The average person carries about 10 credit cards. Many interest rates on these cards can run up to 19 percent a year. With a $1,000 balance and paying the minimum payment it would take you 95 months to pay off the card with a final total almost double the original bill.
Mickie Fisher with United Credit Services helps people with credit card problems and says she's busier than ever. "I think people are tightening up they are trying to figure out 'what do I need to pay, where do I need to be?'" Fisher says there are simple steps to getting a lower credit card rate.
"The first part is to look at your credit report," says, Fisher. A better credit score usually means a better interest rate. Secondly, pick up the phone and ask your credit card company for a better rate.
Fisher says this is the easiest way to get a lower rate. "A lot of times they will go back and they will come back to you and say, 'hey, yeah, we can give you a lower rate."
We tried to call and get a lower rate on three separate cards. Each time we were denied. We were however given a reason. Late payments and overdrafts were the main cause. Fisher says, "And if you do have a late credit your rate can go up to over 30 percent."
Several credit card companies told us to keep in good standing and try again in six months. And if that doesn't work Fisher, says, "There is always credit card companies out there that are offering better rates."