husband and I filed for bankruptcy in 1995. Since then we have
established good payment records with high interest credit card
companies. I'm ready to drop them and transfer my balances to a
lower interest rate card(s). When I start looking on the net, I see
introductory rates for first time applicants with good credit. I'm
having a hard time finding cards with the transfer option.
I've had my existing accounts for
several years (or more), plus we just bought a house, so I think we
deserve better interest rates. I called my accounts personally, but
they don't offer better rates, only a larger line of credit. I have
enough credit already.
First of all Penny I'd like to say that I
agree that you do deserve a better rate!
As you may know, bankruptcy stays on
your credit report for 10 years. That means that all the banks know
that you've had problems in the past, but that's long ago at
this point, and
I am sure there are banks that may be willing to give you a better
The important issue now is how you've
been handling your credit for the past few years. From what you've
said my feeling is that you've been doing a good job
with paying on time. That being my assumption it's time for the
banks to give you a better deal or you should take your business
So you've already called your current
banks and they won't budge on the rates. Try this, call them back
and explain it this way, "I've just received a transfer offer in
the mail for 1.9% and I'm going to take it if you don't reduce my
rate. I've been happy dealing with your bank but it's just getting
too costly. I'd be willing to stay a customer, but I need some type
of reduction in my rate or I'll just have to take my business to
If the first rep you get on the phone
cannot help you then ask to speak
to a supervisor. If the supervisor says that they cannot lower the
rate, then find out why and make it clear that they lost your
business. WE MUST PUNISH THEM!!
Now, you mentioned that you have a
few accounts. If the first bank won't lower the rate then call
another account and transfer the balance from the first bank to this
account. Tell the second bank, "If you give me a good deal on a
balance transfer, right now, I'll do it." Well, at this point
you should do it anyway. Just be sure to punish the first bank for
not lowering the rate. Then, after the first bank doesn't have your
business for a while you can give them a call and let them know that
you're ready to start using them again if they give you a better
rate or a transfer offer.
As far as the online offers go, it
can sometimes be very difficult to get those low rate deals when
applying online. I suggest you try in your snail-mailbox. That's where I
always get the best offers. Actually, the best offers are from my
current banks but there are other good offers from new banks all
time. Last year banks mailed 3 billion offers to us consumers!
Never forget that no matter what your
situation YOU are the customer and they should be treating you with
the philosophy of "the customer is always right." There's
a lot of competition out there for our business so let's all make them
work to keep us satisfied!