West Broward Real Estate Watch


Perfect time to negotiate your credit cards!

Are you one of those people who have a bunch of credit cards and they are max out and you are bairly making the minium payments on them? Well you know you can speak with your credit card companies to reduce your interest rates, or have some of your late fees removed?

Hey we all get caught up in a bind. I had some hards times myself and needed to talk with them to get some things taken cared of. You see if you call and talk with these companies and let them know up front you are having problems they are more willing to work with you. You shouldn't be afraid to confront them.

Here are some tips to help you get started. You will be surprised how much money you could save by taking these steps! And if you are looking to buy a house within the next year or two, this would be the perfect place to get things rolling!

Get organized.

Draft a list of all your credit cards and their balances, interest rates, fees and credit limits. You might want to pull your credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Examine your options.

As in any negotiation, you need walk-away power, which in this case means the ability to transfer card balances to another debt vehicle.

"If one bank is treating you badly, you can transfer your balance and stop using them," Bilker said. "That's really the only way you're going to be able to get anything to happen." If you follow through on the threat, transfer the balance but don't close the account--especially for long-held cards--because it will hurt your credit score.

Learn what to do.

A conversation with a credit card company representative is a delicate dance. Your goal is to get the most favorable terms you can. You should be polite and professional, yet firm.

Bilker's book provides transcripts of phone calls as consumers haggle with customer service representatives. It can give you an idea of how your conversation may proceed.

Fees are low-hanging fruit.

Card issuers are implementing fees all the time, but fees also are the most negotiable, experts said. Many available cards have no annual fee, which makes your card's fee negotiable. Lower interest rates, and especially higher credit limits, can be more difficult to get but are worth pursuing because they're often more valuable.

Use tricks.

If you're not receiving satisfaction from a customer service person, ask to speak with a supervisor. The representative will try to discourage you, saying the supervisor won't offer anything different. But sometimes, you'll get something. If your card has been canceled for non-use or your limit lowered, promise to use the card "today" to reinstate the card or limit. That might work about half the time, Bilker said.

"Card companies in this environment are starting to 'get it,'ƒ|" Arnold said. "They're starting to realize if they run all their customers off, the whole ship is going down."

For a complete look at the article you can go here.

I hope these tips has helped you in some way. Good Luck!

Jeannette Neerpat


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Comment balloon 10 commentsJeannette Neerpat • January 31 2009 11:08AM


Jeannette, I will have to get this to my friend.  See if they are willing to work it now.

Posted by Tim and Pam Cash, Real Estate Professionals - Clarksville TN (Crye-Leike (Sango)) over 11 years ago

Very timely post!  I have afew clients that could really use this info.  Thanks! (My wife would say we can too!)

Posted by Rick Sergison (Keller Williams Real Estate Associates in the Toronto Area) over 11 years ago

Jeannette, great tips. Also, with the shape of the economy many people find themselves in very different positions than they were even a few months prior.

Posted by Eric McGowan over 11 years ago

Jeannette, great posts, very useful and hopefully that information gets out to those that need it.  With so many foreclosures, I think many could have used this info early on...

Posted by Joanne O'Donnell (Chic Home Interiors) over 11 years ago

Hi Jeannette;

Great post and I thank you, I will share this with your permission.

Posted by Anthony Stokes-Pereira, Realtor (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) over 11 years ago

Good advise i will reblog for more exposure...

Posted by Diane Daley (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Hi Jeannette, about three years ago I did away with all credit cards and went to 2 local credit unions and took out dibit cards with a $1000. in each, one is for office supplies, one for major expenses, one for auto stuff and one for lunches and misc.

They all pay me interest and instead of paying a CC company every month I pay back what it took to get back to the $1000. and added a $100. to ech every month. Now I have a limit of about $3000. on each (remember I started 3 years ago) and I get interest every month. At the end of the year my taxes and exspenses are ready.

My CPA loves it and actually has gotten others to do it.


Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) over 11 years ago

Jeannette- I always have to really concentrate on spelling your name correctly:) Great tips for getting those credit issues under control!

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 11 years ago

Appreciated you taking the time to share this with us...am off to check out your link, and learn more.

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) over 11 years ago

Jeannette - this is wonderful advice to consumers....so many don't know which way to turn. ;-)


Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) over 11 years ago