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Q: I was hoping to get a balance transfer from one card onto another card with a lower interest rate. When I applied to do this, I was declined! What should I do now?
A: If you are declined for a balance transfer, there are a number of options you can consider. Of course, the first option would be to try for a balance transfer with another card. If you are persistent, you may be able to find one that will approve you.
Often, though, you don’t need to do a balance transfer at all. Most people who apply for balance transfers do so in the hopes of getting a better rate. Many of them do not realize that there are other ways to lower their rates and save money.
Sometimes, you can negotiate a better rate with the credit card company. If you have been consistently paying your payments on time, call the company and see if they will work with you. If they refuse, politely tell them that you are going to take your business elsewhere. In many cases, this will change their mind. Companies hate to lose a reliable customer.
If you’re on the other extreme and are several months behind, you may also be able to work out a deal with them. If you offer to pay them a lump sum right away, you may be able to settle for as little as half of what you owe. If they have already written you off as someone who won’t pay, they want to get their money back any way they can. Be proactive and settle this debt before they take you to court. You’ll get a great deal and will no longer be piling up interest on this card.