Stretch Your Dollar: Getting out of credit card debt

Visa and MasterCards with microchips . (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

(WTNH)– Getting out of credit card debt can be very tough, especially when you are dealing with fees and those sky-high interest rates.

It’s easy to get caught up in credit card debt, and for the most part, it’s our own doing but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do when you lose control. Experts have found you can usually catch a break here and there by simply picking up the phone.

It’s easy to use your credit card. But contacting your credit card company seems to be much harder. It shouldn’t. According to a creditcards.com report, 87 percent of cardholders who asked for a late fee to go away got that fee removed.

“People have a lot more power in negotiating with their credit card issuer than they think they do,” said Matt Schulz, Creditcards.com Senior Industry Analyst.

All you have to do is look at the back of your card and call that 800 number. And it’s not just late fees. You can also ask your card to lower interest rates waive your annual fee or raise your credit limit.

“People would be stunned at how successful you could be at these requests. For example, about 90 percent of people who asked to have their credit limit raised, got that request granted,” said Schulz.

Which can boost your credit score and end up saving you money.

“If you are a little nervous about making the call to the bank, just remember the worst thing that can happen is they tell you no. But the best thing that can happen is that you get to keep some of that hard earned money in your pocket instead of handing it over to the credit card company in the form of fees or interest,” said Schulz.

While you’re on the phone with them double, check you’re taking advantage of the rewards offered to you or maybe there’s a better card within the same bank that may pay you back in rewards better than the card you’re getting now.

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