The best and simplest way to avoid high interest rates on your credit cards is to pay off your balance every month. But for those of us who are already inundated with credit card debt , doing so may seem next to impossible.
So here are a few tips on how to avoid high interest rates, even if you have a balance:
- Pay your credit card on time. This tip may seem obvious; but many credit card consumers fail to make timely payments and find themselves hit with a higher interest rate and/or fees. Paying your credit card on time will give you the leverage you need to get a credit card with a lower rate in the future.
- If you have three or four credit cards, it may be wise to close the accounts with the highest interest rates. But be forewarned, closing a credit card with a long account history may negatively impact your credit score. For credit cards with a long history simply pay off the balance, refrain from using the credit card or pay off the balance every month to avoid being hit with the high interest charges.
- Make more than the minimum payment on your credit card. By paying more of the credit card's principal, you will pay off the card quicker and minimize your exposure to high interest rate charges.
- Shop around for the best interest rate. When opening new credit cards make sure that the interest rate is as near prime as possible. Don't make the mistake of signing up for the first credit card offer that lands in your mailbox. Take the time to consider all of your options by seeking out the best credit card interest rates on your own. Oftentimes, credit card offers received via mail don't offer the best interest rates.