Find a Credit Union With Lower Interest Rates and Fees

By Sadie Bass

Nov 10, 2009 6:38pm

ABC's Elisabeth Leamy reports from Washington: If you receive a notice saying your credit card company is raising your rate, often you can get the rate hike reversed by calling the company.  Many rate increase notices are computer generated and if you can and speak to a real live human operator, they may have the power to cancel the increase – especially if you threaten to take your business elsewhere. You can also opt out of the rate increase by following the instructions in the notice you receive.  A new rule requires credit card companies to allow you to pay off your existing balance at your old interest rate.  Usually the bank then cancels your card or allows you to keep using it only it until it expires and then cancels it.  If you are going to want to replace it with another card, it’s a good idea to apply for that card before opting out and canceling the original one.  Why?  Because canceling existing accounts can lower your credit score, because it affects the ratio of the amount of debt you have compared to the amount of credit you have available to you. One good source of credit cards with lower interest rates and fees is credit unions.  A Pew Charitable Trusts study found credit union interest rates are approximately 20 percent lower than commercial bank rates.  It’s not as difficult to qualify for membership in a credit union as it used to be.  To find one you are eligible to join, check the website www.findacreditunion.com.

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