According to a poll from the Associated Press, credit card bills can cause a tremendous amount of stress. But more importantly, that stress can lead to serious physical health problems. Not surprisingly, those polled with high debt related stress had heart attack rates twice as high as those with low debt related stress. If you’re carrying a credit card balance it doesn’t take a poll to know how stressful credit cards can be–all you need to do is to open your bill and see how expensive the interest charge was.
Part of the frustration with credit card debt is the trapped feeling you get. Every time you make a payment, only a small portion of the payment goes toward the principle. This is because of their ridiculously high interest rates. So to get out of this cycle you need to take two steps; stop making credit card purchases and increase the amount of your payment that goes toward the principle. Those steps are rather obvious, but with today’s economy it may be tough so I’m going to share a very simple secret that may help.
Call each of your credit card companies and simply ask for a lower interest rate. It’s that easy. If your payments are current they will probably lower your rate several percentage points just for asking. If they are reluctant you may have to remind them of the many better offers you receive every day in the mail. Many of my clients have had a lot of success doing this and I think you will as well. So pick up the phone tonight and just ask. Your next credit card bill may be just a little lower for the effort.