Everything's Negotiable -- Lowering Interest Rates

More than half of Americans have credit card debt with the average household carrying more than $9,000 of it.

In one study, more than half of the people who tried to negotiate a lower interest rate were successful with just a five-minute phone call. Three "Good Morning America" staffers tried to lower their rates and were successful.

The "GMA" test found negotiating was more successful when you had a standard credit card without any incentives such as frequent flier miles or cash back. It also helped to know your credit score, so you know how attractive a customer you are to the credit card company. It also helped to mention all the other credit card offers you were getting in the mail.

Negotiating a lower interest rate can save you a lot of money. For example, if you have $10,000 worth of debt and you lower the interest rate by 6 percentage points, you can save $600 a year in interest payments.

If a credit card company will not lower its rates, it may be time to consider a new credit card. There are some nonprofit groups that track credit card companies that offer low interest rates. For more information, visit www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/shop/survey.htm or www.cardweb.com/perl/cardlocator/survey/lowrate.

ABC's Elisabeth Leamy reported this story for "Good Morning America."

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