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A high-interest credit card can be a major burden on your finances. The average credit card interest rate was 14.75% as of February 2021, according to the Federal Reserve — which could translate into steep interest charges if you only pay the minimum payment each month.
However, there are ways to potentially lower your credit card interest rate, which could help you save money while paying off your balance.
Here’s how to lower credit card your interest rate:
- Check your credit score
- Call your card issuer and ask
- Apply for a balance transfer card
- Take out a personal loan
1. Check your credit score
Your credit score helps determine what kind of interest rates you qualify for. In general, the better your credit score, the lower your rate.
If you’d like to get a lower interest rate, you’ll likely need good to excellent credit — a good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher. This is why it’s a good idea to check your credit before making the request so you know where you stand.
Learn More: How Personal Loans Impact Your Credit Score
2. Call your card issuer and ask
One way to possibly get a lower credit card rate is to simply ask your credit card issuer for a reduction. Generally, credit card issuers are friendlier to these types of requests if you have good credit and are a good customer who pays your bills on time.
When you make the call, a few points to mention include:
- How long you’ve been with the company
- Your history of on-time payments
- Whether your credit score has gone up
- Whether you’ve received better offers from other credit card companies
Check Out: How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt
3. Apply for a balance transfer card
A balance transfer card could be a good option if your current credit card company doesn’t approve you for a lower interest rate on your card. With a balance transfer card, you can move your balance from one card to another one with a lower rate.
Learn More: Personal Loan vs. Credit Card
4. Take out a personal loan
Another option is taking out a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt — a process known as debt consolidation. Personal loans often have lower credit card interest rates than credit cards, which means you could save money on interest charges while repaying your debt.
If you decide to take out a personal loan, it’s important to think about how much that loan will cost you. This way, you can be prepared for any added expenses. You can estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan.
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Balance transfer card vs. personal loan
Balance transfer cards and personal loans are both options to consolidate credit card debt and hopefully save money on interest along the way. If you’re considering a balance transfer credit card vs. personal loan, here are a few pros and cons of each to keep in mind:
Pros of balance transfer credit cards
- 0% APR: Some balance transfer credit cards come with a 0% APR introductory offer, which means you can avoid paying interest if you pay off your balance before this period ends.
- Could help build your credit: If you make all of your payments on time, you might see your credit improve — which could help you qualify for better rates in the future.
- Rewards or perks: Depending on the card you choose, you might have access to various rewards or perks, such as cash back or points.
Check Out: How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast
Cons of balance transfer credit cards
- Balance transfer fees: Most cards charge a balance transfer fee — generally from 3% to 5% — that could increase your balance.
- Higher interest rates: Credit cards generally have higher interest rates than personal loans. While you might be able to take advantage of a 0% APR introductory offer — depending on the card — carrying a balance beyond this period could lead to steep interest charges if you don’t pay off the card by your due date each month.
- Might be tempting to rack up a balance: A balance transfer card is still a credit card. Even if you pay your initial balance off, it could be tempting to rack up a balance again.
Pros of personal loans
- Lower interest rates: Personal loan rates are usually lower compared to credit cards. This could save you money on interest charges and even help you pay off your loan faster.
- Fixed monthly payments: Personal loans generally have fixed interest rates, which means your monthly payments will stay the same throughout the life of the loan.
- Options for poor or fair credit: While many personal loan lenders require good to excellent credit, there are others that offer personal loans for bad credit.
Cons of personal loans
- Might come with fees: Some lenders charge fees on personal loans, such as origination or late fees. This can add to your overall loan cost.
- Can have larger payments: Depending on your repayment terms, you might end up with higher monthly payments on a personal loan compared to a credit card. Before you sign for a loan, be sure your new payments will fit comfortably in your budget.
- No rewards: Unlike credit cards, personal loans don’t come with any rewards.
How to take out a personal loan
If you decide to take out a personal loan to help reduce how much you pay in credit card interest, follow these four steps:
- Check your credit. Like with credit cards, personal loan lenders will review your credit to determine your creditworthiness as well as what rates you qualify for. To see what shape your credit is in before you apply, use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureaus to potentially boost your credit score.
- Compare lenders and pick a loan option. Be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for your needs. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender. After researching lenders, choose the loan option that works best for you.
- Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a personal loan lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.
- Get your funds. If you’re approved, the lender will have you sign for the loan so the money can be released to you. The time to fund for a personal loan is usually about one week — though some lenders will fund loans as soon as the same or next business day after approval. There are also lenders that will pay your creditors directly if you’d prefer.
Before you take out a personal loan, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts||Min. credit score||Loan terms (years)|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**||550||2, 3, 4, 5*|
|7.99% - 15.19% APR||$10,000 to $50,000||700||3, 4, 5, 6|
|8.99% - 35.99% APR||$5,000 to $35,000||600||2, 3, 4, 5|
|6.99% - 24.99% APR||$2,500 to $35,000||660||3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$10,000 to $50,000||Not disclosed by lender||2, 3, 4, 5|
|7.99% - 29.99% APR||$5,000 to $40,000||600||2, 3, 4, 5|
|8.3% - 36.0% APR||$1,000 to $40,000||600||3, 5|
|7.99% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $36,500||580||2, 3, 4, 5, 6|
|5.99% - 22.49% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||660||2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
(up to 12 years for home improvement loans)
|6.99% - 24.99% APR1||$3,500 to $40,0002||660|
(TransUnion FICO®️ Score 9)
|3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
|18.0% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000||None||2, 3, 4, 5|
|7.74% - 17.99% APR||$600 to $50,000 |
(depending on loan term)
|660||1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|6.99% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $50,000||640||2, 3, 4, 5|
|7.99% - 23.43% APR10||$5,000 to $100,000||Does not disclose||2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
|11.69% - 35.93% APR7||$1,000 to $50,000||560||3 to 5 years 8|
|7.96% - 35.97% APR||$1,000 to $50,000||560||2, 3, 5, 6|
|5.4% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005||580||3 to 5 years4|
Should you close your credit card?
After you’ve paid off a credit card, you might consider closing it. However, keep in mind that if you close a credit card account, you might see your credit score drop. This is because a closed account could:
- Raise your credit utilization ratio, as you might have less available credit compared to how much you owe
- Lower the average age of your credit accounts, especially if you’ve had the account for an extended period of time
However, if you continue making payments on time on your other credit accounts, your score will likely bounce back within a few months.
Keep Reading: Pay Off Credit Card Debt ASAP With a Personal Loan
About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 5.40%-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 10%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.