Credit Cards and Debt Interview with WTVN Radio Columbus
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 with Joel Riley of WTVN Radio Columbus about asking for a lower APR on a credit card. The interview and transcript are below.
Joel Riley: Let’s turn our attention to 2016 and talk with Matt Schultz. He’s with Bankrate.com and Matt, get our finances healthy. One of the things you suggest is paying off debt and asking for lower interest rates. How often is that successful?
Matt Schulz: More often than you’d think. We did a survey that showed that only about a quarter of credit card holders had ever asked for a lower interest rate, but about two-thirds of those that had asked were successful, so that means that a lot of people are paying more interest than they need to.
Riley: Talking with Matt Schultz at Bankrate.com, and Matt, is it usually like “Hey, I want x rate” and the bank or whoever may come back and say “We’ll give you this”? Is there some negotiation process there?
Matt: Yeah there’s definitely some negotiation to it and you probably don’t wanna ask to go from 20 percent down to 10 percent or something like that, but a few percentage points can really be possible.
Riley: Right. So getting a balance transfer is also a good idea you suggest?
Matt: Yeah. That’s one of those things where you have to definitely kind of play by the rules and read the fine print and all the details with the offer, but if you do then it can be a good thing and one of the best ones is Slate from Chase, which offers no interest on balance transfers or purchases for 15 months and no balance transfer fee if you do it in the first 60 days. Not having that transfer fee can be a big deal because sometimes those can be 3 or 4 percent of the total balance.
Riley: Now when getting out of debt oftentimes, and this is one of the things I was reading about you, you suggest like just sometimes go back to why happen in the first place.
Matt: Yeah. Know thyself as the saying goes. It’s a matter of whether you’re in there because of a medical emergency or job loss, something temporary, or maybe you’re just not very good at paying your bills consistently or you can’t handle the lure of extra credit. Knowing all of those things can help you create a battle plan to attack debt that will really be effective for you.
Riley: Now you’re talking about attacking debt and the thing that popped into my mind is yesterday I go, I get a quick breakfast after the show at a McDonald’s up in Hilliard. I use Apple Pay. What’s your concern with that? Because to me I just tap my phone on the kiosk, boom, I got my food. That instant gratification is dangerous.
Matt: Yeah. I think generally speaking I’m a fan of mobile payments because they are more secure than people think that they are, and they really are convenient, but like anything it’s all about knowing yourself and if you’re somebody who needs some sort of safeguard between you and a spending spree, maybe mobile payments are a little too easy.
Riley: Yeah they can be. They can be a little bit too easy. Sometimes it’s scary. Matt Schultz at Bankrate.com, thank you for your time here on News Radio 610 WTVN.