YORK, Pa. — Credit card debt in the United States is now at an all-time high and interest rates on most credit cards are up about 4% from last year.
FOX43 Finds Out if a simple phone call can slash those rates in half.
Ed Albert called his credit card company and simply said "I would like to lower the APR on my credit card please."
An easy statement that could save him, and you, a lot of money.
According to Bankrate.com, the average credit card interest rate is about 20% right now, 4% higher than it was last year.
That is helping credit card debt reach an all-time high.
If you google "Scripts to lower credit card interest" you'll see a plethora of options.
They all basically hit the same points.
- Say you want to lower your APR.
- Explain how long you've been a customer.
- Point out if you make your payments on time.
- Find some other comparable credit card options.
FOX43 Finds Out gave two people with different credit situations these scripts to see if they work.
Lheandrew Cañete's interest rate on his Discover card was at about 27%. He was carrying a balance and got behind on some payments.
"I've been a loyal customer for about 4-5 years now and I know a few other credit cards are offering better rates than what I'm getting right now. I'd hate for the interest rate to drive me away from your service. Is there anything that you can do for me?"
After a simple ask and a 17-minute phone call, Discover waived some of his late fees and dropped his interest rate to less than 1% for 60 months to help get him back on track.
"I'm shook right now. I'm like completely just shook and I've just very grateful for that to be honest," said Cañete.
Then Ed Albert gave the script a try. He has excellent credit and pays his bills on time. The interest on his Southwest Credit card is a little over 20%.
His nine-minute phone call didn't end with a lower interest rate. He was offered a $70 statement credit and told to call back next month to see if he could lower his interest rate then.
"Now I'm angry, I'm definitely going to call back," said Albert.
He also called about his Capital One card. He said, "Right now I'm at 19.15% and I know that there are some credit cards right now getting better rates than what I'm getting on mine right now.
This company wouldn't budge on his interest rate.
He stuck to the script and even asked to chat with a supervisor and still, they offered him nothing.
Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst with bankrate.com says overall consumer polls show about a 50% success rate using these types of scripts to lower your interest rate.
"There's not a one size fits all way that this is necessarily going to go, but you have zero odds of success if you don't try," said McBride.
Experts say it's likely your interest rate will only continue to go up because the federal reserve keeps increasing its policy rate, so now is a good time to try.
If you want to give it a try, here's the sample script we used:
"Hello, I’d like to lower the APR on my credit card, please. I’ve been a loyal customer for (x) years. I know a few other credit cards offering better rates than what I’m getting right now, and I’d hate for this interest rate to drive me away from your service. What can you do for me?"
If you have a story you want Jackie De Tore to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send her a message on Facebook or send an email to FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.