rejection of your request, so there is little downside in reaching out and asking the right questions.