Prior research is the key to successful negotiations. I would check my state rates and see what are the lowest and highest rates issued for your type of card (Gold, Plat, etc). Bankrate.com is a good start.
That’s true, all the ‘cut it up’ advise is already done here at my place. But this brings to mind another question: If, for example I do NOT plan to use the cards again, what WOULD ‘closing’ the account do? This is to say, If I could get the Juniper people to go back to the lower interest rate, and then I close the account out, only paying on it, would this help? They couldn’t change the interest on me again later, could they?
I found out yesterday when my fella’s dad was over for Father’s Day that (according to him) his wife who died back almost 9 years ago, was STILL in his report, even thigh the cards were paid off, they were still on his report too because he never ‘closed’ the accounts she had.
I know when I closed an account at MicroCenter, the payments remained the same for the rest of the payoff, but I was able to sell some Machinists tools and pay it off very quickly. I have a Martin Guitar that has been loved and well used for work from 1974 (I’m fifty now, and gigs aren’t in the offering much anymore, so I’m researching about selling it now. I’d rather get the money, and have it continue to be played by someone else).
But am wondering if that ‘closing the accounts’ would help get at least 2 of her three or four cards down to a dull roar?
Every thing I have read says that it is very important to your credit rating NOT to close an account before you pay it off. Wait until it is totally paid off – then close it. But not before.
Closing the account does a few things.
- You can not use it. You would have to go through the application process before re-opening the account.
- You have indicated to them that you do not intend to charge anymore to the account and may be in a position to lock in that rate – see below.
- You tell the same thing to the Credit Reporting Agencies.
It does NOT prevent them from raising the rate if you violate their policies, i.e. late on one of their payments or someone else’s – see below. Nor does it prevent them from raising the rate as part of their normal review, but if you pick one that guarantees a single rate for the life of the balance transfer, then they can only raise it if you violate a policy.
Why did I say someone else’s? Some cc have written into their policy that if you are late on ANY Credit, then they can raise your rate. Example, you are late with a payment to AMEX, then CHASE can raise your rates.
Not buyer beware but borrower beware!