The worst part about being in credit card debt isn’t necessarily paying back the debt – but it’s paying all the interest fees that go along with it. If you have bad credit and have a high interest rate on your credit card you could be paying out hundreds of dollars per month on interest payments alone.
When you receive a loan (and credit cards are a loan) you need to pay interest to the creditor. When you buy a house, interest rates are pretty low (about 5%). When you buy a car, the rates are a little higher (about 9%). The reason the rates are low is because if you miss a few payments the bank would take your property away.
But credit cards are a little different. When you miss a payment the items you bought are still yours. The only recourse a credit card has is to mess with your credit score. This is precisely why they also charge high interest rates (over 20%).
Having to pay interest fees on purchases you made months ago sucks, but there are ways you can reduce your credit card interest payments.
Make Payments Often
You would think that it makes sense to save up all your money and make a big payment toward your credit card debt. But that isn’t the right thing to do at all. Interest accrues daily, so the longer you wait to make a payment the more interest you’re paying out. Ideally, you should make a credit card payment as soon as you get your paycheck.
Just because your due date is on the 23rd of every month doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to make a payment. If you get a check on the 4th, make a payment. If your next check comes in on the 20th, make another payment then. The goal here is to make payments often so that you can pay the least amount of interest on your debt.
Make Payments Online
Since interest is computed daily it is imperative to make your payment as soon as possible. When you make your payments online your payment goes through immediately. If you were to mail your payment it would take ages to get there and be processed. They don’t call it snail mail for nothing. You’ll have to get an envelope, write a check, buy a stamp then drop it off at the post office. Then off it goes for up to a week before it gets delivered. Then you’ll have to wait a few more days for processing and for the check to clear. All this if and only if it doesn’t get lost in the mail.
You can even set up automatic billing so you don’t even have to remember to make a payment. This means no hassle, no headaches, less interest and no late fees for you. It’s a no brainer.
Ask For A Lower Rate
Did you know that you could get a lower interest rate from your credit card if you just asked for one? It sounds impossible but there’s a chance this could work. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to try does it. If you have a steady history of making your payments on time and if your credit score has improved, you may just qualify for a lower interest rate.
Make a phone call to your credit card and ask to speak to someone in the retention department. Mention to this person that you are considering canceling your credit card because the interest rate is too high. This person will then see if you qualify to have your interest rate lowered. The last thing a credit card wants is for you to cancel the account so they’ll try to offer you a better deal.
Use Another Credit Card
One neat way to pay less interest is to use another credit card that does not carry a balance for your everyday purchases. Then be sure to pay off that card in full every month. This new card will not accrue any interest charges. If you were to just use the card you’re trying to pay off to make your purchases, interest would accrue on every single new purchase you make.
But of course this method only works if you pay your balance in full on this other card. If you don’t you won’t end up saving any money on the interest charges at all.