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Is it Possible to Lower the APR on Your Credit Card?

Is it Possible to Lower the APR on Your Credit Card?
Jason Steele
Jason SteeleUpdated December 16, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If the APR on your credit card is high, it is possible to negotiate a lower rate.  APR stands for annual percentage rate, and it’s the annualized interest rate you’re charged when you carry a balance on your credit card. You can save money with a lower APR, which can be especially helpful if you carry a balance on your card from month to month. When applying for a credit card, you should choose one with a lower APR. But even with a card you already own, you may be able to get your rate reduced. Here’s how to lower the APR on a credit card.   

Why You Would Want to Lower Your Credit Card  Interest Rate

If you carry a balance on a credit card with a high APR, you’re paying more in interest. That means more of your payments are going toward the interest you owe rather than the principal balance, which makes it harder to pay off that balance. The lower your interest rate, the less you’ll pay in interest and the easier it will be to pay the debt you owe. 

Can You Lower the APR Once You've Received Your Credit Card?

It’s possible to get a lower APR on a credit card you already have. The APR on your credit card is not set in stone. The rate is up to the card issuer’s discretion. By working with them, you may be able to lower your APR.

Tips for Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rate (APR)

Wondering how to lower a credit card interest rate? You‘ll need to negotiate a lower credit card APR directly with your card issuer. Here’s how to do it:

Monitoring Your Credit Reports

First, you should know your credit score, which is one of the important credit card terminologies to familiarize yourself with. The best interest rates are typically given to those with excellent or good credit scores. A FICO® score of at least 670 is considered good. A score of 800 or higher is ranked as exceptional. You may be able to check your credit score through your bank. Many financial institutions offer this information for free to their customers.You can also check your credit by reviewing your credit reports. You are legally entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can also check your credit report for free at If you find any errors, report them to the credit bureaus.It’s a good idea to work on your credit history, if it needs it, before asking for a lower APR. Paying your bills on time could help, as could lowering your credit utilization ratio, which measures the amount of credit available to you versus the amount you’re using. The lower that ratio is, the better.  If possible, try to get it to 30% or below.

Negotiating a Lower Credit Card APR With Your Issuer

The way to lower your APR is by speaking directly with your credit card issuer. This is important for understanding how credit cards work. Start by calling the customer service number on the back of your card. Negotiating a lower credit card APR with the card issuer can take some finesse. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind as you negotiate.
Do try several communication methods when contacting your issuer if you can’t get through. Call them on the phone first.Don’t give up after the first phone call. Call back and if you still can’t get through, try emailing them.
Do ask to speak to a supervisor.Don’t be put off if the representative says they can’t connect you to a supervisor. Be polite but firm and ask again.
Do be prepared. Explain that you want to get your rate lowered and say why. For instance, you might tell them it will be easier to pay off your debt with a lower rate.Don’t try to make your credit history sound better than it really is. And don’t argue or get combative.
Do research on other credit cards with better rates. Tell your issuer that you may switch to one of these other cards if your rate isn’t lowered.Don’t forget to remind them that you have a long relationship with the issuer, if you do, and that you’ve been a good customer. They might reward your loyalty.
Do ask for a reduced interest rate temporarily if they won’t give you a lower interest rate for good. They may be willing to work with you on this.Don’t just give up. It doesn’t hurt to continue negotiating for different terms.
Do call again if your initial request is denied. Be sure to pay your bills on time, and try again in several months.Don’t assume that because they denied your request once they’ll do so again. Being persistent in a friendly way may pay off.

What to Do After Getting a Lower APR

If you are successful at getting your card issuer to lower your APR, be sure to get a written confirmation from them of the new reduced rate. Once you have that document, keep it on file. Then work on reducing your debt. Continue to make payments, and if you can, make those payments bigger to help pay off what you owe faster. And when you’re using a credit card, be sure to do so responsibly in order not to pile up a lot of debt. 

How Can a Lower Interest Rate Help Your Finances?

Having a good APR for a credit card could benefit your financial health. Lowering the interest rate on your card might help you pay off your debt sooner because more of your money will go toward paying off your balance. This in turn will help your credit overall. And once you have less debt to pay, you may be able to build up your savings, too. 

Alternatives to Consider

If you are not able to get your card issuer to lower your APR, there are some options you can explore to help reduce your debt. These include: 

Cards With an Introductory Offer

When applying for a credit card you can look for one with a 0% APR. Some cards have introductory offers for 0% APR that can range from 12 to 21 months for new purchases, balance transfers, or both. You can transfer your credit card balance to one of these cards (just look for a card that specifies balance transfers) and then pay your debt at a lower interest rate.Sometimes even the best balance transfer credit cards charge small fees to transfer a balance over from another card. However, the fee may be less than the APR that you are paying on your current credit card, so be sure to calculate the best option for you. Most of the best no-interest credit cards require good credit, so if your credit is strong, this may help you qualify. 

Low-Interest Credit Cards

If you will need to carry a balance for a long period of time, you might want to look into getting a card with a low interest rate overall. As of the third quarter of 2022, the average credit card interest rate was 18.43% APR, according to the Federal Reserve. Some of the best low-interest credit cards have APRs below that. 

Debt Consolidation

If you’d rather not get a new credit card, you could apply for a debt consolidation loan with a fixed rate to consolidate your debt into one payment. The average APR for a personal loan with a 24-month payment period was 10.16% in the third quarter of 2022, according to the Federal Reserve. This is significantly lower than the average credit card interest rate. However, not everyone will qualify for that rate on a personal loan. But as long as you can qualify for a rate that’s lower than your credit card APR, you can save money on interest.

The Takeaway

If you have a high APR on your credit card, it is possible to lower it. You can call your card issuer and try to negotiate a lower rate. Your credit card company may be willing to work with you. You have other options to help pay off your debt as well. You could take out a debt consolidation loan that has lower interest than your current credit card. Or you might apply for a credit card with no interest or look into a low-interest credit card. If you decide to apply for a new credit card with a better interest rate, Lantern by SoFi can help you find one. Lantern makes it easy and convenient to check interest rates for multiple credit cards to find an option that’s best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you reduce your APR on a credit card?
Why is my APR high with a good credit score?
How can I avoid paying interest on my credit card?
Why do credit card issuers charge varying APRs?

About the Author

Jason Steele

Jason Steele

Jason Steele has been writing about credit cards and award travel since 2008. One of the nation's leading experts in this field, he has contributed to dozens of personal finance and travel outlets and has been widely quoted in the mainstream media.
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