With the debt load that arises from having a mortgage or a credit card, you are probably having to spend a lot more on interest than towards your principal. That is just the way credit works. There is a way you can reorganize your finances to ensure that you get a mortgage or credit card that is actually cheaper. Ask for a lower rate.
It is true that a short telephone call can decrease your interest payments. If you do not make the call, credit card and mortgage lenders have no interest in decreasing your rate of interest. In the case of cheap financing, the squeaky wheel will get the grease. In a 2002 national survey from U.S. Public Interest Research Group fifty customers with varied credit backgrounds called credit card and mortgage companies and requested lower rates. In this study, over half scored lower rates – a whopping 56%. Rates were seen to drop on average from 16% to 10.47. Customers stated that they were quite impressed that their credit cards and mortgages rates were sliced by one third simply through one phone call. It simply flows with the – it doesn’t hurt to ask philosophy. If you don’t ask, you DEFINITELY won’t get it. If you do muster up the interest to ask, you just never know what could happen.
So why don’t more people do this? It is simple, it just doesn’t occur to us. We are given a rate, we sign to it, and we assume that this cannot be changed. But it costs credit card companies and mortgage lenders several hundred dollars in advertising and marketing to acquire one new customer. Today with online vendors offering the same service, competition is tough and if you are a good customer, the lender is going to work hard to keep you. Further, the lenders can afford to cut you a break, and they will make you the best offers if they want your business. And this is precisely the approach you need to take when you make that call. “Hi this is so and so calling. In the mail today I’ve gotten about 4 different offers to reduce my mortgage rate or Visa interest rate. I am interested in getting a lower rate of interest. What can you do for me so that I won’t have to switch to another company?”
Avoid a confrontational conversation. You just need to ask, and always remember that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And follow the adage, if at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again. You may get someone more cooperative on the phone next time. You may be redirected to the “customers threatening to switch” department. Give it a try and find out what could happen. If you are struggling with high interest rates, you have the power to at least try to do something about it. Make the most of the money you earn by trying to optimize it
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* When Jules Evans was in his late teens, he started to be plagued by panic attacks, mood swings and other emotional problems. He eventually found help in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). He went to interview the inventors of CBT, and discovered they were directly inspired by ancient Greek philosophy. This started him on a five-year journey of discovery, in which he found out how life-transforming the ideas of ancient Greek philosophy can be. He met and interviewed people from many walks of life who claimed to have been greatly helped by ancient philosophy, including gangsters, astronauts, soldiers and politicians. Now, he passionately believes that the therapeutic ideas of ancient philosophy need to be rescued from the dusty museum cabinets of academia, and brought to as many people as possible, to help them improve their lives.
Regarding Jules Evans
Jules Evans is policy director at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He is also a journalist, has appeared on BBC 2′s Culture Show, on Radio 3 and 4, RTE-1, ABC Australia, and has written for The Times, Spectator, Wall Street Journal, Prospect and many other publications. His book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, is being published in 19 countries, and was described as ‘a revelation’ by The Observer.
How philosophy can save your life | Jules Evans | TEDxBreda